Ever gone on internet message boards to prognosticate the future of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, the novels that HBO’s Game of Thrones is based on? Well, if you’ve put your thoughts on how the whole thing will end on some corner of the internet, you may be interested to know that your guess as might be correct. As readers, not to mention GOT writers, await the next couple of entries in the saga, author George R.R. Martin is letting the world know that a couple of shrewd operators already know how the whole thing will end, but they don’t know that they know.
While talking at the famous Edinburgh International Book Festival (as relayed by The Telegraph), Martin discussed various intersections with fans and his popular work. Along with the revelation that many female fans want him to write more sex scenes, that gay fans want more gay sex scenes, and that his books are not written as a “democracy” despite people sending him requests for specific characters to be killed off, Martin added that he’s now taken to avoiding Game of Thrones message boards. Why? Because a couple of fans have correctly figured out how the epic will end.
Martin won’t name names, but he did say that it was enough to make him wonder if he should try and change the ending despite the carefully laid clues he’s embedded in the series’ previous chapters. Here’s what Martin had to say on the subject:
“I’ve wrestled with [the issue of fan speculation online], because I do want to surprise my readers. I hate predictable fiction as a reader, I don’t want to write predictable fiction. I want to surprise and delight my reader and take them in directions they didn’t see coming … At least one or two readers had put together the extremely subtle and obscure clues that I’d planted in the books and came to the right solution. So what do I do then? Do I change it? I wrestled with that issue, and I came to the conclusion that changing it would be a disaster, because the clues were there. You can’t do that, so I’m just going to go ahead. Some of my readers who don’t read the boards, which thankfully there are hundreds of thousands of them, will still be surprised and other readers will say: ‘see, I said that four years ago, I’m smarter than you guys.’”
Law of averages says that someone, somewhere will probably guess right how the story will end, no matter what that story it is or who wrote it. Martin is correct, why change his vision and the chance for the majority of readers to enjoy it just to yank bragging rights from the smart (or lucky) few who got it right two books away from the finish line. Of course, now that Martin’s let that cat our of the proverbial bag, I wonder if fans will now argue if it was them that the author was talking about… “I got the end right!” “NO! I did!” The debate to prove who was right about their ending just might stop the guessing game about how the books will end. That George R.R. Martin is one clever son-of-a-gun.
Well done, George. You’ve won this round.