George R.R. Martin: The ending of the ‘GoT’ show ‘doesn’t change anything at all’

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George RR Martin has given a new interview to the Guardian to promote… Fire and Blood, which is the fantasy-history of the Targaryen family. He’s literally out here writing and promoting books about the history of his beloved characters rather than finishing up the main Song of Ice and Fire books. It’s funny, but it is what it is. It’s been a few months since the (controversial) end of HBO’s Game of Thrones, and people still have mixed feelings in general, I think. On one side, I’m sure the book readers are happy to have SOME kind of conclusion to the saga, even if the conclusion didn’t come from GRRM’s books. On the other side, will people even both reading the final books now that we know the terrible ending? Eh. GRRM talks about all of that and more with the Guardian – you can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

All of his projects: “I need more hours in the day and more days in the week and more months in the year because the time does seem to go very fast.”

On the GoT finale: “We shouldn’t talk about that.” The end of the series has relieved a great deal of pressure. “There were a couple of years where, if I could have finished the book, I could have stayed ahead of the show for another couple of years, and the stress was enormous. I don’t think it was very good for me, because the very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. Every day I sat down to write and even if I had a good day – and a good day for me is three or four pages – I’d feel terrible because I’d be thinking: ‘My God, I have to finish the book. I’ve only written four pages when I should have written 40.’ But having the show finish is freeing, because I’m at my own pace now. I have good days and I have bad days and the stress is far less, although it’s still there… I’m sure that when I finish A Dream of Spring you’ll have to tether me to the Earth.”

His feelings about the show. On the one hand, it “completely changed my life” – yet, as he says, “they’re not the same thing, although they are very closely related to each other”. When asked whether the show’s ending – which received mixed responses from both critics and fans – affects his own, he is clear. “No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t change anything at all… As Rick Nelson says in Garden Party, one of my favourite songs, you can’t please everybody, so you’ve got to please yourself.”

On Fire and Blood: “Westeros has become very big, and I know that that frustrates some of my fans, who would rather I just keep to the main storyline as they see it, which is the seven-book Song of Ice and Fire. But almost from the first I’ve seen other possibilities, other stories that are buried there.”

Whether he misses the pre-HBO/GoT days: “Yeah. Honestly I do. I mean, I can’t go into a bookstore any more, and that used to be my favourite thing to do in the world. To go in and wander from stack to stack, take down some books, read a little, leave with a big stack of things I’d never heard of when I came in. Now when I go to a bookstore, I get recognised within 10 minutes and then there’s a crowd around me. So you gain a lot but you also lose things.”

On the fan theories & internet detectives: “At first I was very flattered and I’d go on message boards and think: ‘Oh, this is cool, they’re all really excited.’ But then I began to think: ‘No, I should really steer clear. I don’t like the fact that some people have figured things out that are correct, and I don’t like the fact that other people have figured out things that are wrong but that could influence me too.’ So I took myself out of all that and let fans have their theories, some of which are right and some of which are wrong. They’ll find out which when I finish.”

[From The Guardian]

In the disappointing wake of the show’s end, I thought that the ending would end up depressing GRRM’s future book sales because who wants to read those huge books when we already know the terrible ending? But now that I’ve had time to reflect… I think if and when he completes the Fire and Ice books, they’ll probably be HUGE. Because real fans will want to know HIS ending, and they’ll have convinced themselves that his ending won’t be as bad as the show’s ending. As for reading those theories online… I’ve always sort of wondered if he does let the smaller theories influence him – I’m not talking about, like, Jon Snow’s real parents or anything. But some of the other characters and storylines, I do feel like GRRM might tweak or change various things because of internet peeps AND the show.

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin meets with readers

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.

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16 Responses to “George R.R. Martin: The ending of the ‘GoT’ show ‘doesn’t change anything at all’”

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  1. Bryn says:

    I’m pretty sure some things will end differently, like Jamie and cersai, they hate each other by book three really. There’s a lot of foreshadowing about Dany, more than the show. the Jon snow thing might be different too because of something I won’t say, don’t want to give away a spoiler

  2. Algernon says:

    I think there will be a lot more nuance and specific moments will be much better earned, but I don’t think the book ending will be that much different than the show. Same people will die, same people will win, it will just follow a slightly different path. That said, I don’t think he’s finishing these books, ever.

    • Kimberly says:

      I’m not buying his books anymore. After reading the throne of glass series I’ve satified my dragons, lady assassins, actual battles and wars, bad guys, good guys and friends who sacrifice themselves for the world.

      His books took too long to come out and I’m over them. I’ve moved on and life’s too short to give in to his bullshyte. Now that I’m older I see his books as too much self gratification to an old man.

  3. Leesa says:

    I know I have no idea of the pressure he must be under with this last book, but I am so tired of hearing him talk about it- it’s been SO LONG and talk is cheap. Put up or shut up already.

  4. Sof says:

    There are way more characters in the books than in the series, so I understand why writing an ending for all of them might be difficult. However, I think the ending of the main characters will remain the same.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Chances are he would develop Dani’s character more so that the ending at least makes sense. Also: I was just thinking how much the show declined after the books ended. It’s too bad.

  6. Tim Kurtz says:

    Frankly I don’t even care anymore. The show is over and that was the only reason I read the books. I won’t be reading any new ones if he ever does get around to writing them.

  7. Lightpurple says:

    Sure, George, you need more hours in the day. Sure. Of course, you could free up more time to write if you didn’t take every NFL season off. Another week before you go on writing hiatus again until Mid-February

  8. M. says:

    I am sending him my love. And hoping that he will finish the books. I have infinite trust in HIS writing, bat I do not expect that I will like the ending.

  9. Stacy Dresden says:

    If that is the ending of his story, count me 100% out

  10. KL says:

    It’s hard to take that quote about the perils of fame at face value, given his bitching about Rowling’s higher profile pre-show, or even that Facebook post tweaking his publisher for requiring ID for admittance when he claimed he was recognized every ten minutes on the streets of Manhattan. He’s always been very into the cult of personality aspect — attending All the Cons, mingling on messageboards, etc. Maybe he can’t go into bookstores anymore, but I really don’t believe he’d be willing to go back to the days where he was just another popular high fantasy author among many, and high fantasy wasn’t even considered “cool” among fantasy nerds.

    He just seems kind of full of it in general. Not in a malicious way, but come on: unless this is some kind of long con, he’s not going to finish the original series. And that ties back to the quotes about fame, because why should he? If he did finish, that would be the end of all that emotional investment. There isn’t international anticipation for the next Wild Cards book.

  11. The Recluse says:

    A. Not optimistic that he is going to finish his bloody series.
    B. Haven’t been reading them, but know two people who have, and 1st didn’t like what they read and 2nd wasn’t impressed with his last book and described it as suffering from the doldrums.
    C. He could have benefited with some discipline as a writer. Once he became successful his editors didn’t want to say boo to him about his excesses. He might have been finished by now if he hadn’t succumbed to bloat in his writing, something he would not have been allowed to do as a struggling/up and coming author (as I know all too well).
    D. My personal gripe about the HBO version: Daenarys was on your proto-typical ‘Heroes’ journey’ and was denied its natural conclusion, even if it meant that she realized that she did not want or was unsuited to power after all – and took her dragons elsewhere to live out her life. I do not trust this author to do her any further justice. He’s a cynical writer.

    • KL says:

      A redditor went to the Cushing Library to peruse the ADWD manuscript on file, and they posted pictures: GRRM’s editor(s?) are TRYING, but he just “STETs” their suggestions. And at this point it’s not like they can tell him they won’t publish if he doesn’t tighten up.

  12. Heat says:

    The books are going to be MASSIVE! As a bookseller, I can’t wait because people will be so excited! My fingers are crossed for Winds of Winter next year.