George R.R. Martin says next Song of Ice and Fire novel will be 'quite different' from Game of Thrones
Fans still fuming over the Game of Thrones finale: You may get a literary do-over.
Of particular interest to fans who still wonder aloud why Dany did that and how Bran came to sit where is Martin's promise that the events that transpire in the remaining books may not reflect all of the show's storylines.
"Yes, some of the things you saw on HBO in Game of Thrones you will also see in The Winds of Winter (though maybe not in quite the same ways)," Martin, 73, wrote on his website on Friday. "But much of the rest will be quite different."
A Dance With Dragons, the most recently published book in A Song of Ice and Fire, came out in 2011 — the same year Game of Thrones debuted on HBO. But the series quickly caught up with the existing books and eventually surpassed them, forcing showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to base the final three seasons of the eight-season juggernaut on an outline Martin provided them of the events set to occur in the still-unpublished books.
This means that book readers can hold out hope for a few surprises in The Winds of Winter and the seventh and (presumably) final entry, A Dream of Spring.
"The novels are much bigger and much, much more complex than the series," Martin wrote. "Certain things that happened on HBO will not happen in the books. And vice versa."
Although he didn't reveal any spoilers, Martin did write that some of the characters who survived the show won't be so lucky on the page, and some of the characters who perished on screen will live to see the spring in his book series.
But he did offer a caveat to that tease: "I could change my mind again next week, with the next chapter I write. That's gardening."
Martin has long described his writing process as a gardener who digs a hole, plants a seed, and waits to see how the wind and the weather affect what sprouts, as opposed to an architect writer who has the whole novel laid out like a blueprint before the first word hits the page. Because of Martin's gardener tendencies, his writing plans can and do change.
"My stories grow and evolve and change as I write them," he wrote. "I generally know where I am going, sure… the final destinations, the big set pieces, they have been in my head for years… for decades, in the case of A Song of Ice and Fire. There are lots of devils in the details, though, and sometimes the ground changes under my feet as the words pour forth."
So when can fans expect The Winds of Winter? Martin is making no promises.
"I am working on it, I have been working on it, I will continue to work on it," he wrote. "I write, I rewrite, I restructure, I rip everything apart and rewrite again. I go through doors that lead nowhere, and doors that open on marvels. But it's how I write. Always has been. Always will be. For good or ill."
In the end, Martin acknowledges that he won't be able to please everyone: not all readers, not all viewers, and not all fans who are frustrated by the decade-plus gap between books.
"No doubt once I am done, there will be huge debate about which version of the story is better," he wrote. "Some people will like my book, others will prefer the television show. And that's fine. You pay your money, and you make your choice."
House of the Dragon, the Game of Thrones prequel focusing on the silver-haired, purple-eyed Targaryen clan, is set to premiere on HBO next month. It stars Emma D'Arcy, Olivia Cooke, Matt Smith, Paddy Considine, Steve Toussaint, and Rhys Ifans under the guidance of showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik.
The Winds of Winter has no set release date.
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HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.