The final season of Game of Thrones is currently celebrating a groundswell of critical love thanks to the Emmys, where it was just nominated for 23 awards. That’s mighty impressive for a show that was already the most decorated series in the ceremony’s history. But that attention doesn’t erase another truth: that the final season remains incredibly decisive, based partially on execution and partially on what are likely story beats that come directly from the source himself, George R.R. Martin.
But if you expected good ol’ GRRM to change his books based on audience reaction, think again. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Martin revealed that fan reaction to the final season will have no influence on how his books end. Here’s his full quote about fan expectations, putting clues together, and why that won’t ultimately change the way he writes his stories:
“The internet affects all this to a degree it was never affected before. Like Jon Snow’s parentage. There were early hints about [who Snow’s parents were] in the books, but only one reader in 100 put it together. And before the internet that was fine — for 99 readers out of 100 when Jon Snow’s parentage gets revealed it would be, ‘Oh, that’s a great twist!’ But in the age of the internet, even if only one person in 100 figures it out then that one person posts it online and the other 99 people read it and go, ‘Oh, that makes sense.’ Suddenly the twist you’re building towards is out there.
And there is a temptation to then change it [in the upcoming books] — ‘Oh my god, it’s screwed up, I have to come up with something different.’ But that’s wrong. Because you’ve been planning for a certain ending and if you suddenly change direction just because somebody figured it out, or because they don’t like it, then it screws up the whole structure. So no, I don’t read the fan sites. I want to write the book I’ve always intended to write all along. And when it comes out they can like it or they can not like it.”
That’s probably good news for some and upsetting news for anyone who isn’t totally happy about Game of Thrones. Bran became king of Westeros and Jon killed his queen Daenerys; that doesn’t sit well with everyone. But in the end, it’s probably best when creators like Martin stick to their original plans and don’t give in to outside influences.
Here’s hoping we’ll have The Winds of Winter soon so we can see how the story plays out in the books and how the ending starts coming together on the page.