Look, we know how you feel about the last season of Game of Thrones. You’re still pissed about it, we are still pissed about it, everyone is freaking pissed off about it. What David Benioff and D.B. Weiss did to that series is beyond forgivable, so much so that we have not gone back to rewatch the original series and likely never will again. In fact, their bastardization of George R. R. Martin’s work was so painful to endure, we hesitate to give any spin-offs that they aren’t even a part of any attention whatsoever. Still, it is nice to know that the way the show ended is not what Martin intended for the books, which he confirmed earlier today.
Taking to his blog, George R. R. Martin highlighted a bit just where he is at in the process of his forthcoming book, The Winds of Winter. The sixth book of a planned seven, Winds has been in development for years and fans have strongly been vocal about how it should have been released by now. His first book, A Game of Thrones was released in 1996 with A Clash of Kings in ’98 and A Storm of Swords in 2000. Each book only took two years between each other until the fourth, A Feast for Crows came out five years later in 2005, and then the latest book, A Dance with Dragons took another six having been released in 2011. Now, more than ten years have passed and we still do not have a timetable for the release of The Winds of Winter.
Having been rather dodgy about the status of Winds of Winter, usually just stating something to the effect of “it will be done when it’s done”, Martin shared more information that leaves us feeling hopeful about the status of his next book and what to expect of it. More specifically, Martin’s blog post states that his version of the story will be quite different than what we saw in the show.
“Another question that I get a lot, especially since the end of GAME OF THRONES on HBO, is whether A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, will end the same way. An architect would be able to give a short, concise, simple answer to that, but I am much more of a gardener. My stories grow and evolve and change as I write them. I generally know where I am going, sure… the final destinations, the big set pieces, they have been my head for years… for decades“
Martin then goes on to discuss the topic of where he gets his ideas from before moving on to semi-vague details about The Winds of Winter where he once again states that he is not a fan of giving updates and that, quite simply, he is working on it and will continue to work on it until it is done. He also adds that he is not a fan of spoilers and would prefer remaining tight-lipped and even saying something as minor as what characters he is focusing on in upcoming chapters reveals that they are still alive which is a kind of a spoiler. So, as you can imagine, he doesn’t want to share any plot details on Winds but reassures fans that it is indeed being written and it will be different than anything the show touched upon.
Continuing on, he refers to his development process for The Winds of Winter as his winter garden, where “things are growing… and changing, as does happen with us gardeners.“
“Things twist, things change, new ideas come to me (thank you, muse), old ideas prove unworkable, 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.”
“What I have noticed more and more of late, however, is my gardening is taking me further and further away from the television series. 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)… but much of the rest will be quite different.”
George’s blog post goes into much greater depth than the chosen quotes above and it is certainly worth the read if you are looking for any further peace of mind regarding the book series, the writing process, and how much the remaining two entries in A Song of Ice and Fire will differ from the final seasons of the HBO series.
I can’t speak for anyone other than myself but I get the feeling fans and I share a similar mindset in our anticipation for the next two books. What is constantly seen as impatience, understandably so, is more the desire to see the series end as intended so we can finally wash out the bitter taste from our mouths of how the HBO series ended.