Speaking in 2014, after the release of A Dance with Dragons, the author - whose A Song of Ice and Fire saga sparked the Game of Thrones TV series -
Speaking in 2014, after the release of A Dance with Dragons, the author – whose A Song of Ice and Fire saga sparked the Game of Thrones TV series – revealed that some fans had already figured out how it was all going to end.
The question he then faced was whether to change his plans in a bid to avoid being “predictable”, or to stick to his guns.
Now, as fans wonder why The Winds of Winter is taking so long, it’s worth noting that he vowed not to change his plot.
He said at the Edinburgh International Book Festival at the time: “I’ve wrestled with this issue, 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. But I can’t change the plans.
“That’s one of the reasons I used to read the early fan boards back in the 90s but stopped. One, I didn’t have the time, but two is this very issue.”
He elaborated: “So many readers were reading the books with so much attention that they were throwing up some theories and while some of those theories were amusing bulls**t and creative, some of the theories are right.
“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’.”
Martin has, at least, vowed to have The Winds of Winter on shelves by summer 2020, although no publication date has been set in stone.
After that, he’ll have one more part of ASOIAF to write: A Dream of Spring.
The Game of Thrones TV show ended back in May to a decidedly mixed reception from fans, after becoming a huge cultural phenomenon.
The ending of the books is expected to, broadly speaking, be similar – although Martin has implied that there will be many differences too.