George RR Martin at San Diego Comic Con

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George R.R. Martin says fan backlash won’t affect his ‘Game of Thrones’ ending

Not that he's ever gonna finish it.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 15, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 8:40 am CDT

Many Game of Thrones fans had a lot of feelings about how the show ended, even nearly two months after the final episode aired. But if you’re hoping that George R.R. Martin might have been swayed by the divisive reaction to the ending to change the end of A Song of Ice and Fire, you might be disappointed.

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Martin acknowledged that how the internet reacts to his stories has had an effect on them, specifically pointing to one of ASOIAF’s biggest mystery: Jon Snow’s parentage. He noted that early on, a small number of fans picked up on the early clues about who his parents were, but it didn’t spread far and wide until the internet came into play. By the time that Game of Thrones revealed that Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark were Jon’s parents in both seasons 6 and 7, many fans had already accepted that theory as fact.

But he also alluded to the impulse to change what his original plans for the story are based on fans’ perceptiveness of how the end of Game of Thrones played out, which did include plot points that Martin told showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss several years ago.

“[T]here 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,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “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.”

Not every plot point that Martin told Benioff and Weiss ended up in Game of Thrones. And as Martin has reminded fans on multiple occasions, there are characters who are alive in ASOIAF who died on Game of Thrones, characters alive on Game of Thrones who died in ASOIAF, and ASOIAF characters who never made it onto the show who will still play a vital role.

“I have very fixed ideas in my head as I’m writing The Winds of Winter and beyond that in terms of where things are going. It’s like two alternate realities existing side-by-side. I have to double down and do my version of it which is what I’ve been doing.”

Although Martin’s remarks are in response to the end of Game of Thrones, his resolve to tell the ending he wanted hasn’t changed from when he addressed fans guessing the ending several years ago.

But he figured, both then and now, that no matter how fans take it, he’ll at least be able to deliver the end that he always wanted to tell.

H/T Entertainment Weekly


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*First Published: Jul 15, 2019, 3:03 pm CDT