George R. R. Martin on His Relationship with Game of Thrones and Showrunners

georgerrmartin

To those of you I’ve interacted with on the comment boards over the years or through my various ‘Memory Lanes,’ hello! It is I, SirSquinty. Alas, my one, true name is revealed at last. But enough about me. Onwards with George! -David Rosenblatt

In a new interview with Daniel D’Addario in TIME, the author behind this entire story, George R. R. Martin, offered up some insights into his impact on the show during its lifespan, and how fans have responded to him over the changing years.

“The show is the show and it’s developed a life of its own at this point,” George began with his oft-repeated phrase. “I am involved in the show, of course, and have been since the beginning, but my main focus has got to be the books.”

“I was living with these characters and this world for 16 years before we even started working on the show. They’re pretty fixed in my mind and I’m not going to change anything because of the show, or reaction to the show, or what fans think. I’m just still writing the story that I set out to write in the early 1990s.”

I admit that I myself frequently forget this. I’d started reading the books right around the time the showrunners David and Dan first met George. It’s interesting when you think about his dilemma to ensure the show retains as much of his original vision, but frequently branches off and does its own thing. But that’s the nature of the game when it comes to adaptations — though of course people’s reactions to that will differ wildly.

George is no stranger to controversy – When something is this popular on a global level, people will always respond differently and passionately to different aspects of the art form – it’s the beauty of art! In this case, George addressed whether he was surprised by the reaction to women suffering sexual assault in his stories:

“I don’t think the criticisms are true or apt,” the author defended himself. “I know everyone has a right to their own opinion but… whatever. I’m writing a war story, essentially — the Wars of the Roses. The Hundred Years’ War. They have “war” right in the title of each of my inspirations here. And when I read history books, rape is a part of all these wars. There’s never been a war where it wasn’t, and that includes wars that are going on today. It just seems to me that there’s something fundamentally dishonest if you write a war story and you leave that out.”

“I do a lot of book signings, and I think I have probably more women readers than male readers right now,” he claimed. “Only slightly, but it’s probably 55 percent, 45 percent, but I see women readers at things and they love my women characters. I’m very proud of the creation of Arya and Catelyn and Sansa and Brienne and Daenerys and Cersei and all of them. It’s one of the things that gives me the most satisfaction, that they’ve been so well-received as characters, especially by women readers who are often not served.”

I wonder how representative women at book signings are of the percentages of readers worldwide. Reactions to George’s depiction of his women characters has been for the most part largely positive, so it follows that he remains particularly proud of his creations, especially when people are so receptive to them: “You want the reader to care about your characters — if they don’t, then there’s no emotional involvement. But at the same time, I want my characters to be nuanced, to be gray, to be human beings.”

This is what has always separated GOT from so many other contemporary counterparts – George’s insistence that the good guy isn’t always good and the bad guy isn’t always bad. If viewers feel empty inside at the culmination of Joffrey’s wedding, and can’t quite explain why, then I’d say George has done his job (not to mention that he wrote “The Lion and the Rose,” the episode which contains the infamous Purple Wedding)!

George RR Martin DB Weiss David Benioff

As for his developing relationship with Game of Thrones and its showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, George offered more insight than he usually does:

“I’m a co-executive producer on the show; David and Dan are the showrunners. Right from the first, we knew that they were going to do the lion’s share of the work, but I did want to be involved. Initially, I was involved in all the casting,” George began. “And in the early seasons, I wrote one script per season. I would have gladly done more, but there just wasn’t time. I’m still trying to do these books. It takes me about a month to write a script and I didn’t have a month to spare, so I said, I think I’ll sit out season 5. I’ve sat out seasons 6 and 7 too, just trying to concentrate on this book, which as you know is massively late . So in that sense, my involvement in the show has diminished over time, though, I’m still here whenever they want to talk to me, and I’m always glad to weigh in. David and Dan have come to Santa Fe and we’ve discussed many of the ultimate developments, those landmarks that I spoke to at the end of the road that we’re both driving for. So I don’t need to be quite as involved as I was at the beginning.”

George’s willingness to pull back his level of involvement is commendable for an author. The level of trust he puts in David and Dan is incredible, given his lack of a final say over the product. Many authors will want total and complete control over their work, but George, having worked in TV in the past, understands the limitations of adaptations… which brings us to his biggest regret on what the show left out of his books.

As an element excised from the show, it’s nothing that will ever affect it, but it goes without saying that this is a large book spoiler for those of you who are Unsullied, those who have not read the ASOIAF novels on which Game of Thrones is based. However, I have modified Martin’s words to make them as spoiler-free as possible. Still, if you don’t want even a hint of book spoilers, do NOT read ahead. You have been warned!

“I think one of the biggest [changes] would probably be when they made the decision not to bring […] Lady Stoneheart. That was probably the first major diversion of the show from the books and, you know, I argued against that, and David and Dan made that decision,” Martin explained. “[They] made a decision not to go in that direction in their story, pursuing other threads. But both of them are equally valid, I think, because [she] is a fictional character and she doesn’t exist. You can tell either story about her.”

Was I upset when this never happened on screen at the end of season 3, then 4, then even 5? Yes, alongside many readers, of course I was. But you know what? I’ve come to accept it and even embrace it. The show has found other ways to drive the ‘vengeance’ motif and I think on the whole the story is better for it. Shoving every little plot detail on screen from books that were once thought ‘unfilmable’ does not make it a more ‘accurate’ show. It just makes it a longer one… and longer does not always mean better (for further reference, see the overly faithful ‘The Hobbit,’ parts 1, 2, and 3…) To be honest, it would be nice if all book fans could be as reasonable about it as the author, who believes both choices regarding this character were “equally valid.”

Read the entire interview if you want more about his improvisational writing style, historical and political parallels, how the adaptation came about, and his future projects.

126 responses

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    1. I’m glad the show did not include Lady Stoneheart. Let Cat rest in peace. She’s suffered enough.

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    2. I would like to hear why D&D wanted to cut LSH and why GRRM argued against it.

      I would also like to hear their reasoning for every creative decision they made in the books and the show. But I don’t really think we will ever get explanations like that.

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    3. Hodor!

      I wish The Hobbit films were faithful. But they threw in random characters that weren’t there, inane side stories, a terrible love triangle, crazy action scenes that didn’t make sense, crossdressing, and a whole lot of other nonsense. Faithfulness was not the problem with those films.

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    4. sandbun:
      Hodor!

      I wish The Hobbit films were faithful. But they threw in random characters that weren’t there, inane side stories, a terrible love triangle, crazy action scenes that didn’t make sense, crossdressing, and a whole lot of other nonsense. Faithfulness was not the problem with those films.

      It was a very polite way of saying VERY LONG

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    5. Flayed Potatoes:
      I’m glad the show did not include Lady Stoneheart. Let Cat rest in peace. She’s suffered enough.

      I remember reading somewhere, no idea if this is true but apparently D&D were so impressed by Cat’s actress they decided they couldn’t have her go on and be Stoneheart since they felt it would damage how great Cat’s performance was.

      I mean I’m not fussed one way or the other about Stoneheart but I can see why they’ll think that. It’ll take away how heavy hitting the RW loss was and it would just be really off putting for both Fairley and D&D to have Cat go around in heavy make up and behave like a fucked up zombie with a brain. The theme of vengeance eating away at you is already well covered in the show, she didn’t need to appear.

      I’m more gutted about Strong Belwas if anything, that guy was awesome and would have seriously spiced up the Dany Essos years.

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    6. Bearded Onion,

      They never said that about the actress.

      But since we know they were big fans of RW I think they belong to that group of fans who believe that LSH would diminish the tragedy of RW.

      And it seems that for GRRM Lady Stoneheart is more important on a thematic level, not for the plot itself.

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    7. mau,

      It would be nice if the final seasons Blu-Ray had a feature where D&D discuss the process of adaptation year by year, and went into the details of why they made the choices they made.

      Sadly, I think episode commentaries and interviews are as close as we’re going to get to any explanations from the showrunners.

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    8. I’ve just assumed it would have taken away the shock of Jon’s resurrection and that’s why she was cut

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    9. I agree with George that it was an equally valid choice either way.

      It works in the books, because she isn’t really Cat anymore. No more POV chapters from her, and now she is just a vengeful and destructive force that other characters observe. She is an entirely different creature, an unnatural creature. The books convey this by removing her POV and making her an external, malevolent entity, a dangerous and damaged version of Catelyn, but not Catelyn herself.

      That sort of thing can’t really work in a show. It would feel false for Michelle Fairley to have to come back to play that part, and it would undercut the impact of the Red Wedding.

      This impact is preserved in the book, for me at least, precisely because Lady Stoneheart is merely an evil shadow of her former self. Catelyn truly is dead, and our insight into her mind is gone as well.

      Stylistically, TV shows need to be much more careful with that sort of thing. Plus, they knew they were bringing Jon back to life.

      I don’t think they could get away with resurrecting not one but TWO major characters. It would feel cheap, like the show was setting up shocking deaths only to chicken out and reverse them to create yet another shock.

      Jon needed to be resurrected for the overall story, so I think leaving out Lady Stoneheart was a wise choice.

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    10. And poor Beric Dondarrion, who was set up as the foreshadowing of all this, every time he’s a little less Beric. His memories are fading, he’s got all these scars, he’s becoming more and more physically hideous, because he’s not a living human being anymore. His heart isn’t beating, his blood isn’t flowing in his veins, he’s a wight, but a wight animated by fire instead of by ice, now we’re getting back to the whole fire and ice thing.

      Was this common knowledge? I always assumed Beric, Cat, and Jon were brought back to life. But that isn’t the case. They are fire wights.

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    11. Markus Stark,

      On the other hand I think for the majority of changes we already know the answer.

      They aren’t able to create too many new storylines, to introduce too many new characters, they want to use established characters as much as they can, they want to combine storylines of established characters as much as they can, they don’t won’t to leave loose ends, but they also don’t want to create new plots for minor characters so they just kill them off (Blackfish, Rickon, Osha, Walder Frey, Lansel, Loras,…, the only exception so far are Thoros and Berick, but they are here for the Hound),…

      I mean since S2 there is always the same logic behind every change they made.

      Tywin instead of Roose, Gendry instead of Edric Storm, Sansa instead of Jayne Poole, Theon and Yara instead of Victarion, Ellaria instead of Arianne and Darkstar, Jaqen H’ghar isntead of Kindly man, Benjen instead of Coldhands,…

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    12. mau,

      For a lot of cases you’re absolutely right, perhaps even most cases, but some changes still remain mystifying to me.

      I’m always left unsatisfied by the “Inside the Episode” segment, as well as by D&D’s interviews. It’s like I’m always expecting and hoping for more insight than I end up getting.

      I just think it would be great to have an in-depth bonus feature about the adaptation process, and the writing in general. “Inside the Writers’ Room”, or something like that.

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    13. I knew GRRM had reservations about Tolkien’s Gandalf in the past (as well as being critical of JRRT not including cultural, faith and economic aspects of Middle Earth, which GRRM finds fascinating) but I hadn’t read that LSH was part of his reaction to Gandalf’s reboot. I really enjoyed that and am especially fascinated by how GRRM urged them to include LSH. Damn, the Riverlands and Neck will be interesting in TWoW!

      Time really has done an excellent job of prepping the fandom for S7. Given that they are a sibling business alongside HBO under Time/Warner, Inc., it makes sense but wonderful nonetheless.

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    14. Markus Stark,

      I would like to see that as well. I know there was a version of S5 where Selmy would be killed off in E7 and there were versions and ideas of WF plot without Sansa’s rape, but they said it just didn’t work. I suppose it was impossible for them to create a bond between Sansa and Theon without it.

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    15. Following on from Martin’s comment about LSH:

      And Jon Snow, too, is drained by the experience of coming back from the dead on the show –

      Right. And poor Beric Dondarrion, who was set up as the foreshadowing of all this, every time he’s a little less Beric. His memories are fading, he’s got all these scars, he’s becoming more and more physically hideous, because he’s not a living human being anymore. His heart isn’t beating, his blood isn’t flowing in his veins, he’s a wight, but a wight animated by fire instead of by ice, now we’re getting back to the whole fire and ice thing.

      Hang on, Beric & Jon are wights animated by fire?! Wow

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    16. I’m OK with no LSH – in the books it seems like she is primarily a central figure in the future plots for Brienne and Jaime who in the grand scheme, are not even major characters… So I tend to think they will both survive the part of the story that involves LSH and thus won’t have too much plot relevance (more character development).

      I thought that LSH was a cool “shock” moment when I read it, but now I am glad they cut her.

      Bearded Onion,

      There was an interview with one of the directors, I think after S4. He heard about the idea and was kind of dismissive. Something like “So now we have Michelle Fairley as a vengeance zombie? What are we supposed to do with that, from a character perspective?” But I don’t have a source on that.

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    17. James Rivers: I’ve just assumed it would have taken away the shock of Jon’s resurrection and that’s why she was cut

      But there had already been a resurrection in the show already – Beric. So audiences knew that resurrections were possible even without LSH.
      I haven’t read the books, but from many discussions by readers about LSH here, I gather that LSH in the books was to show where vengeance leads one. I believe the show decided to give that story to another, living character.

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    18. Markus Stark:
      mau,

      For a lot of cases you’re absolutely right, perhaps even most cases, but some changes still remain mystifying to me.

      I’m always left unsatisfied by the “Inside the Episode” segment, as well as by D&D’s interviews. It’s like I’m always expecting and hoping for more insight than I end up getting.

      I just think it would be great to have an in-depth bonus feature about the adaptation process, and the writing in general. “Inside the Writers’ Room”, or something like that.

      I find the audio commentaries VERY disappointing in that regard: I would really like to see them discuss their adaptation/narrative choices but it’s clear to me that they avoid going into detail about these things. Am I the only one who is very disappointed with the quality of the audio commentaries???

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    19. HA,

      This is actually a pretty big reveal. I don’t think that’s the case with the show, because clearly Jon and Beric are meant to have beating hearts and blood flowing through their veins, but lore wise this is pretty significant.

      They have their minds, unlike the White Walkers’ wights, but they are undead.

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    20. Not including LSH was a good choice, IMO. There has been so many resurrections (and so many ways to get resurrected) in the books to the point of death no longer meaning as much. They wanted to save bigger surprise for Jon.

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    21. HA,

      Beric is a wight animated by fire. We don’t know how Jon’s resurrection is going to go in the books, and unlike Beric, book Jon is a warg.

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    22. Flayed Potatoes,

      True, but I suspect it will be similar. Being a warg shouldn’t affect whether or not Jon’s body will have blood flowing through it, and I think it’s clear that Melisandre will be playing a role very much analogous to what Thoros does for Beric.

      It seems like in GRRM’s conception, true resurrection does not happen. You never go back to being fully alive. You’re simply a reanimated body, that can move and talk through the magic of the Lord of Light, but you aren’t living from a biological standpoint.

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    23. oierem,

      Their commentaries are light on details, true, though I think it’s primarily due to the fact the show is based on an unfinished book series. They can’t really delve into some of the more revealing stuff because it’d be spoilery.

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    24. Alvaricomg,

      Doubtful, nothing GRRM says here would go against what Preston or most other book readers think. Lady Stoneheart is a complex issue, removing her is valid for many reasons.

      Not all changes that D&D have made have the same level of justification behind them.

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    25. $cott,

      I always thought the fact that they are “fire wights” was pretty clear if you read between the lines in the books, with the whole spiritual duality of fire and ice that permeates the story. In all of those cases it’s apparently the Lord of Light (Rh’llor)–who represents “fire”–that is responsible for those resurrections instead of the Great Other (who is associated with ice and the White Walkers), so the magic is derived from opposite forces, but they operate on fundamentally the same principle. A song of ice and fire indeed.

      I was most interested in how George reiterates quite clearly in this interview that that he needed D&D to hit certain key story landmarks in his outline before reaching the ultimate destination, in case there was still any doubt about that.

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    26. Luka Nieto: Martin’s reasonable response to changes must make book purists crazy.

      Guess again. Most book purists are only purists for things that they don’t think need to be or should be changed. Nobody has ever said the show can’t make any changes.

      It’s obvious that the show has to make changes. So-called “book purists” complain about changes that are senseless in their opinion, and that make the story less rich, less compelling, and less powerful.

      It might be time we start talking about show purists, who act like everything the show has done is perfect. Sorry, but not all of D&D’s changes have been necessary, they haven’t all been good, and they haven’t all worked out for them.

      Many changes have in fact been entirely unnecessary, to the point that D&D later forgot about them, or deliberately had to discard them.

      Example : Cersei’s first boy, and the Lannisters’ gold mines being completely dry (unbeknownst to everyone) in Season 4 according to Tywin.

      Both of those changes were clearly made for the purposes of a specific scene, and later completely disappeared from the show’s continuity.

      Having Jaime break his word to Edmure in Season 6 is another asinine choice that needlessly damages his character, and makes no sense given Edmure and Jaime’s scene in “No One”.

      And there is plenty more where that came from.

      People have spoken ad nauseum about what the show needs to change, but any time someone raises the point that there are also things they should not have changed, it’s treated like “book purism”.

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    27. Markus Stark,

      Yeah, but being a warg might help with preserving his mind. He’d still need his faculties intact to unite people and fight against the WW. I really hope we don’t lose his POV chapters.

      Though it honestly seems weird for GRRM to outright confirm exactly how Jon will end up before the book is even out, which makes me think something else might happen. It’s not bittersweet imo to have your main character become a corpse for the rest of the story. It’s really crappy.

      I can’t have one day of peace as a Jon fan lmao. He’s probably marked for death. Better mentally prepare myself lol.

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    28. Markus Stark,

      Excellence does not mean perfection.
      Our collective inability to limit the “great moments” in the show is proof of the fabulous job the showrunners have done.
      Look, there are elements of the show I felt were sketchy. But those are far outweighed by all of the awesome moments – even though I exclude the tragic deaths of good guys because as a matter of personal taste I don’t enjoy them.

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    29. Markus Stark,

      Except I rarely have ever come across an avid fan of Game of Thrones unanimously praising every action in the show. It’s definitely a wider margin of “book purists” as stated earlier that always deconstruct the show and crucify it. I can understand the passion and sentiments that earnest book readers have for some changes and omissions but there’s a large portion that are nasty for no reason at all.

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    30. Ten Bears,

      If the “tragic deaths of good guys” are that off-putting, I’m amazed you’re still watching, especially when there’s guaranteed to be a lot of major character deaths in the final season. It’s one of the most defining aspects of the series.

      Flayed Potatoes,

      George only seemed to confirm that Jon will still be resurrected by the power of the Lord of Light and therefore still end up as a “fire wight”, though I’m sure the circumstances leading up to it will be different and Ghost will likely be involved, since Jon is a warg in the books. He didn’t give anything away that the show didn’t. We all knew he was coming back.

      Considering that Jon has the whole selfless savior, larger perspective, “too good for this world” thing going on– and he’s pretty much a Martin-ized version of the Christ/King Arthur/etc. archetype–I would not be the least bit surprised for him to die in the end. Really, it’s probably the logical fate of being an actual hero in a world where heroism–for all intents and purposes–does not exist.

      Also, considering that Melisandre was responsible for his resurrection, it might be best to hope that Arya or Davos (or anyone else) does not kill her–since no one knows what the repercussions of that would be. We haven’t seen what happens if a Red Priest with a resurrected “fire wight” is killed.

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    31. Markus Stark,

      I wasn’t talking about you. Book purists are book purists. I know who I’m talking about. There are those with plenty of problems with the show that have nothing to do with a lack of adherence to the books, and that’s fine by me. And by most people, too, including most of the “show purists” (?) you mention.

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    32. Markus Stark:
      Alvaricomg,

      Not all changes that D&D have made have the same level of justification behind them.

      I think there is a reason behind every change that they made from the books. I don’t think that there is any change where they were able to follow the book plot but they made changes just because they can and wanted to do.

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    33. I’m glad you’ve been named, David! I enjoyed your thoughts at the Con.

      So was George implying that he might have a hand in Season 8 scripts, or am I hoping too much? And, if so, does that mean TWoW is going well, or am I crazy?

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    34. Ginevra,

      S8 sripts will be finished in August, so I think big part of them is already written.

      And we already know that Cogman will write E1, Hill E2 and D&D episodes 3 to 6.

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    35. Flayed Potatoes:

      Though it honestly seems weird for GRRM to outright confirm exactly how Jon will end up before the book is even out, which makes me think something else might happen. It’s not bittersweet imo to have your main character become a corpse for the rest of the story. It’s really crappy.

      If he can’t have any heirs and Mirri Maz Duur did succeed in making Daenerys barren, that would have pretty major implications for the Iron Throne. It would certainly be bittersweet if the song of ice and fire intentionally has only one verse…

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    36. Resurrection is a very tricky thing for writing. Some criticized D&D that Jon didn’t change that much in S6. But on the other hand, changing the personality of the main character because of the magic instead of natural character development is really something that does not belong to this story. So as I said, tricky.

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    37. I don’t know where GRRM is getting his 55-45 ratio. But I do know that overall the percentage of fiction consumers that are women is huge. Something like 75-80% IIRC. It wouldn’t surprise me if more of his readers are women. Especially since as he said, there can be a lack of three dimensional female characters in SF/fantasy a lot of the time. I’m very grateful to have him and N.K Jemisin let’s just say.

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    38. Welcome David, AKA Sir Squinty. This article is anything but squinty. Your summation of the interview and commentary on it was an enjoyable and informative read. I look forward to many more. George appears more candid than usual here, and perhaps it reflects his resignation over D&D’s developments that have generally been successful and extremely lucrative for all of them. I suspect he omitted mention of certain other changes that may have distressed him, including some blatant changes in character emphasis. But in the event, he is fortunate to have been allowed to contribute so much and in so many ways to this landmark enterprise. As a rule, original writers are left out in the cold.

      Personally, I was disappointed D&D ruled out Lady Stoneheart. She and the Great Northern Conspiracy were the only hope for retribution we readers have had. As it turns out, the Red Wedding was not avenged by a Stark until show Arya fed Walder in the last episode. There is still no justice for poor murdered Ned. George often speaks of the ripple effect of changes. The one that most upsets me is giving Sansa the Jeyne Poole f/Arya story. Condensation is an important aspect of adaptation, and that arc could have been condensed. Most of the torture could also have been omitted–after all, D&D did choose to show us at length what Ramsay did to Theon. But making Sansa, who we saw grow up and experience victimhood already, undergo what Jeyne did–it warped her character and ultimately the characters of others. One reason was the rape–it was so notorious that IMO D&D are still bending over backwards to make up for it. They started giving Sansa much more agency, even making her a semi-badass. Many fans allege that they took from other story arcs–Jon’s, Bran’s, and especially Arya’s–to build up Sansa, which inevitably diminished others. I agree. Jon seems less smart than Sansa, Arya less complex in general and more simple badass, now that she’s also been saddled with Lady Stoneheart’s revenge. Neither of them has warging to separate them from the sister who lied away her Direwolf. And early Sansa’s morally ambiguous qualities still exist even though she advances to what will probably be one of the three main stories this season and is willingly mentored by a serial killer and perhaps the most evil man in Westeros. She even lets his dangerous presence sully their home. She has let the Serpent into the Garden of Eden of her childhood and I doubt they have the stones to make her pay for it. Will D&D punish her for it? No, they’d rather let her sulk about slights and challenge Jon’s authority. I’m not a book purist , but IMO this creature is not congruent with the Sansa of the books or the first four seasons.

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    39. sandbun: I wish The Hobbit films were faithful. But they threw in random characters that weren’t there, inane side stories, a terrible love triangle, crazy action scenes that didn’t make sense, crossdressing, and a whole lot of other nonsense. Faithfulness was not the problem with those films.

      The Hobbit films were Tricked-Out versions of Lord of the Rings, done for the boxoffice and it worked.

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    40. I kind of missed the LSH plot and still wish a little that they had tried to include it instead of all the Dorne scenes but it is what it is and I still love the show. I think I mostly just wanted to see how far and how dark Michelle Fairley could take it. She was a brilliant Cat. I’m glad George is able to accept the D&D changes to the story for the show’s sake. He seems like a pretty level headed guy.

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    41. The implications of Jon being resurrected by R’hllor and becoming a “fire wight” are not pretty.

      What happens to him after he fulfills his purpose? The flame inside him will simply go out and he’ll die? Or worse, he’ll be an empty shell devoid of meaning since he no longer has a purpose?

      (I do not want to think about this, lol).

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    42. The question is , LSH a side spinning story?
      We have one that GRRM did in the novels , Quentyn Martell.
      He is a closed loop. His actions do free two dragons … but other ways to do that.
      The show did it in about 1 second.

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    43. Ginevra:
      I’m glad you’ve been named, David!I enjoyed your thoughts at the Con.

      So was George implying that he might have a hand in Season 8 scripts, or am I hoping too much?And, if so, does that mean TWoW is going well, or am I crazy?

      A man has been named! I don’t think George was referring to season 8, much as I’m sure he hopes he had the time to write something for it. Unfortunately the difficulties of writing a HUGELY EXPANSIVE universe in book septology format seems to have just taken away too much of his own time, so I understand why he’s not written for the show in years. All the same he still has much more oversight, or, at the least, INSIGHT into the show itself.

      And thanks for coming to my panels! Hope you were at ‘Love Westerosi Style’ – that was a particular favorite! 😉

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    44. Boojam,

      The thing I remember most about those movies was this horribly cartoony action sequence where Legolas (who has no business being in The Hobbit in the first place, but I digress) was jumping across the (Brandywine?) river on the heads of orcs in barrels, like Mario stomping Goombas.

      It was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve seen in a film and impossible to take seriously. Anyone who thinks the Season 5 Dorne fight was the epitome of awful really, really needs to see The Hobbit movies. Some of the action sequences are so mind-numbingly stupid that they completely ruin your suspense of disbelief–even without taking into account all of the padding they shoehorned in from Tolkien’s supplementary works and extraneous film-only storylines (*cough*Kili and Tauriel*cough*) that they tacked on to get three freaking movies out of it.

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    45. Luka Nieto: Martin’s reasonable response to changes must make book purists crazy.

      Dragon Demands is advertising his (over an hour long) videos knocking season 6 on the forums here. I don’t want to say anything about Dragon as Dame of Mercia that I wouldn’t say in my real life identity, so Dragon if you see this I honestly don’t think you are going to convert or convince anybody who likes the show to dislike it. There is probably an audience among people who have been disappointed in the methodology used for adapting the ASOIAF novels but they would have held that opinion anyway without your hour long (and more) videos. Obviously you don’t have to like the show and there have been some (to me) odd choices made in adaptation (the dodginess of Dorne) but I find more to like than to hate.

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    46. I will read the books one day, but I got spoiled about LSH by someone and now I dont mind seeing things about it. I am glad it wasnt included in the show. I rather a “vengeance” arc be for someone who is still alive. It wouldnt feel the same. And if I understand correctly, I think she was less human than Beric and Jon post-rezzy

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    47. Dee Stark,

      Faaarrr “less human.” She was “resurrected” after three days, so there’s a lot more physical damage (after all, she did have her throat slit and was thrown in the Trident). In addition, it seems to me that what’s brought back is the essence of whatever was there right before death… and what was there right before Catelyn was murdered was monumental grief, rage, and the ability (because of aforementioned grief and rage) to kill innocent people in reprisal (Walder’s newest wife).

      I am looking forward to a Jon/Beric conversation about this.

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    48. Dee Stark,

      Her throat was cut and her body had been mangled from being thrown into a river and washing ashore before she was found, so in that sense she’s “less human” than they are, yes–she endured more physical damage and can’t communicate the way they can, though then again, Beric is also in a pretty horrible state after the multiple deaths he’s suffered. But she’s still Cat, even if she’s blinded by vengeance–and like Beric and Jon, her new, continued existence is clearly for a reason, to achieve some kind of particular purpose given to these fire wights by the Lord of Light that they haven’t yet accomplished, whether they know it or not–Jon’s presumably being the most important of these goals.

      Also, for the record, I personally didn’t have an issue with the S5 Dorne fight–the reaction to that by the fandom was overblown, but alas, that’s what fandoms do. I made that comment specifically to the people who DID think it was horrible, because if they saw some of the stuff in The Hobbit movies, I’d like to think that might change their minds a little. 😉

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    49. Azor Asshai: Also, for the record, I personally didn’t have an issue with the S5 Dorne fight–the reaction to that by the fandom was overblown, but alas, that’s what fandoms do. I made that comment specifically to the people who DID think it was horrible, because if they saw some of the stuff in The Hobbit movies, I’d like to think that might change their minds a little.

      I figured as much with your comment. Totally agree!
      And thanks for your insight on LSH!!

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    50. David Rosenblatt: And thanks for coming to my panels! Hope you were at ‘Love Westerosi Style’ – that was a particular favorite! 😉

      That was one of our favorites, yes! Listening to all of the Watchers live and in person was such an enormous pleasure.

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    51. Dee Stark:
      Wolfish,

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      If Jon and Beric do ever meet, i wonder if it would be discussed.

      I believe they are in the trailer together, though I could be wrong. I think you said you watched the trailer, right?

      I’ve had the theory for ages that Beric, whom we see using his blood to light his sword several times in the series, will show Jon how to light his sword now that Jon carries inside himself that same blood of the living dead. And so then Jon transforms Longclaw into Lightbringer!!! Jon is his own Nissa Nissa.

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    52. Luka Nieto: Martin’s reasonable response to changes must make book purists crazy.

      Yep, two especially on another ASOIAF/GOT website – and I’m sure you know who I mean 😉

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    53. $cott,

      Wait, what?!?! Does that mean Jon is zombie light? No no, that can’t be right, at the end of the BotB it sure looked like blood from a scratch on his face. Sooo, would zombie Jon have sexual feelings?

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    54. Flayed Potatoes:
      Markus Stark,

      Yeah, but being a warg might help with preserving his mind. He’d still need his faculties intact to unite people and fight against the WW. I really hope we don’t lose his POV chapters.

      Though it honestly seems weird for GRRM to outright confirm exactly how Jon will end up before the book is even out, which makes me think something else might happen. It’s not bittersweet imo to have your main character become a corpse for the rest of the story. It’s really crappy.

      I can’t have one day of peace as a Jon fan lmao. He’s probably marked for death. Better mentally prepare myself lol.

      I agree with this. Jon, unlike Beric, will have his mental faculties wholly intact, because his consciousness transferred to Ghost on his death. That should be enough for him to retain his POV status. Anyways it makes no sense for him to lose his POV just when his importance to the overall story is going to increase tremendously. I really don’t think that’s gonna happen.

      I agree it would be crappy if he were to return as a reanimated corpse, but I keep thinking of this paragraph from the books. Covering it with spoiler code just in case.

      Dany’s dream from Adwd:

      Sleep came hard, even when Daario came back, so drunk that he could hardly stand. Beneath her coverlets she tossed and turned, dreaming that Hizdahr was kissing her…but his lips were blue and bruised, and when he thrust himself inside her, his manhood was cold as ice.

      I have always wondered if this was Jon she was dreaming of, if so it might mean that he is returning as some sort of a wight. But then, it doesn’t seem right for the manhood of a fire wight to be cold as ice lol.

      S7 leaks:

      On the other hand, the show is going to make it clear that Jon is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne and it makes little sense to me to have a fire wight as one of the biggest contenders for the throne. Also,the whole r+l=j reveal would lose much of it’s impact. This makes me hope that there will be more to Jon’s return as compared to Beric or LSH.

      But if he really is meant to return as just a wight, I don’t see how can survive the end of this series 🙁 .

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    55. ghost of winterfell,

      The warging is very important and most people on reddit are ignoring it because they just love the idea of Jon being some evil brainless zombie *eyeroll*. He is also half Stark (ice) and half Targ (fire), so there must be some magical properties in that blood from that union. He’s also at the Wall, which is apparently a place with very strong magic according to Mel (not some forest in the Riverlands) and he’ll only be brought back once, not 7 times like Beric. His return and the way it happens could be labeled as a miracle, the way Dany emerging unburnt from the fire is.

      George bends the rules for the main characters all the time, so if Tyrion remains unpunished by the gods despite being a kinslayer, if Arya can walk away from a death cult despite knowing all their secrets, and if Dany can easily get away with making mistakes as a leader that killed other characters, I expect GRRM will somehow tweak things for Jon as well. It’s only fair lmao.

      I think the one with the blue lips was supposed to be Euron? Wasn’t that the theory?

      The foreshadowing seems to indicate she won’t dread being with Jon. I actually wonder now if Jon might be the only one who can get her pregnant, since her womb is also tied to some sort of magic. Everyone on freefolk is now saying they both won’t have kids lol.

      Besides the r+l=j reveal, book Jon is supposed to be fit to at least be KITN, and if he’s some kind of wight/zombie, I don’t see how that might happen.

      I don’t know. I feel like I should worry or freak out, but I’m not. I don’t know why lmao.

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    56. HA,

      There’s such thing as fire wights?! So he really is basically dead then. Damn. I mean, how is that possible, we did see him..well not bleeding, but bruised in the face after BoB, didn’t we? Hmm.

      If leaks are true that he and certain someone have sex then he’s obviously got blood still running through his veins.

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    57. Vincent Stark,

      I’m thinking now that Ser Alliser’s line about him fighting battles forever might just allude to Jon being sort of immortal. To the point that he is very hard to kill and only the god that revived him can decide if and when that happens. Which means…if “magic” goes out of the world does that include the power of the “gods?” And if so, what happens to those still “living” under their power?

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    58. for further reference, see the overly faithful ‘The Hobbit,’ parts 1, 2, and 3…

      Also known as “Major and messy fan wank!”

      I would add the first two Harry Potter films (a.k.a., “The bad ones”) to that list.

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    59. Flayed Potatoes: The warging is very important and most people on reddit are ignoring it because they just love the idea of Jon being some evil brainless zombie *eyeroll*. He is also half Stark (ice) and half Targ (fire), so there must be some magical properties in that blood from that union

      No, there really do not. Moreover, at this point, there really had better not be. The books have set up absolutely nothing like this: it is pure fan imagination. Thus, it would be arbitrary Deus ex Machina. Similarly, Jon cannot somehow arbitrarily cloud storage his whole mind into Ghost: absolutely nothing in the books sets up this possibility. To put it bluntly, it’s pure fan-fiction: and we need Martin-fiction.

      It is no different from having the Tree Gods revive Jon. Again, absolutely nothing in the books sets up this possibility. Or having lots of Northerners secretly preparing for the Long Night: again, absolutely nothing in the books sets up this possibility.

      Now, I realize that stuff like this is common in “epic fantasy”: but one thing that sets SoI&F apart from 99.9% of epic fantasy is that it’s decent literature. I go on and on about Chekhov’s Dictum: do not make any sort of deal about something that is not going to be relevant in the end. That dictum has a converse: if something is going to be really important in the end, then the author(s) need to make some to-do about it early. GRRM has opened the door to these possibilities by raising them in some way: and it is not so much that these doors are closed as it is that they only existed in the imaginations of some fans.

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    60. Luka Nieto: Martin’s reasonable response to changes must make book purists crazy.

      If Harry Potter fans are any indication, then, no: they just twist the words around to show how the original author is just blasting Kloves & Heyman or Benioff & Weiss.

      Heck, I remember some Tolkien fans trying to argue that Tolkien’s letter assessing a script adaptation of Lord of the Rings must be fake because Tolkien pointed out that Bombadil should be completely cut from the story and that he (Tolkien) felt that wholesale cuts making room for full scenes elsewhere was the way to tell his story! Because, you know: (whiney nerd voice) “Bombadil is important to me and therefore he must have been important to Tolkien!!!!! (/whiney nerd voice)

      😀

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    61. On the one hand it is a bit of a shame that LSH was cut. Buuut, she hasn’t done a huge amount in the books yet so we don’t know what her overall impact to the main plots will be and I think successfully translating how LSH looks without it veering into gimmick could have been difficult. Part of the horror of LSH’s appearance is your imagination.

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    62. Wimsey,

      There’s an entire prologue in ADWD that focuses on warging as a second life and a second life in Ghost being “a second life worthy of a king”. So yes the books set that up as a possibility.

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    63. Flayed Potatoes: There’s an entire prologue in ADWD that focuses on warging as a second life and a second life in Ghost being “a second life worthy of a king”. So yes the books set that up as a possibility.

      No, that shuts the door on the possibility. That chapter makes it very clear that only a vestige of the wargs feelings survive into the second life. The “higher reasoning” of the human mind is lost: it’s simpler life of sensation and basic emotions.

      That chapter also makes it clear that this is something that skilled wargs can learn how to do and/or are aware of doing. After all, the prologue warg deliberately is thinking about into which animal he is going to jump when he realizes that he is dying. Jon is not a skilled warg: he is someone with natural warg talents, but (unlike Bran or even Arya), he never has worked on them. He’s also never been taught how to use them.

      What I think that people have missed is that the opening chapter was not a setup for Jon. It was a setup for Bran. To do more than just saving an imprint of emotions, one has to go beyond being a “mere” warg and actually be a greenseer plugged into a weirwood tree. However, even that seems to preserve only memories: Bran can see things that happened, but he does not have access to thoughts of the former “tree gods” who were connected to those trees.

      So, again: the idea of “cloud storage” of a human mind is pure fan-fiction. Imprint of emotions that fade with time if the warg was highly trained? Sure.

      And “how is Jon going to get his mind back?” The books answered that: he’ll be fine the first time around; it’s only if he does it repeatedly that he’ll wind up with Beric. But, again: the books also set up absolutely nothing about minds being “retrievable.” Heck, if Jon does leave an imprint on Ghost, there is no reason to think that the imprint will disappear once Melisandre revives him! Jon’s (original) final emotions might linger on in Ghost for a few days or even weeks.

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    64. Jo2: Part of the horror of LSH’s appearance is your imagination.

      heh, I suspect that they could easily top most of our imaginations! There is a reason why horror films are so much more successful than are horror books (which, basically, don’t exist!)

      However, you are spot-on about fans probably over-exaggerating the importance of LSH on the plot or story. She has appeared on (I think) exactly two pages in the books. If she gets any meaningful page time at all, then Winter will be the first time.

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    65. Wimsey,

      So the Varamyr prologue chapter was included only for the purpose of hypothetically setting up what might happen to Bran, should he die? (Something which isn’t going to happen anyway). I disagree. Imo, that chapter was included in the same book that Jon died for one purpose only. To foreshadow what will happen to Jon, who by Varamyr’s own observation is a very powerful warg, much more than he is aware of.

      > That chapter makes it very clear that only a vestige of the wargs feelings survive into the second life. The “higher reasoning” of the human mind is lost: it’s simpler life of sensation and basic emotions.

      I don;t think so. The chapter makes it clear that a warg loses his sense of self not immediately, but gradully, the more time he spends inside the animal, which basically is a warning that Jon will have only a limited span of time, within which he has to be resurrected, otherwise nothing of him will remain.
      “When a man’s flesh dies, his spirit lives on inside the beast, but everyday his memory fades, and the beast becomes little less a warg, a little more of a wolf, until nothing of the man is left and only the beast remains”

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    66. Flayed Potatoes,

      Yeah, Euron was a popular guess because of the blue lips. But I don’t think it is (I might be wrong though) , because I don’t think Dany is ever going to sleep with Euron, Morover, all of these dreams that she has, they all relate to Jon imo.

      I agree with all your points. I am not really too worried about him returning as a brainless zombie either. He is too important for that. Yeah I love how a section of reddit basically considers Jon a wight now lol.

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    67. Does anybody have any idea what GRRM’s latest post on his blog is about? I know he loves to troll, but it’s becoming torture…

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    68. ghost of winterfell,
      ghost of winterfell,

      Yup.

      Also: “Now he was a man, now a wolf, now a man again.”

      I don’t think Dany will sleep with Euron either, but I am worried he’ll try some magic mumbo jumbo on her in the books. In another dream she has about Jon he’s described as comely and blue/bruised lips and a cold dick aren’t comely at all.

      I feel like he needs to stay pretty for the Jonerys hook up to happen lmfao #priorities

      Reddit is going to town with this interview lmao. It’s knee deep in tinfoil.

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    69. Flayed Potatoes,

      He will be fine don’t worry.He still has so much shit to do lol.I mean in the show he is clearly okay.He can eat and drink and sleep and I’m pretty sure his swimmers work too haha.

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    70. ghost of winterfell: So the Varamyr prologue chapter was included only for the purpose of hypothetically setting up what might happen to Bran, should he die?

      No. It was to show us the limits of warging, and setup what the next level (“Tree Godding” if you will) is.

      ghost of winterfell: I don;t think so. The chapter makes it clear that a warg loses his sense of self not immediately, but gradully, the more time he spends inside the animal,

      Again, the chapter makes it clear that it’s a “simpler” form of existence. The eagle, which was taken by Varamyr soon after it’s first warg’s death, retained the strong hatred of Jon. It did not retain the original warg’s mind. If GRRM was going to show us that a human mind could still exist in a warged animal, then the Varamyr chapter would have continued longer, with human thoughts after he jumped into the wolf.

      Ultimately, it comes down to this: for this idea to be true AND not be really awful writing, then the books need to have provided us with:
      1) examples of “stored” whole human minds;
      2) examples of people moving those minds into a new person.
      We have zero examples of either, and thus zero evidence that GRRM is imagining these things to exist. We should prefer ideas that rely on what we know GRRM imagines to ones relying on things that people imagine that GRRM might imagine!

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    71. Jenny: He will be fine don’t worry.He still has so much shit to do lol.I mean in the show he is clearly okay.He can eat and drink and sleep and I’m pretty sure his swimmers work too haha.

      Also, Jon will be revived just once. Beric notes that he’s begun to lose himself, but after multiple revivals by Thoros. We have no idea what Cat remembers: but, then, her brain should have been rendered largely mush by the time she was revived.

      What we probably will get is what we already got: a shaken Jon who has lost his sense of resolve and purpose, and who is now uncertain of himself. My bet is that, as on the show, the Battle of the Bastards will be the catharsis that gets Jon back to where he began and beyond that: there is a definite Phoenix motif in all of this!

      If warging is at all relevant, then this might be the incident that gets Jon to actually become a warg rather than somebody with the talents to be one. (And if this makes no sense, then it is the same as someone who is a naturally gifted musician putting in the effort to actually become a skilled pianist: you cannot do it without the basic talent, but the basic talent alone does not create automatic skill.)

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    72. I was surprised that LSH had the most discussion among D&D and GRRM, I always thought maybe omission of (f)aegon or the Dorne plot got the most reaction out of George, but I have so much more respects for both sides after reading this and the interview in Time, making those decisions couldn’t have been easy on them, personally I can’t wait to see the role Willas and Garlan Tyrell are going to have in the series

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    73. Wimsey:

      .If GRRM was going to show us that a human mind could still exist in a warged animal, then the Varamyr chapter would have continued longer, with human thoughts after he jumped into the wolf.

      We did see the immediate aftermath of his warging on his death at least. His memory did not immediately fade, there was no evidence of him being reduced to just basic emotions. He recognized Thistle, the woman he had tried to warg into, he remembered her name, he felt regret for what he had tried to do to her, he realized that she had been turned into a wight, all of which is evidence that he still had access to his memories, it was still Varamyr in there. The reason the Varamyr chapter did not continue longer could be that GRRM intends to explore what happens after with Jon, in more detail.
      We will only know for sure when WOW comes out, if ever it does.

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    74. I’m the books… will be get Jon POV chapters when he comes back to life? We didn’t for Cat. And if we don’t get POV chapters for Jon, does that mean when somebody is brought back to life that they aren’t really alive?

      GRRM has a small amount as sadness in his comments now that the show is completely surpassing the books and revealing major plot points.

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    75. Alexa,

      I’ve wondered the same thing. The timing of it (a Valyria post coinciding with the GoT premiere on Jul 12?) is bizarre and comments have been turned off. It’s either an anniversary of something or something else. No one knows yet. “One hour?” There are some threads about it on the big W org site.

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    76. Hodors Bastard,

      So stoked that GRRM has let his feelings known on this- I’m encouraged by the gravity he seems to intend for her character. So many possibilities for LSH in TWOW, which will be cool in it’s own right (depending on whom you ask, obviously). I’m encouraged by the gravity he seems to intend for her character. Better yet, we will have some exciting new material not covered on the show when we finally get to read it.

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    77. Really great interview, GRRM was so transparent and honest about the process and as a show-fan first then book-reader it was good to gain perspective on the differences made and his level of agreement/disagreement with the changes. On another topic – wouldn’t it be great if all the best fighters in Westeros could come together and just fight the WW? Wishful thinking I know, but they are the true threat. Also – is the song of ice and fire about Jon, the WW vs dragons, the Lord of Light vs Death or something else?

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    78. Stark Raven’ Rad:
      One reason was the rape–it was so notorious that IMOD&D are still bending over backwards to make up for it. They started giving Sansa much more agency, even making her a semi-badass. Many fans allege that they took from other story arcs–Jon’s, Bran’s, and especially Arya’s–to build up Sansa, which inevitably diminished others.

      So true and very unfortunate.

      GRRM: “And when I read history books, rape is a part of all these wars. There’s never been a war where it wasn’t, and that includes wars that are going on today. It just seems to me that there’s something fundamentally dishonest if you write a war story and you leave that out.”

      I wish HBO and the showrunners had been this brave and honest. Whenever the the dark side of the human condition is depicted in fiction or art, out come the tyrannical critics to ruin it for everyone. Sigh.

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    79. Sister Kisser: Better yet, we will have some exciting new material not covered on the show when we finally get to read it.

      So true. That’s the primary reason why I believe no one is getting through the Neck unscathed. The BwB and Crannogmen will matter, GRRM set that up in ACoK/ASoS. Although the speculation is fascinating, no matter what folks believe about Sansa/LF heading north with the Vale forces, there will be many distractions. So many influential minor characters are in the vicinity!

      Alexa,
      The wait is indeed getting tedious. Personally, I think that post is an indication that HBO has determined that there will be a Valyria-related spinoff. However, GRRM released a similar post with a similar Greyjoy avatar back in 2011 before they released ADwD. Uggh…it’s Dec 2014 all over again.

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    80. James Rivers,

      Definitely this! If LSH is resurrected many days after the RW, then everyone would just assume that Jon would be brought back too. I’m actually one of the few “book purist” types who think that LSH taking over for Beric was a mistake in the books, and prefer more Beric and less LSH. To me it takes away from the RW.

      lucy,

      I agree, it’s crazy to me that everyone tries to paint this show as sexist or anti-woman. There are literally a dozen strong female characters in the show, including one of the two main “heroes” to the story! The show even buffed up Brienne’s combat skills so that she’s one of the top 5 swordsman in all of Westeros!

      Flayed Potatoes,

      Anyone thinking Jon is some sort of wight/zombie like a Coldhands is crazy! He’s just been resurrected, like you said! I definitely thought the same thing, that Jon will be the only one to impregnate Dany.

      ghost of winterfell,

      No worries my friend, WoW is definitely coming out! People here love saying that, but it’s a matter of when…not if. Now, ADoS is another story. With GRRM getting older, does he have another 6-8 years to finish the final book? I sure af hope so! But, it may not happen.

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    81. Ginevra,

      That is a great prediction. It would make so much sense, given how the show has kept Beric around. Still hoping for Jamie to fulfill a prophesy, kill his NN, and forge lightbringer to his golden hand. (For the record- I think your idea is much more plausible, but I can’t let an old theory I’ve subscribed to die without a fight)

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    82. Wimsey:

      However, you are spot-on about fans probably over-exaggerating the importance of LSH on the plot or story.She has appeared on (I think) exactly two pages in the books.If she gets any meaningful page time at all, then Winter will be the first time.

      Does George’s admission here add any weight to the idea that LSH will have a more meaningful role than the couple of pages she appeared in?
      I am pleased to think so 🙂

      Nevermind the fact that a couple of very important supporting characters were last seen in her company (or heading that way, can’t quite remember now)

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    83. Markus Stark,

      Markus,

      I think it’s the “D&D are hacks” brigade among book purists that folk find annoying. That phrase of itself is somewhat hackneyed now. I am a person who can find good and bad in both versions of the story (though I will give GRRM kudos as the originator). Not recently, but there has been at least one article on this website over the years about opinions on the way the adaptation has been undertaken and people have been free to comment on whether they liked or disliked certain changes. There was a lot of bashing (in the comments) of the scenes of Jaime and Cersei in the Sept by Joffrey’s body and of Sansa’s (second) wedding night while season 4 was being aired.

      I can respect people who have stopped watching the show because they felt it was going a way they didn’t like or even because they straight up didn’t like it – people who hate-watch and just whinge and whine irritate me (especially those who intimate that anyone who still likes the show is short of brain grey matter). For the avoidance of doubt I;’m not accusing you of being a whinger or whiner.

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    84. Sister Kisser:
      Ginevra,

      That is a great prediction.It would make so much sense, given how the show has kept Beric around.Still hoping for Jamie to fulfill a prophesy, kill his NN, and forge lightbringer to his golden hand.(For the record- I think your idea is much more plausible, but I can’t let an old theory I’ve subscribed to die without a fight)

      Thank you. I’m sure that a certain lady only in the books might begrudgingly fill that role, as well as eagerly fill the LF role of some of that trouble-making he’s stirring up.

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    85. Flayed Potatoes,

      I highly doubt that the “blue, bruised lips” and “ice-cold cock” part of that vision were meant to be taken literally. The description is almost certainly figurative–GRRM uses a lot of symbolism in his visions when dropping hints-they’re clues to the identity of the man Dany is having sex with for the reader. The color blue and ice-cold cock are major hints at Jon Snow, obviously, and it does seem to suggest someone who has risen from the dead as well. With both Jon and Dany having experienced some form of rebirth through fire, I think you’re right on the money that he’s probably the only person in the world capable of impregnating her.

      Though Jon is a fire wight, we already now by know that fire wights are not the same as “ice wights”, which are brought back under the power of the Great Other–unlike ice wights, fire wights keep their memories and identities after being resurrected, they aren’t mindless zombies but undead humans with a purpose. However, they do still owe their continued existence to magic and lose more and more sense of self each time they are resurrected afterwards.

      The return of magic to the world always seemed to have something to do with the birth of the dragons and the appearance of the red star (comet) before that, as easy as it is to forget that detail…but it should this spiritual war between fire and ice conclude or magic leave the world, there really is no telling what would happen.

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    86. Ginevra,

      LMAO…I love it!

      Dame of Mercia,

      Anyone who thinks they’re hacks needs to get their brain examined. The show is going down in history as a show to open up new avenues for the medium. Just look at the Netflix Witcher series coming up as the first of many dark fantasy series I think will grow out of GoT’s shadow.

      I’m a “book purist” in that I think the books as a whole are superior to the show, and I enjoy the books more. Although, there’s no denying that the show did improve some aspects of GRRM’s story. And they introduced a legion of fans to the books…myself being one of them.

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    87. Hodors Bastard,

      Oh shit… I missed that. Have been too busy for virtual life for awhile… I am not going to try to take credit for the theory, but it did come up a couple years ago in conversation with a friend and we sortof hashed it out on the spot, neither of us hearing about it prior. Thanks for the link! Gonna go check out the discussion now

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    88. Azor Asshai:

      The return of magic to the world always seemed to have something to do with the birth of the dragons and the appearance of the red star (comet) before that, as easy as it is to forget that detail… but it should this spiritual war between fire and ice conclude or magic leave the world, there really is no telling what would happen.

      I’ve always thought that the story’s ending will include a partial or complete ending to “magic” as it is known on Planetos. Having read this interview, I’m even more convinced of such… and that it will be part of GRRM’s long-running “conversation” with Tolkien.

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    89. Hodors Bastard,

      Checked out the theory. I would never have included such research- I’m more of a “broad strokes” kindof guy. I don’t agree that Jaime “routinely preserves life”- In some cases, yes. But it is also demonstrably false.

      I do like the bonus theory including Branakin…. the full circle of conflict and all that. Plus- now we know Bran has insight into the creation of the Other, and dare I say… some sympathy?

      Cool read. I’m on board

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    90. Cumsprite,

      No can do. Heard they are so massive you walk bowlegged! (Plus Ginny says more veggies for Martin 😀 )

      It won’t kill you to praise Martin a bit for the decent writing from the first three books at least, so some people don’t get their panties in a twist every time you post. WallyFrench looks ready to give himself/herself a heart attack with all the name calling.

      Hodors Bastard,

      Have not seen the W, as I almost never visit, but Asoiaf Reddit sub looked ready to explode. I think their most repeated idea may be right: a the spin off about the Doom was approved. I do wish Martin would just post the darn thing properly, if that’s what it is.

      As for the anniversary that’s right on the money, HB: it was Dance’s 6 years I believe. I still don’t think that would need such a Doom of Valyria pic though. More like: http://media.giphy.com/media/MFlGiIq0QqkjC/giphy.gif

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    91. WallyFrench,

      Don’t you do it! Don’t! You! I got nowhere else to go! I got nowhere else to go.

      Seriously though. I don’t love the show. I mean, I like it, but I don’t like like it.

      I love you though. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmyeah

      TormundsWoman,

      You are thinking about my cat.

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    92. I understand completely with LSH wasn’t in the show, what I didn’t get is why after the time passed in the books that people still thought the show would bring her in, every season basically. After no sign of her S3/Early S4 I knew she was never going to be brought into the show. Kind of like for 2 seasons or so people kept believing Sansa was pregnant lol

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    93. Lars:
      Not including LSH was a good choice, IMO. There has been so many resurrections (and so many ways to get resurrected) in the books to the point of death no longer meaning as much. They wanted to save bigger surprise for Jon.

      Oh wow, now I’m starting to get the idea that Jon will die again, probably during that fight in the North we see in the trailer. Beric will give his final life to Jon (instead of Cat like he did in the book). And how cool would it be if Beric or Thoros teaches Jon their flaming sword trick at some point!

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    94. Flayed Potatoes:
      Markus Stark,

      Yeah, but being a warg might help with preserving his mind. He’d still need his faculties intact to unite people and fight against the WW. I really hope we don’t lose his POV chapters.

      Though it honestly seems weird for GRRM to outright confirm exactly how Jon will end up before the book is even out, which makes me think something else might happen. It’s not bittersweet imo to have your main character become a corpse for the rest of the story. It’s really crappy.

      Martin has said he purposely left out kings of having POV chapters (Robb, Stannis, etc). Perhaps it’s fitting timing for Jon to lose his POV chapters just as he’s newly crowned the KITN after his resurrection.

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    95. Stoneheart:
      I was surprised that LSH had the most discussion among D&D and GRRM, I always thought maybe omission of (f)aegon or the Dorne plot got the most reaction out of George, but I have so much more respects for both sides after reading this and the interview in Time, making those decisions couldn’t have been easy on them, personally I can’t wait to see the role Willas and Garlan Tyrell are going to have in the series

      Me too. I think they’ll be tangling with crazy old Euron.

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    96. mau,

      I know I’m not D&D but I’m more or less convinced they cut Stoneheart because it would cheapen the Jon death and resurrection. They’ve then given the plot out come to Arya in terms of murdering the Freys.

      I know we’ve had a lot of articles this last week but there have been a few interviews with GRRM which doesn’t happen often. The key out comes being he appears to get on well with D&D, Winds of Winter will parallel S6 with the exceptions of some minor characters but there will be more creative freedom for season 7 but the end game will be the same.

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