Books & Art

George R.R. Martin Says the Show's Ending Won't Change His Books

"You can’t please everybody, so you’ve got to please yourself."
IMAGE STEVE JENNINGS/GETTY IMAGES
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In a new interview with The Guardian, author George R.R. Martin revealed that he’s not going to let Game of Thrones’ ending—or the backlash it sparked—change the plots of the last two books in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. And he also shed some light on his stressful-as-hell seeming writing process.

The final three seasons of HBO’s television adaptation were uncharted territory, as the story they told had gotten ahead of Martin’s five published books. But David Benioff revealed way back in 2014 that he and fellow Thrones showrunner Dan Weiss had met with Martin, and that the author sketched out his plans for the rest of the story, suggesting that the major plot points from the show’s later years came straight from the source. Which means that while we may not know exactly what Martin’s cooking up for the final two books in the series, the broad strokes will likely align with events in the show.

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When asked by The Guardian's reporter whether or not the show’s ending will have an impact on the conclusion of his books, Martin said it would not. "It doesn’t change anything at all," he responded. "As Rick Nelson says in 'Garden Party,' one of my favorite songs, you can’t please everybody, so you’ve got to please yourself." This likely means that we should all get used to the idea of King Brandon the Broken, because he’s probably not going anywhere.

Martin also talked about the pressure of having two more books looming over him. "I need more hours in the day and more days in the week and more months in the year because the time does seem to go very fast," he told The Guardian.

"There were a couple of years where, if I could have finished the book, I could have stayed ahead of the show for another couple of years, and the stress was enormous...I don’t think it was very good for me, because the very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. Every day I sat down to write and even if I had a good day—and a good day for me is three or four pages—I’d feel terrible because I’d be thinking: ‘My God, I have to finish the book. I’ve only written four pages when I should have written 40.’ But having the show finish is freeing, because I’m at my own pace now. I have good days and I have bad days and the stress is far less, although it’s still there."

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I’ll admit to having wished Martin would pick up his writing pace a bit, but after reading that I'm convinced that no one should ever try to pressure this guy again. Writing under the weight of the expectations of millions of fans sounds incredibly stressful. Can we all collectively agree not to stress out George R.R. Martin? He’ll write those books in his own sweet time.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors

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