It’s sad watching your favourite show crumble under its own weight and become a fan fiction funeral pyre. If you’re reading this you’ve probably invested a lot of time into Game of Thrones or know someone who has been there from the start. If you’re like me, you were a bit extra and got into the book series too.
I’m half-way through A Feast for Crows but that’s beside the point now. Wherever you are up to in the series, even if that is simply the intention of getting through these bricks, you’ve probably asked yourself one big question: should I continue to invest my time into them?
Truly a question for the ages.
When I watch interviews with George R.R. Martin I feel like he’s done a lot of soul searching over the behemoth the TV show has become. You can also feel the weight on his shoulders that has come from the show runners outpacing his book writing. In the video below he talks about how he doesn’t intend to change anything.
Martin won’t change anything, not even when fans correctly guess his ending or when the show runners depart from the source material. Just how far HBO has departed from the last two unreleased books is a matter of HUGE debate and speculation. (See also Reddit).
I’m not going to mention specific things about GoT’s last season because this is not the place for nitpicking; however, I think it’s safe to say that there are a number of question mark moments. Ones that leave book readers brave enough to watch the show thinking: this better not be how this issue resolves in The Winds of Winter or A Dream of Spring (the last two unreleased and overdue books in ASOIAF).
Surely, the nuance needed to pull off such dramatic shifts in plot and character development will translate better into writing if Martin goes down this path. Or better yet, his intended ending is different or at least different in the ways that count. This is the hope members of the fandom sustain dedication on.
Personally, I trust in George R.R. Martin. He may be a slow writer but that is a testament to the dedication he has to telling this towering story. It’s also a reflection of the ridiculous pressure he’s under. The caveat is that I am not going to put my reading list on hold any longer. Contrary to popular belief, there are other amazing fantasy books out there that deserve just as much, if not more, attention.
For now, George, our watch begins. When the Goodreads reviews begin to poor into my feed in praise of a bittersweet ending to your final book I will resume reading about Daenerys and Jon. Until such a time, my literary attentions will be channeled into the works of authors such as Ursula K. Le Guin or perhaps I’ll pick up lesser known works like Children of Blood and Bone.
Let me know whether you plan on being an OG fan and sticking it out to the bitter end of the books OR let me know what I should be investing precious reading time into perusing.