“Game of Thrones” fans, drop whatever you’re doing, because a retailer just dropped some major insight into the direction of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels. Waterstones published on Twitter via Harper Collins UK Martin’s original outline for his then-planned trilogy.
Obviously, “A Song of Ice and Fire” has morphed into a pretty huge beast in the years since Martin sent this pitch in 1993. Some details have definitely changed — Sansa was supposed to marry Joffrey and have his child, for instance, and Robb would have maimed the boy king at a major battle. But some things also remained the same, like the fact Robb, Catelyn and Ned were always going to die.
That’s why when Martin lists the five “key” characters he planned to “make it through all three volumes” (as in, through the end of the series), it seems like those plans might still be the case. They are — obviously, maybe-spoilers lie ahead — Tyrion Lannister, Arya Stark, Bran Stark, Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow.
These might seem obvious, yes, but considering the way the fifth and most recent “ASoIaF” novel “A Dance With Dragons” ended, one of those five is a bit surprising. Here’s hoping that those names remain true. Also, it’s worth noting that he never says those are the only main characters who will live — Sansa, for example, doesn’t seem to be as major a player in Martin’s original conception as she is now, and Rickon isn’t even mentioned once.
Beyond that maybe-peek into end game “Thrones,” there are some pretty big plot points in the pitch that probably won’t happen. First off, Jon and Arya most likely aren’t going to fall in love. In Martin’s words: “Arya will be more forgiving … until she realizes, with terror, that she has fallen in love with Jon, who is not only her half-brother but a man of the Night’s Watch, sworn to celibacy. Their passion will continue to torment Jon and Arya throughout the trilogy, until the secret of Jon’s true parentage is finally revealed in the last book.”
Second, Dany’s invasion of the Seven Kingdoms definitely didn’t start Martin’s planned book 2 (probably the mid-point of the series, which has already passed). She also certainly didn’t kill Khal Drogo to avenger her brother Viserys. It’s almost like in the writing of the novels Martin realized he needed a queen who knew how to rule instead of going straight to conquering, which is a realization she comes to on her own in the series — thus delaying her invasion.
Finally, sorry Jaime Lannister, but it’s doubtful you’re becoming king (though that would be an incredible twist). Per Martin in 1993: “Jaime Lannister will follow Joffrey on the throne of the Seven Kingdoms, by the simple experiment of killing everyone ahead of him in the line of succession and blaming his brother Tyrion for the murders.”
But beyond the obvious twists that won’t happen, will the final face-off prove to come true? Martin planned for Tyrion to ally himself with the surviving Starks but then fall for Arya, thus causing him to be rivals with Jon. In the actual published series Tyrion is heading to an alliance of sorts with Daenerys, so maybe he will come head-to-head as enemies with Jon after all.
Only time will tell how much of this original plan will pay off, but it is interesting to see what Martin originally conceived for the series. Here’s the full three tweets below: