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Game Of Thrones Series Reviews Won't Alter Books, Says George R.R. Martin

This just in: George R.R. Martin will not be altering plans for the final A Song of Ice and Fire novels in the name of fan service.

The famed author of the fantasy novels that inspired the lauded HBO series Game of Thrones has been hard at work on the final chapters to his opus, but that hasn't stopped him from dropping a few juicy GoT nuggets of late. He recently took some time to chat with Entertainment Weekly about what fans can expect from the final books in the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series, tentatively titled The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. Of particular interest was whether or not Martin would account for the wildly divisive reactions of fans and critics to the final, twist-filled season of the series in laying out the narrative strands of his novel collection's closing books. 

The answer was a resounding no, for the record. As Martin told EW, "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 [the fans] can like it or they can not like it ... 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. [The books and the show are] 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."

That may or may not be good news for longtime supports of Martin's work. As we mentioned, the final season of Game of Thrones was controversial to say the least, and even prompted some of the more outspoken haters among the show's rabid fan base to sign an online petition demanding that HBO reshoot the show's entire final season — though Emmy voters clearly had fewer problems with the series' swan song.   

Of course, for many of those angered fans, that petition stems from a few seasons' worth of frustrations, as the series infamously surpassed the books prior to the start of season 6. Sans any fresh source material from Martin himself, showrunners-slash-writers-slash-directors D.B. Weiss and David Benioff were largely left to their own devices to bring the series to a close. Clearly, the duo's efforts left many devout Game of Thrones fans believing they dropped the proverbial dragon-glass along the way, rushing fervently toward a rug-pulling finale while sacrificing some of the elements that made Martin's books so effective (i.e., nuance and character development). 

For his part, Martin has been fairly vocal about the past several years of Thrones being "strange since the show got ahead of the books." He's also been adamant about having provided Weiss and Benioff with a few key details about where he was taking the books' beloved characters and their rapidly intertwining storylines. While we may never know exactly what information Martin provided the series' showrunners, it's a safe bet that some of the bigger narrative threads (particularly the shocking lineages and fates of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen) were well enough in line with what Martin had already plotted out.

Regarding the many vocal online detractors of GoT's final season, Martin seems painfully aware that the internet has forever altered the experience of both the fan and the creator. In particular, Martin seems concerned about the information age spoiling the many seismic shifts he's meticulously plotted throughout the series, noting that, "Suddenly the twist you're building towards is out there. And there is a temptation to change it." At least for now, Martin is remaining steadfast in his narrative approach, and steering clear of GoT fan sites to that point. 

As for when we might expect those new books, well, mum continues to be the word from Martin — even as fans clamor for those series-closers. If Martin is to be believed, there may still be a bit of a wait for those books as the pressure he once felt to finish them (particularly before the HBO series) has faded. These days, the beloved author is happy to simply dangle the blunt fact that the new material "will be done when it's done."  

If there's good news to be had from that ominous statement, it's that Martin is hell-bent on bringing the series of novels to a close on his own terms, and that should come as a relief to any fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Here's hoping we don't have to wait too much longer to find out what tricks Martin has been keeping up his sleeve for Dany and the rest of the Game of Thrones gang.