George R.R. Martin
It turns out George R.R. Martin and the Game of Thrones showrunners aren't the only ones who know how A Song of Ice and Fire will end. Apparently, some exceptionally perceptive fans do too.
While speaking at the Edinburgh International Literary Festival, Martin noted that some readers have correctly puzzled out the ending to the saga, which consists of two more books, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.
"I've wrestled with this issue, because I do want to surprise my readers. I hate predictable fiction as a reader, I don't want to write predictable fiction," Martin said, according to The Telegraph. "I want to surprise and delight my reader and take them in directions they didn't see coming. But I can't change the plans. That's one of the reasons I used to read the early fan boards back in the 90s but stopped. One, I didn't have the time, but two is this very issue.
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"So many readers were reading the books with so much attention that they were throwing up some theories and while some of those theories were amusing bulls--- and creative, some of the theories are right," Martin continued. "At least one or two readers had put together the extremely subtle and obscure clues that I'd planted in the books and came to the right solution. So what do I do then? Do I change it? I wrestled with that issue and I came to the conclusion that changing it would be a disaster, because the clues were there. You can't do that, so I'm just going to go ahead. Some of my readers who don't read the boards, which thankfully there are hundreds of thousands of them, will still be surprised and other readers will say: 'see, I said that four years ago, I'm smarter than you guys'."
The decision not to change the ending falls in line with Martin's aversion to fan service as a whole. As he explained at the festival, he won't decide whether a character lives or dies — or include gratuitous gay sex scenes — simply because fans are calling for them. "I'm not going to do it just for the sake of doing it," he said. "If the plot lends itself to that, if one of my viewpoint characters is in a situation, I'm not going to shy away from it. I don't think I can insert things just because everyone wants them. If it was a democracy, Joffrey would have died much earlier than he did."
You hear that readers? Might as well quit your Change.org petition for a Jon Snow and Jaime love scene now. (But we can always dream.)