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So it's probably safe to prepare for King Bran in the books, too
George R.R. Martin is not plotting a new direction for the final two books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, no matter what internet commenters have to say about it.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Martin said that he fully intends to continue on with his planned ending for the seven-book series, even if fans have figured out certain details and spoiled them online. He doesn't seem to give much merit to the the intense backlash that followed Game of Thrones' final season, either.
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Martin told EW that the internet age has made it more difficult to surprise readers, since correct theories and interpretations can spread like dragon fire online. "The internet affects all this to a degree it was never affected before," he said. "Like Jon Snow's parentage. There were early hints about [who Snow's parents were] in the books, but only one reader in 100 put it together. And before the internet that was fine -- for 99 readers out of 100 when Jon Snow's parentage gets revealed it would be, 'Oh, that's a great twist!' But in the age of the internet, even if only one person in 100 figures it out then that one person posts it online and the other 99 people read it and go, 'Oh, that makes sense.'"
The author admitted that seeing spoilers on the internet does create a temptation to change the books but said he is resisting that urge. "You've been planning for a certain ending, and if you suddenly change direction just because somebody figured it out, or because they don't like it, then it screws up the whole structure," he said. "I want to write the book I've always intended to write all along. And when it comes out they can like it or they can not like it."
It's not just reader interpretations that won't sway his book plans. Martin also indicated that he'll stick to certain parts of his story that made it into the embattled final season of Game of Thrones, even if he has his own way of approaching those arcs.
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"Yes, I told [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] a number of things years ago. And some of them they did do. But at the same time, it's different. 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," he explained. "It's 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."
One of the elements of the finale that came directly from Martin's outline, dubbed the third "holy sh--" moment, was the coronation of Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) as the new king of Westeros. So chances are good that readers can plan for that event in the books, whether it worked on screen or not, as Martin "double[s] down" on his story plans.
Martin has previously been coy about what other aspects of the Game of Thrones ending will be directly paralleled in his books. In May, he wrote on his blog, "How will it all end? I hear people asking. The same ending as the show? Different?" he wrote. "Well... yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes."
All eight seasons of Game of Thrones are available for streaming on HBO.
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