George R.R. Martin talks future Thrones plots + TV vs. book differences

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Oct 15, 2013, 3:59 PM EDT (Updated)

Curious to know what’s coming up for the fourth season of Game of Thrones onward? The man who created the A Song of Ice and Fire saga has dropped some alarming interesting tidbits.

George R.R. Martin talked about Game of Thrones at this weekend's Capclave 2013 “Not A Panel” and hinted at what fans will—and won’t—be seeing in the future of the HBO show.

He also talked frankly about the ramifications of all the changes the two showrunners David Benioff and D.B. (Dan) Weiss have made to the TV series, and what he himself would have changed in his own novels.

[Beware there are book spoilers below]

According to the Capclave report:

  • There is “a week or so left of filming,” and Martin confirmed the fourth season does pull from the novels beyond A Storm of Swords. (It seems he may have received some bad info – our sources are saying there is still a month left to go in shooting.)
  • The problem of the “butterfly effect” in the show’s adaptation was brought up, and he cited the specific example of the show deleting the two older Tyrell sons, Willas and Garlan. Martin stated that they will become important in the books, and that they have “parts to play.”
  • A change that has repercussions for season 4 is Marillion’s tongue removal from the first season. Martin said that the change was made (from an anonymous singer being the victim of a de-tonguing) because they wanted Joffrey to maim someone the audience would recognize. He believes this is an issue because of the part the singer plays in Sansa’s storyline, how he affects her interactions with others in the book, and he doesn’t believe another character will be fulfilling that role on Game of Thrones.
  • Martin said that at this point, he considers his books to be his, and the show to be Dan [Weiss] and David [Benioff]‘s.
  • There will be no prequels written but we will learn more about Robert’s Rebellion in upcoming books.
  • The behind-the-scenes material has done well on HBO, and they’ll be doing more “Making of” content and similar productions on top of what they already do.
  • He does have anxiety about the TV series passing the point where he is in the writing. The metaphor he used was feeling like he was “bound to train tracks and could see smoke wafting,” though he can’t yet see the train. Martin mentioned that the Tyrion book doesn’t take away from his other writing, because it was mostly his publishers selecting the quotes, so people had no basis for their complaints about it pulling him away from his work on TWOW. [The Winds of Winter]
  • When it comes to point-of-view characters, if he had it to do over again, Martin says he may have changed it up, mentioning Robb as a character who might have been “sensible” to have as a POV.

Annnd we’re back again to the Marillion conundrum.

As Martin explained above, the singer was gotten rid of in the first season of Game of Thrones although he plays somewhat of an important role in the later books, especially in books three and four: A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows. Of course, that character could be replaced by any other similar character, but from what Martin is saying, that won't happen. And this, of course, will in turn affect the character development of Sansa (and a few other characters as well) of which Marillion was an important part of.

As for Willas and Garlan Tyrell, we wonder if Benioff and Weiss have a plan in place to circumvent the importance of the oldest Tyrell boys in the books, since they’ve been cut from the show.

(Oh, and yes, please write like the wind George. Write like the wind.)

Do you agree with George R.R. Martin's assessments? Do you think Benioff and Weiss have written themselves into a corner in regards to certain storylines? And what about the fact that Martin would have liked to have included Robb Stark as a POV character after the fact? Is there any other character you think should also have gotten their own point-of-views?

(via Winter Is Coming)