George RR Martin Gifts Readers An Exclusive Plot Twist, Leaving ‘Game Of Thrones’ In The Dust

George R.R. Martin’s evil laugh is echoing across Westeros.

Since the HBO version of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series first aired, the gap between those new to the world through Game of Thrones and long-time readers of the books was wide.

Readers brimming with spoilers enjoyed watching new fans fall in love with Eddard Stark and champion behind Renly Baratheon. But as the seasons wore on, the show deviated from the novels more and more until now, Game of Thrones is its own monster.

Two months ago, George R.R. Martin revealed to bereft fans that the sixth installment of the series, The Winds of Winter, would not be published before the sixth season of the HBO series. If the plan was to out-write the Game of Thrones, George said he’s officially lost.

“[They’ve] caught up and [are] in the process of passing me. Ideally I would have liked to have finished the books and have the story complete, but (it) moves at a faster pace than I do. That’s partly because I’m a slow writer and I’ve always been a slow writer, and also I’ve had a lot of distractions in the last few years.”

The news that a TV show would finish George R.R. Martin’s own novels could anger some devoted readers. That fact seems a little unfair, because it means that the series could — in theory — completely spoil the books as it launches into stories that extend beyond the saga.

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Martin has quelled fans’ fears, though, saying that the two are so different now that spoilers are likely impossible, the Guardian reported. And now, he’s announced something even better.

Martin is writing an exclusive twist into The Winds of Winter that the Game of Thrones cannot imitate, essentially rewarding readers for their patience and loyalty to the books. And let’s face it, the series was its best when most loyal to the source material.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the series cannot mimic this new plot twist, because the essential characters have been killed on Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin said. In order to pull it off, Melisandre may have to be called in for some quick resurrections.

“It involves a couple of characters, one of whom is dead on the show but not dead in the books. The show can’t do this stuff, because they killed a character that I have not killed. (That) doesn’t narrow it down much because at this point, there are like 15 characters who are dead on the show but not in the books. I get all this stuff about being bloody-minded, but [showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] are bloodier than I am.”

George talked to Entertainment Weekly in more detail about this tantalizing twist, back when he wasn’t yet sure he wanted to go for it.

“This is going to drive your readers crazy, but I love it. I’m still weighing whether to go that direction or not. It’s a great twist. It’s easy to do things that are shocking or unexpected, but they have to grow out of characters. They have to grow out of situations. Otherwise, it’s just being shocking for being shocking. But this is something that seems very organic and natural, and I could see how it would happen. And with the various three, four characters involved … it all makes sense. But it’s nothing I’ve ever thought of before. And it’s nothing they can do in the show, because (it) has already — on this particular character — made a couple decisions that will preclude it, where in my case I have not made those decisions.”

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So who are the dead on the series/alive in the book contenders? Mashable has a handy, color-coded graphic with very helpful faces to spark the memory, but here’s a list.

  • Myrcella Baratheon
  • Catelyn Stark (who’s more undead then alive)
  • Talisa (aka Jayne Westerling, or Robb Stark’s ill-advised wife)
  • Jojen Reed
  • Pyp and Grenn of the Night’s Watch
  • Stannis and Shireen Baratheon
  • Hizdahr Zo Loraq
  • Barristan Selmy
  • Mance Rayder

The good news is, George R.R. Martin has removed all distractions from his life in order to finish the next novel. A self-proclaimed slow writer, the author has said that he’s missed past deadlines due to other commitments — like writing episodes of Game of Thrones and numerous media appearances.

“I am not writing anything until I deliver Winds of Winter. Teleplays, screenplays, short stories, introductions, forewords, nothing. And I’ve dropped all my editing projects but Wild Cards.”

Loyal readers can only hope.

Which do you prefer? Game of Thrones or A Song of Ice and Fire?

[Photo By Steve Snowden/Getty Images]