Fans of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series will have to do double duty reading his books and watching the hugely popular HBO series if they want to keep up with all the plot developments, as the author recently revealed. It turns out that Martin has decided on a plot twist in the upcoming book that can’t be duplicated on the TV series – because it involves a character who is already dead.
With the sixth season of megahit Game of Thrones set to begin airing on April 24, speculation has been rising over the direction the show will take. At the same time, author George R.R. Martin has been piquing interest for the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. In reality, the next book, titled The Winds of Winter, is still being written. However, it is clear that Martin has already made key decisions about the plot. After weeks of teasing fans in media interviews, the author confirmed the Game of Thrones plot twist during an interview with IGN.
“I have decided to do it. Will you know it? I don’t know. It is fairly obvious because it is something that involves a couple of characters, one of which is dead on the show, and not dead in the books. So the show can’t do it, unfortunately, because they have killed someone I have not killed.”
Season 5 of Game of Thrones ended with the gruesome stabbing death of Jon Snow, sending a flurry of rumors around the internet that were fueled by hints from other cast members. A recent poster for the sixth season does appear to show Jon Snow entombed — this despite the fact that Kit Harington, the actor who plays the character, was seen during filming of the upcoming season.
HBO’s version of the popular Game of Thrones series has deviated from a strict interpretation of the books in the past, but this development will be a first. This time, the changes are deliberate and coming from the author himself. The new season of Game of Thrones will be diverging from the novels in other ways, extending the plot beyond the five novels already published in the series. The latest announcement means that the books and the HBO series will continue along different paths.
Waiting for the new season of Game of Thrones like pic.twitter.com/SembRw2SbK
— GameOfThrones Reacts (@GameThroneReact) February 27, 2016
As for the plot twist in the upcoming book, there are several possible characters who have been killed in the Game of Thrones TV series but remain alive in the books. They include Stannis Baratheon, Barriston Selmy, Mance Rayder, Kevan Lannister, Pyp, Jojen Reed, and Shireen Baratheon.
According to Martin, the plot for The Winds of Winter is something he has been planning and thinking about for a couple of years. The original publishing deadline for the next in the A Song of Ice and Fire series was set to occur before the start of the sixth series of Game of Thrones on HBO, with Martin revealing late last year that he had passed the deadline.
— Cultjer (@cultjer) February 27, 2016
Martin’s plate has been full the past few years with the Game of Thrones TV show — which he still helps to produce — and his rising fame, laying the blame for the delay on a number of developments. However, it seems as if he has now dropped all other projects to concentrate on the next novel. He recently responded to a fan’s comment on his blog.
“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.”
Fans will have to be satisfied with season 6 of Game of Thrones in the meantime.
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]