George RR Martin: Game of Thrones twist will appear in books, not TV show

The Song of Ice and Fire novelist says the delayed sixth novel in his fantasy sequence will feature character who has been killed off in the TV adaptation

George RR Martin has revealed he will go ahead with a twist in the next Game of Thrones book The Winds of Winter that will not be able to happen in the TV adaption, because the character has been killed off on the show.

In an interview with IGN, Martin said he had decided he would include the twist after a couple of years of deliberation. “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.”

Last month, Martin confirmed he had missed the last deadline – 31 December 2015 – that would have allowed the sixth novel in his fantasy series to be published before the next Game of Thrones series begins in April.

Deviations from the Song of Ice and Fire novels have happened frequently before in the TV show, with Martin telling fans concerned about the show spoiling the books: “Some of the ‘spoilers’ you may encounter in season six may not be spoilers at all … because the show and the books have diverged, and will continue to do so.”

In the IGN interview, Martin said revealing that the coming twist involved a dead character would not spoil anything because “at this point there are like 15 characters who are dead on the show who are still alive on the books.”

“I get all this stuff about being bloody-minded but [Game of Thrones showrunners] David [Benioff] and Dan [DB Weiss] are bloodier than I am,” he joked.

Trailer for the sixth season of Game of Thrones.

When asked if he ever felt he had to “beat the show”, Martin said: “If I did have that thought, I’ve lost – because the show has caught up and is in the process of passing me. Ideally, I would have liked to have finished all seven books and have the story complete, but the show moves at a faster pace than I do and that’s partly because I am a slow writer.”

Martin attributed the delayed release of The Winds of Winter to “a lot of distractions in the last few years”, including the TV show itself, for which he wrote a few episodes in early seasons and still helps produce. “It is what it is, and ideally I wish I could hold up The Winds of Winter right now and tell everyone to go buy it … but it is still not done so all I can do is continue to write it.”

Game of Thrones fans recently got a little jolt of hope from the author when he wrote on his blog that he was now focused entirely on the books. In reply to a fan who asked if he would be writing an episode for the TV show’s seventh season, Martin wrote: “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.”


Sian Cain

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
George RR Martin: a new Game of Thrones book is coming …
But it won’t be The Winds of Winter, the planned sixth volume of the series. Instead author has revealed a history of the Targaryen dynasty, due in November

Alison Flood

26, Apr, 2018 @9:55 AM

Article image
Five ways Game of Thrones has improved on George RR Martin's books
George RR Martin fans should not worry that Game of Thrones might throw up spoilers for forthcoming books. The TV show has repeatedly shown that it can add to the literary experience

Ben Child

27, Mar, 2015 @11:34 AM

Article image
George RR Martin and Apple announce interactive Game of Thrones books collaboration
A Game of Thrones: Enhanced Edition, available through Apple from Thursday, promises ‘a world of additional content’ including sigils, family trees and glossaries

Alison Flood

29, Sep, 2016 @12:12 PM

Article image
George RR Martin 'astonished' by fan support over missed Game of Thrones deadline
After Game of Thrones author confessed he would not finish sixth book, The Winds of Winter, before new TV series airs in spring, his blog was deluged with comments saying, ‘Don’t sweat it, George’

Alison Flood

04, Jan, 2016 @11:10 AM

Article image
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin misses last TV deadline for new book
Author says he feels he has failed his fans because new HBO TV series will be shown before its source material

David Barnett

02, Jan, 2016 @11:39 AM

Article image
George RR Martin: Game of Thrones characters die because 'it has to be done'
The Song of Ice and Fire writer has told an interviewer it’s dishonest not to show how war kills heroes as easily as minor characters

Alison Flood

17, May, 2016 @2:20 PM

Article image
Game of Thrones stage show coming to Broadway and West End
George RR Martin working on production apparently revolving around the Great Tourney at Harrenhal that will also hit Australia

Benjamin Lee

30, Mar, 2021 @4:13 PM

Article image
When and where are George RR Martin's Game of Thrones novels set?

Adrian McKinty: To the casual reader they're another cod 'olden times' yarn, but the history of high fantasy suggests other intriguing possibilities

Adrian McKinty

17, Mar, 2014 @1:31 PM

Article image
George RR Martin denies being dead after George Martin dies
Following panic from Game of Thrones fans in the wake of Beatles producer George Martin’s death, author insists his own passing has been exaggerated

Alison Flood

10, Mar, 2016 @11:03 AM

Article image
George RR Martin defends Game of Thrones rape as portraying reality of war
The author says sexually violent scene introduced to TV adaptation, but not in source novel – which upset many fans – showed behaviour grounded in history

David Barnett

04, Jun, 2015 @11:32 AM