George R.R. Martin Wants A Song of Ice and Fire to End With Him

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George R.R. Martin Wants A Song of Ice and Fire to End With Him

George RR Martin

George R.R. Martin, the man behind A Game of Thrones, would prefer his creations not be tampered with by outside authors.

Unexpected and often shocking deaths are kind of par for the course when you're dealing with A Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire. We won't go into any spoiler-ific specifics, but suffice it to say that if you're a newcomer there are moments that will gut punch you like Ivan Drago. That being the case, all the fatalities in Westeros could pale in comparison to the damage done by one real world death: George R.R Martin's.

Martin, in addition to being the author and architect of A Song of Ice and Fire is also a tad on the elderly side and, if the five years it took him to deliver the most recent book in the series is any indicator, there is a very real possibility he might not live long enough to bring the franchise to a close. It's a possibility that Martin himself is very much aware of. "Eventually I will not be alive because Valar Morghulis- all men must die," he said, talking about the subject recently.

The obvious question is what would happen to the series in the case of his demise. Martin has expressed that he would prefer his work be left alone. That said, he fully expects that eventually the land of Westeros would fall into money hungry hands. "One thing that history has shown us is eventually these literary rights pass to grandchildren or collateral descendents, or people who didn't actually know the writer and don't care about his wishes. It's just a cash cow to them."

He, in turn, expressed his admiration for the family of The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R Tolkien, which has guarded his writing quite closely. "Although I've never met the man, I admire Christopher Tolkien, his son, who has been the guardian of Tolkien's estate who has never allowed that," he said. "I'm sure there are publishers waiting in the wings with giant bags of money just waiting for someone to say 'yes, go ahead, let's write Sauron Strikes Back'." So, put shortly, if Martin were to pass away without finishing A Song of Fire and Ice, we might have to wait for some cash hungry relatives to come around to find out how it all ends. Then again, the HBO series would probably come up with some good too, so there is that. Even so, here's hoping it never comes to that and Martin himself is able to see his vision through.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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Considering what happened to the Dune series, I'm totally with him on that one...

On top of that, he wants the manuscripts of his current book burned if he dies while writing it, so there's that.

I didn't like the last two books of Stephen King's The Dark Tower saga, so I'm all about waiting for a proper, finished book. He can do as he wish with his IP, I've given up on the hope that the series will ever be finished.

First of all, I hope he is okay: people rarely discuss their own mortality unless things are at least a tad wrong

Secondly, I would like it to end with him too, I don't want another Wheel of Time ending on our hands, or the way that Dune went.

Ok Martin, fine and dandy. Now get to bloody finishing your books before your croak then. There will be millions who curse you in your death if you fail to do so.

Akichi Daikashima:
First of all, I hope he is okay: people rarely discuss their own mortality unless things are at least a tad wrong

Secondly, I would like it to end with him too, I don't want another Wheel of Time ending on our hands, or the way that Dune went.

When people reach a certain age, they start to think about their mortality. Hell, me and my wife were discussing it, and I'm only 30. Granted, we have kids to worry about, but death is natural and something to be discussed and thought about.

It sounds risky, but my suggestion is to make the works public domain when he dies - Fandoms for series like this have long and finely-detailed discussions and debates about what's canon or not, after all...

Oh come on.. Sauron Strikes Back sounds awesome! :)

dragongit:
Ok Martin, fine and dandy. Now get to bloody finishing your books before your croak then. There will be millions who curse you in your death if you fail to do so.

If he dies, someone will invent necromancy just to bring him back so he can finish his books.

Shortly before bringing back Tolkien just to see him rage at what LotR would have become by then.

Akichi Daikashima:
First of all, I hope he is okay: people rarely discuss their own mortality unless things are at least a tad wrong

Secondly, I would like it to end with him too, I don't want another Wheel of Time ending on our hands, or the way that Dune went.

ok gotta ask what do you mean by another wheel of time ending?

Akichi Daikashima:
First of all, I hope he is okay: people rarely discuss their own mortality unless things are at least a tad wrong

Secondly, I would like it to end with him too, I don't want another Wheel of Time ending on our hands, or the way that Dune went.

Frankly, after 'Children of Dune', I basically thought "Okay, yeah; fuck this shit" and went on to something else.

Didn't Martin already share the planned ending of the series with the HBO guys so that they could finish it if he died?

Love the guy, Tuff Voyaging is the first SF book I ever read (been a fan ever since) but I honestly think even he has no idea where he's going with the stuff anymore. Even if he would live to be 100 (which I hope he does) he still won't finish them. Luckily the guys at HBO are doing an awesome job with the material (albeit with a slight propensity towards weener displays) .

ecoho:

Akichi Daikashima:
First of all, I hope he is okay: people rarely discuss their own mortality unless things are at least a tad wrong

Secondly, I would like it to end with him too, I don't want another Wheel of Time ending on our hands, or the way that Dune went.

ok gotta ask what do you mean by another wheel of time ending?

He probably means he didn't like the ending of the Wheel of Time series....

He is of course incorrect as the series ended rather well, and even if one disagrees on that point, it certainly ended no worse than some of the previous books in the series thus I would not consider it valid to blame any dislike on the ending on the author change.

We won't go into any spoiler-ific specifics, but suffice it to say that if you're a newcomer there are moments that will gut punch you like Ivan Drago.

Anyone who is at this point a newcomer is going to read it because they've heard about the deaths and aren't going to feel gut-punched. News outlets basically can't mention GoT and not mention deahts, like the series has nothing else to offer. /rant

Well, Christopher Tolkien guarding J.R.R's works hasn't stopped people from making their own fanficy stories in the forms of videoo games.

Jadak:

ecoho:

Akichi Daikashima:
First of all, I hope he is okay: people rarely discuss their own mortality unless things are at least a tad wrong

Secondly, I would like it to end with him too, I don't want another Wheel of Time ending on our hands, or the way that Dune went.

ok gotta ask what do you mean by another wheel of time ending?

He probably means he didn't like the ending of the Wheel of Time series....

He is of course incorrect as the series ended rather well, and even if one disagrees on that point, it certainly ended no worse than some of the previous books in the series thus I would not consider it valid to blame any dislike on the ending on the author change.

hell I hated some parts of the ending but they all fit. Its also really funny if that's the part he hated cause the last like 5 chapters were literally Robert Jordan's note word for word.

Jadak:

ecoho:

Akichi Daikashima:
First of all, I hope he is okay: people rarely discuss their own mortality unless things are at least a tad wrong

Secondly, I would like it to end with him too, I don't want another Wheel of Time ending on our hands, or the way that Dune went.

ok gotta ask what do you mean by another wheel of time ending?

He probably means he didn't like the ending of the Wheel of Time series....

He is of course incorrect as the series ended rather well, and even if one disagrees on that point, it certainly ended no worse than some of the previous books in the series thus I would not consider it valid to blame any dislike on the ending on the author change.

Yeah, I'd say Sanderson's overal contribution was a slight incline.

OT: I hope Martin will get to end the series himself and enjoy a happy retirement. Just a couple more books and finish it, before a Song of ice&fire outstays it's welcome.
If not, then a decent writer to tie up the biggest plotlines, using the author's notes would be preferable to an eternal cliffhanger.

TiberiusEsuriens:
Didn't Martin already share the planned ending of the series with the HBO guys so that they could finish it if he died?

Yeah he did. I suspect he doesn't want the franchise expanded beyond that, though.

P.S. Thanks

ecoho:

Akichi Daikashima:
First of all, I hope he is okay: people rarely discuss their own mortality unless things are at least a tad wrong

Secondly, I would like it to end with him too, I don't want another Wheel of Time ending on our hands, or the way that Dune went.

ok gotta ask what do you mean by another wheel of time ending?

Well how the author died.

And the work had to be continued by someone else and it wasn't as good.

Good, but not as much, like Season 4 of Community(without that ending though).

Though that may be a harsh comparison, as S4 was definitely the nadir of the entire show.

TiberiusEsuriens:
Didn't Martin already share the planned ending of the series with the HBO guys so that they could finish it if he died?

I believe that I've heard the same thing from interviews. Although there may be small plot points they are not in tune with and may have to flush out, they know about all the major arcs.

Honestly, unless Martin gets his butt in gear or they add a bunch of stuff to the TV show that wasn't in the novels, the show will overtake him. It's only Season 4, yet they are going to introduce Leaf, the CoTF, which wouldn't happen in the novels until ADwD. There are threads that the TV show is booking forward and I don't know how long they'll be able to hold in a stall pattern waiting for the last book.

ThreeKneeNick:

We won't go into any spoiler-ific specifics, but suffice it to say that if you're a newcomer there are moments that will gut punch you like Ivan Drago.

Anyone who is at this point a newcomer is going to read it because they've heard about the deaths and aren't going to feel gut-punched. News outlets basically can't mention GoT and not mention deahts, like the series has nothing else to offer. /rant

True. I was actually kind of disappointed at the lack of deaths while reading after everyone (who only watched the TV series) kept telling me how every character drops dead. But in truth the novels are hardly anything special in that regard. It's only secondary and unimportant characters who die, the vast majority of the actual protagonists keeps on living quite merrily. Although I do understand where those people are coming from since there're no POV chapters in the TV series and every character is treated more or less equally.

That being said, the end of A Dance with Dragons did leave me quite shocked for a while, which is rather amusing since the particular scene got spoiled for me in a comment section long beforehand but I dismissed it as a joke at that time.

Slowpokes! Most fans already knew that. It would a shame if he didn't manage to finish the series but then again I can see why he wouldn't want anyone to mess with it after his death.

ThreeKneeNick:
Anyone who is at this point a newcomer is going to read it because they've heard about the deaths and aren't going to feel gut-punched. News outlets basically can't mention GoT and not mention deahts, like the series has nothing else to offer. /rant

Really? I always thought it was written quite well, that's why I started reading it. Song of Ice and Fire is a quality narrative in the sea of crap that is fantasy literature. As much as I like Tolkien I have to say his books polluted the genre for decades.

Fine with me. Considering my, ahem, strong feelings on Star Wars Episode Seven bringing the Skywalkers out of their much deserved retirement (Fuck you J.J. Abrams), I feel like any material that takes these characters beyond their intended roles will only diminish them in the long run.

Expanded Universe, however, stories long before, long after, or just around the Song of Ice and Fire events, is all fine and dandy, so long as it doesn't encroach on the established main story. Don't show me Tyrion leaving the Westeros Old Folks Home to bang one more hooker; show me the stories of some dude a hundred years ago/later who did something interesting or significant.

Now, back to slowly working my way through A Feast for Crows so I can get back to the interesting people in Dance With Dragons...

On one hand, I'm one of the people that actually liked Brian Herbert's Dune books better than his father's. It was probably just a matter of writing style, but just about everything after the original book (my favorite of the bunch) was lackluster to me.

On the other hand, I could understand Martin's dilemma. I haven't read his books, but I am sure that dozens of authors would be happy to write a crapton of spinoffs.

Knowing how much of a troll Martin is, he'll finish the last book and then torch himself and the book while laughing like a maniac as we all shit out pants.

My guess as to how it all ends:

The guy seriously needs to buck up his ideas regarding finishing the series.

He's already quite old, he has the BMI of a deep fried pork scratching, the series continues to expand despite his best efforts and he writes slower than a glacier.

Get on with it George as we want to see in print (and on screen) whats happening in your head.

I'm pretty certain that he's told David Benioff and D.B. Weiss the broad strokes of how the story ends, so in the event of his untimely death the TV show will finish the story.

At the risk of tempting fate, however, I don't think he's likely to go the way of so many of his characters in the near future. Yeah, he's getting on a bit, and yeah, he's a big guy, but I went to an interview he did about 18 months ago and he comes across as being in very robust health.

Frankly, I'd rather the story went unfinished than he rushed it and botched it. That's just me, though.

.....No.

I don't agree. Sure it would be a sad thing but in the end you are dead. Your idea now belongs to humanity rather than just one person. Now thanks to Disney though we still have to wait 60 years after you croak before we can start desecrating your work but it will and should happen.

Such is the nature of ideas. They can't be yours forever.

Imagine if we still had to pay money to build airplanes and could only build biplanes just because the original inventor didn't want his "vision of biplanes sullied by single winged planes" (yes powered flight, all flight with engines, WAS patented at one time).

You can have the original books be the only thing that is actually canon but you can't section of a part of our culture as private territory forever.

Think I have to side with Martin on this one. WoT was disappointing, imo. But, I do have friends who loved it. So, to each his own.

Zelazny's Great Book of Amber just ends on book 10 in the middle of the story. Zelazny had died and trust me, there is no way to tell how that book was going to end. I'm glad no one came through and messed it up. I like saying, 'It just stops. Literally. It doesn't end. He died while writing it.' I can side with Martin on that. It leaves room for imagination and not so much potential disappointment and a big, '...That's IT?'

Rednog:
Knowing how much of a troll Martin is, he'll finish the last book and then torch himself and the book while laughing like a maniac as we all shit out pants.

My guess as to how it all ends:

Yup. That's about how I expect it will go down.

yellost:
Considering what happened to the Dune series, I'm totally with him on that one...

Don't forget about Watchmen, and Metroid hasn't been faring well without Yokoi around to keep an eye on it (the Prime series being the exception). Oh right, and I shudder to think what Capcom will do with Mega M- *Snerk* Nope! Couldn't finish that one. Capcom release a new Mega Man? Right...

*Ahem* But yes, it's hard to disagree with Martin. While I'm sure that there do exist people who would finish his story and let it stay at that, those people are in the minority. There's just too many examples of franchises being completely destroyed by people wanting to milk every last cent out of it; sometimes before even leaving the creator's control (I'm looking at you, Lucas).

FloodOne:

Akichi Daikashima:
First of all, I hope he is okay: people rarely discuss their own mortality unless things are at least a tad wrong

Secondly, I would like it to end with him too, I don't want another Wheel of Time ending on our hands, or the way that Dune went.

When people reach a certain age, they start to think about their mortality. Hell, me and my wife were discussing it, and I'm only 30. Granted, we have kids to worry about, but death is natural and something to be discussed and thought about.

A lot of people die before they reach their mid 20s, so it's never too early to consider death.

Kwil:
Oh come on.. Sauron Strikes Back sounds awesome! :)

And you thought there was only One Ring. But only one can't Rule Them All!

1337mokro:
Imagine if we still had to pay money to build airplanes and could only build biplanes just because the original inventor didn't want his "vision of biplanes sullied by single winged planes" (yes powered flight, all flight with engines, WAS patented at one time).

In fairness, patents and copyrights are different things. Nothing is stopping you from picking up a pen and writing a Low Fantasy epic about the onset of snow - accompanied by snow-spirits - involving occasional character deaths the way a patent actually prevents innovation for a time.

And besides, we don't want there to be an incentive to off authors, do we?

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