Wednesday, March 12, 2014

George R.R. Martin has given up on being the first person to tell his story and is going to let HBO do the job for him

I seriously need to rethink why I like A Game of Thrones so much and decide whether or not I want to keep watching it. More than likely (99% chance) I'm going to keep watching it. But here's why I'm upset: the tv series is going to spoil the entire book series. Allow me to elaborate.

It turns out that HBO's television series is going to tell the entire story BEFORE Martin finishes it. I have never EVER heard of this happening and it really makes me angry. Adaptations of books happen AFTER the book is published and written. The reason this is happening with Martin's story is simple: he's too f'ing slow and he has a contract with HBO, D.B. Weiss, and David Benioff (the show's creators). It's actually kind of ridiculous. Here's how it all went down (according to Vanity Fair).

In the article, Martin confessed that the show is catching up to his writing speed and that this is essentially something he had sworn would never happen. In Martin's own words, "They are. Yes. It's alarming." Fans (including me) have weighed in that season five (to arrive in 2015) will have to include events from The Winds of Winter--a book that Martin hasn't finished yet.

How do Benioff and Weiss know about the events? Well Martin's capitulated and is basically telling them everything from his notes. He's given them access to every character's fate in as much detail as he possibly can. Here's the actual copy from the Vanity Fair article:

[Benioff] "Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with him [Martin] and just talk through where things are going, because we don't know if we are going to catch up and where exactly that would be. If you know the ending, then you can lay the groundwork for it. And so we want to know how everything ends. We want to be able to set things up. So we just sat down with him and literally went through every character."

So yeah, Martin has basically given up on being the first person to tell his story and is going to let HBO do the job for him.

Are you f'ing kidding me? Is this at all how an author is supposed to behave? The last book in the series is supposed to be called A Whisper of Spring. I guess underneath the title it will say, "Adapted from the television series."

What a joke. I guess the joke's on us though because Martin is the one that is a millionaire twenty (or more) times over.

20 comments:

  1. I'd never heard of that before either. Guess I won't need to read the books.

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  2. Yeah, that's a sticky situation. That leaves no room for Martin to adapt and create when he finally writes those last scenes. Effed up.

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  3. This should not be such a huge problem. Are you saying the ideas become...less his own?

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  4. Martin is still the author of the main storyline. What will the readers and viewers remember, the tv show or the book?

    Perhaps he didn't like being pressured by the big HBO, so he caved.

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  5. @Tony: No, I'm saying I'd rather read the book first and then watch the tv series. I could care less who owns the ideas. This is a story I've invested significant time in because the author had my good faith he would finish it. But that good faith is in jeopardy.

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  7. I don't know why they just don't slow the show down. There's enough material in each book to last more than a season if they played their cards right

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  8. Yikes! What a pickle. I can't imagine how that might effect future book sales (or maybe it won't). :)

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  9. That saves him a lot of work I suppose. Since I haven't read any of the books that's fine with me.

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  10. Hasn't this author had years to finish this series? What's taking him so long?

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  11. That is a first. If we wait on George, though, we might be dead before he finishes Arya's story... or he kills the rest of the cast.

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  12. He's old and has slowed down. He just can't do what he did before. However, I would think that if he at least has the outline and knows the story, he could get the story done. (Most likely someone is helping him what that.) It is what it is...

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  13. This kinda makes more glad I haven't invested any time in GoT - either the books or the tv series. As an author though, I would hate the idea of somebody else finishing my story for me.

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  14. I think you should be grateful, probably the only way you're going to find out what happens. Better than some other sub-par author finishing the story from his notes five years after Martin croaks.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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  15. It almost doesn't matter, since the final book will almost certainly not be written by him anyway, just like Jordan didn't finish his Wheel of Time series.

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  16. Since Martin is on the staff for the series, I would think he'd have major influence on any upcoming episodes not covered in his books. Still, this sounds like an odd development for a novelist of his stature.

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  17. I heard a rumor of this yesterday. That really irks me. That man needs tied to his desk.

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  18. Oh, thanks. I saw that article referenced, but I hadn't had a chance to follow the link.

    I don't know if I'm all that upset. I'd be more upset if the TV show's producers were planning on diverging from the author's vision and going with their own just because the novels weren't there.

    I mean, I see what you're saying. But since his books take so long, is the show supposed to end until he finishes the books? Or go on a long hiatus? It's not ideal, but it's the best solution considering the problem.

    Just my two cents...

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  19. I read about this too, and I think a lot of us saw this coming. I like the fact that they are planning to do only seven seasons and won't completely milk the series as a stall (because there's enough material already written to make 4 more seasons, but it would feel long winded like the last couple of books).

    As much as I like the fact that the show has been holding very true to the books, it would be kind of cool if Martin gave the producers of the show an alternate ending and have the last book go in a different direction.

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  20. Be a writer and let the show go on hiatus, Martin. Now get your butt in the chair and write.

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