Fangirl Friday - An Open Letter to George R.R. Martin
The Fangirl Friday where I write a very tongue in cheek letter to George R.R. Martin for a book lovers amusement. It's a perilous position trying to remain a spoiler avoider / flirt when it comes to Brienne and Jaime Lannister in Martin's epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. The television show Game of Thrones keeps trying to spoil me. So in jest, I decided to write a note about some of the perils of being a book lover first and a TV viewer second. Well in regards to this one series.
Spoiler avoiders please don't read this post if you haven't read the books and plan to.
Dear Mr George R. R. Martin,
I hope you don't mind me writing this letter, but I feel like it's time I expressed my thoughts to you. I know you have millions of fans, so this little old letter on our blog might get lost in the wave of social media you are no doubt inundated with. I want to thank you for a wonderful little old book you wrote twenty odd years ago called A Game of Thrones. You know I only initially picked the book due to its attractive cover. Many a time have I been attracted to a book by it's cover. It's true. I love book cover art. Personally I wasn't that impressed when it came to A Feast of Crows and I could no longer get a cover that matched my previous three books. I like my covers to match where at all possible. I know the cover may have seemed outdated perhaps to your publisher, but that wasn't the case for me. Alas, I'm only one book purchaser in a sea of book purchasers. Shakes fist at publishers for changing the covers. What, did they think you don't have loyal book cover fans?
The nitty gritty of this letter is that I'm still not that happy about the television production occurring before the book series has been completed. Okay I admit as a book fan, I may have had a slightly holier than thou approach to television fans. Yes, I know it comes across as a view that I love to feel superior to others. It's not a very attractive trait is it? There was a kind of evil delight in knowing what was going to happen before the television fans were shocked and dumbfounded. Sadly, to my regret I had spoilt a couple of plot points early in the shows history. So whilst feeling superior, I was also inadvertently leaking spoilers. This was not one of my better moments. I truly do regret spoiling people on events that hadn't occurred. At least now the show has caught up to the books and largely surpassed them my friends have no fear of that happening again. Now I'm largely clueless and I stopped watching the show by Season 3. Why? You might ask. The show is so popular after all? Mr Martin, I really don't want to be spoilt for what you will reveal for the characters I adore in the pages of your next book. It's a difficult endeavour. Do you know how many of my heartless (and probably, secretly delighted to get me back for spoiling them in the past) friends post updates on the television show on Facebook. I think the like button should be removed from anything related to the television show. After all it's for the betterment of my reading pleasure that this should occur pronto. I had thought living in a bubble might be a necessary precaution. If I didn't have children this would have been a decision I would have contemplated with some serious thought. How hard can it be to live in a bubble for ten years?
One of the reasons that I get so distressed on this matter of book vs show is those pesky plot points from the show slowly seeping into my consciousness. They are just something I can't avoid. Well unless I abandoned the Internet completely. I hope I'm more mature than that and can police myself to avoid the show as much as I can. I've distanced myself from a few sites that I really loved following. Do you know who long I've pondered that Brienne had a rope around her neck for years after A Feast of Crows and I've been on tenterhooks to know what she actually screamed. Then to only get one chapter of her appearing in A Dance With Dragons. Of course that pretty much did mean she screamed the word "sword". But I would really like some official confirmation. Like, you know in The Winds of Winter. Oh, and while I'm at it, you know the whole Jon Snow thing. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. Thanks television show for letting that cat out of the bag. Of course I knew it was inevitable, but I would rather, looked forward to reading it, in this thing called a book. Actually, it might have helped if our largest paper in New Zealand, didn't pretty much have a massive headline announcing the fact, of you know, Jon Snow survives. Or does he? Maybe only in television land.
So seeing as the television show pretty much knows plot points I need to know the following:
- Is Stannis Baratheon really dead? I was backing him to be king. He can't be any worse than any other candidate and you know he was at the Wall where the real threat lies. The threat was in the north and yes he needed a push from Melisandre, but he was there wasn't he? The show killed him I understand. Surprise us all. Let him live! His fate still seemed pretty up in the air to me.
- Do Brienne and Jaime Lannister get their happily ever after. Maybe on some Sapphire Isle with water the colour of Brienne's eyes? She just makes Jaime a better person and I'm totally backing this to happen. It's true I might cry if it doesn't. I know you aren't writing a great romance story, but hell I don't want Jaime's redemption arc to be for nothing. C'mon on, plain woman gets the hot guy. Let's forget a moment that he had an incestuous affair with this woman called Cersei. It's Cersei who these days isn't it? The option is Jaime dying in some redemption fashion. Such as saving Brienne's life.
- More from the Blackfish please. He's crafty and I want to know where he is. My hope of course is that he has gone to The Vale. The Blackfish is a great character and I love the thought of him roaming around the countryside causing havoc.
- Is Tyrion really a Targaryen? If he is I really wish I had known earlier. Would have saved that whole bit of books where he was wandering around once he left Westeros. I know he needed to get to Danys. It was all part of the plan!
- Are you going to kill Jon Snow and therefore do a big fooled you suckers to the television show? I think Jon could successfully warg into Ghost and save the day as a direwolf. Why not? I saw some fan theory of Jon Snow and Arya Stark ending up together. Please no. They are first cousins!
- I'm backing Sansa to kill Littlefinger. Please make this so. Perhaps he'll fall out the Moon Door. It would be a fitting end I feel.
- The Hound should be alive. I've yet to see evidence he is dead. He was on the island right, when Brienne and Pod visited? I need a bone. Let me know if I'm right!
- Will Winterfall be rescued and rise from the ashes? Maybe Stannis could move in there. You know, if he is in fact alive. He could get the place all nice and cosy for the return of the Starks. He's going to need a strong supporter to hold the north from The Others. Of course, that's only if he is alive.
- How long are you planning for Winter to last? It can last lifetimes or so I'm told.
- Will Daenerys ever make it across The Narrow Sea? I don't want her to, but that doesn't mean you won't head in that direction. Unsure how Danys would handle it if she ever makes it to Westeros. Might be a bit too cold for her. Perhaps best to leave her living across the water, away from Westeros. Starks deserve to me the last men and women standing. Just saying.
That's ten of my more pressing questions. I'm sure there's a quizzillion more, that will come to me later on. Seeing as the television viewer will know these answers before the book reader, I think it's time to just let it all out. Maybe just print bulletpoints of important events to come? I would buy it. Well probably not really. I would look at it with an evil eye and wish that such a thing didn't exist. Then I might just move into my bubble.
All in all there are many who may well claim they are bigger fans of A Song of Ice and Fire than I. I've loved these books for a long time now and just want to see a satisfying conclusion when it all ends. There is the small matter of fitting a series reread. As you have assured the readers there are many characters the show has killed off that are very much alive in the books and that gives me heart that there is still much for this book lover to look forward to. Keep writing and surprise us all!