A tough winter lies ahead for fans of Game of Thrones: Now that Season 7 has come to an end, they can't even count on next year for new adventures and will have to hold out until 2019 to see the show come back to the small screen. But this year and a half seems like almost nothing compared to the time that has passed since George R.R. Martin released his last Game of Thrones novel in 2011, A Dance With Dragons.
So how does one feed on tales of wars and dragons when both the father of the story and its adapters are on creative hiatus? While there are enough fan theories online to combine them into more books than have already been written, it can be hard work sorting the plausible from the nonsensical. Thankfully this is 2017, and while we may not have the flying cars we used to hope for, engineering can go a long way in making our wildest dreams come true.
This AI Wrote The Next Game Of Thrones
Zack Thoutt, a software engineer with a strong passion for Game of Thrones, had been watching the series while studying recurrent neural networks (RNN), a type of artificial intelligence that consists of algorithms learning from whatever input of data they're provided with. To make up for the painful wait until we find out what will happen next in the Seven Kingdoms, he decided to conduct a little experiment with the existing Game of Thrones books.
With the 5,376 pages of Martin's five novels, his AI produced the next chapter. Although it would certainly not measure up to Winds of Winter, the way the machine has picked up Martin's style and actually followed some of the most popular theories out there regarding the plot is beyond impressive. Even the sentences that don't fully make sense have a fascinatingly poetic aspect to them:
"The elder brother had known no sun and chunks of broken buildings and ash wailing towns; four hundred thousand ravens, his own torsos."
Speaking to Motherboard, Thoutt admitted that this auto-generated book did contain some characters that had passed long ago, but pointed out that we should be glad the AI can't outdo a critically acclaimed author:
"A perfect model would take everything that has happened in the books into account and not write about characters being alive when they died two books ago. The reality, though, is that the model isn't good enough to do that. If the model were that good authors might be in trouble."
If you're curious to read this new book — after all, there's a new character! — the first five chapters are available on Github. If you'd rather just dive back into the show until you know every frame by heart, do check out our recap of the finale's Easter Eggs below:
Are you more excited for George R. R. Martin's next book or HBO's Season 8 of Game of Thrones?