There's still a long wait until the end of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire saga, although you will finally be able to continue the journey with season 5 of HBO's Game of Thrones in April.
However, if that's not enough to sate your Game of Thrones lust, UK book retailer Waterstones has just posted up George R. R. Martin's original A Song of Ice and Fire book pitch from 1993. The entire pitch was recently broken down on Twitter (and has subsequently been removed), but below are some of the key elements.
But before we continue beware of potential spoilers! Although much of these elements have not made it into the books, we can't be sure they will not in the future of the series. So you have been warned!
Ned and Catelyn Were Always Due To Die
In the original A Song of Ice and Fire pitch - which was to be a trilogy - Ned's death goes down pretty much as in the original books and TV show. He finds out the truth about Jon Arryn's death, and after King Robert is killed, he is accused of treason and sentenced to death by Joffrey.
However, in the original pitch, Ned manages to help Catelyn and Arya escape King's Landing and both return to Winterfell. Catelyn's death would also be different.
Sansa Was Actually Going to Marry Joffrey
Furthermore, it seems in the original pitch Sansa was actually going to marry Joffrey and become his queen, eventually giving birth to an heir. Martin explains Sansa “will choose her husband and child over her parents and siblings, a choice she will later bitterly rue.” Of course, in the final version she is instead forced to marry Tyrion and Joffrey is killed at his own wedding.
Joffrey Would Have Met Robb Stark in Battle
In the original books, Joffrey and Robb are of a much closer age, and it seems that in the original draft they would have met each other in battle. Robb defeats Joffrey and ends up maiming him, however Robb himself is eventually killed by Jaime and Tyrion, the latter of which besieges and razes Winterfell.
Jon Snow and Arya Were To Fall in Love
One of the odder elements in Martin's original pitch is that Arya was to fall in love with her half-brother, Jon Snow, who would be tormented by his feelings - at least "until the secret of Jon’s true parentage is finally revealed in the last book.” It's worth mentioning, that in the original books, Jon Snow is also much younger than he appears in the TV series.
Another interesting twist is that Jon was also to turn away Catelyn, Arya and Bran when they arrived at the Wall following the destruction of Winterfell. They would be forced further North, beyond the Wall, resulting in their capture by Mance Rayder. They would also encounter the enigmatic Others, with Martin writing, "Bran’s magic, Arya’s Needle and the savagery of their Direwolves will help them survive but their mother Catelyn will die at the hands of the Others."
Tyrion Would Also Fall in Love With Arya
In another strange twist, Martin's original pitch includes Jaime removing Joffrey from the throne (due to disgust at his nephew's vicious actions) and taking it for himself. To do so, he kills everyone with a claim, blaming their murders on Tyrion.
Betrayed, Tyrion changes allegiance and sides with the Starks, eventually falling for Arya. This brings him into conflict with Jon Snow, although Arya never returns his affections.
Daenerys Would Kill Drogo and Invade Westeros Much Sooner
Although Daenerys would eventually fall for her arranged marriage husband in the books and TV show, in the original pitch Daenerys always holds a hatred for Drogo, especially after he kills her brother.
After killing Drogo in vengeance, she escapes to the wilderness where she finds the dragon eggs. She then uses them to invade the Seven Kingdoms, which she was originally going to do in the second volume of what would have been a trilogy.
The Five Main Characters Were Intended to Survive All Three Books
Martin's pitch also laid out that the trilogy would follow the perspectives of Daenerys, Arya, Jon, Bran and Tyrion throughout the story. The books that were published did often prioritise these characters, but they also featured chapters from many other perspectives. In the original letter, Martin explained the story would follow their development, showing them “growing from children to adults and changing themselves and the world in the process. In a sense, my trilogy is almost a generational saga, telling the life stories of these five characters." This implies they were to survive until the end, although this certainly may not be the case for the final television and book series.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 12. You can check out the recently released trailer below:
What do you think of George R.R. Martin's original pitch? If you do comment please do NOT post book spoilers! That really sucks.