We are now heading into the tail end of HBO's Game of Thrones, which has graced our screens with its blood since 2011. There are said to only be two final seasons, and even these could be reduced in length (cue beheading emoji)! Whilst the show has distanced itself from George R.R. Martin's books, the books we have today aren't even how Martin originally intended his A Song of Ice and Fire saga to play out. Last February the Harper Collins Twitter page posted an early proposal letter dated 1993 from Martin to the publishers. Whilst the tweet was quickly deleted, its contents is still floating around reddit, tumblr and deep-web pages. Think of this as Ramsay's letter to Jon Snow, but with less/more rape (depending how you look at it). For those hoping that the contents of this letter will reveal how the show ends, tough luck, some sneaky Snow has blacked out the all-important last paragraph. Nevertheless, spoilers to follow, so let's take a look at how it could've happened!
What is dead may never die
Martin's plan was for a 'high fantasy' trilogy', meaning the houses of Stark and Lannister would have bowed out after just three books! The letter singles out five characters who would survive all three novels: Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion, Arya and Bran. As all of them are (currently) alive and kicking, we should expect them to be around for at least a little longer, but never say never:
I want the reader to feel that no-one is ever completely safe.
Admittedly an abridged saga would have lost A LOT of characters and plots, but on the upside, we wouldn't be currently waiting for The Winds of Winter to be published.
Don't lose your Ned
Much of the proposal treads familiar territory- the first novel was all out Lannister/Stark bitchfest. Ned still discovers that Jon Arryn was murdered and STILL has his head on the chopping block, but this time helps Catelyn and Arya escape King's Landing before his arrest. Not so pleasant is the other Stark girl, Sansa, who marries Joffrey, spawns a child and then picks Lannisters over Starks! Whilst an up the duff Sansa is a twist, the misery that the Stark family faces is nothing new here, Martin's letter states:
Things will get a lot worse for the poor Starks before they get better, I'm afraid. Lord Eddard Stark and his wife Catelyn Tully are both doomed, and will perish at the hands of their enemies.
Robb-ing the South
With daddy dead, Robb Stark continues to gather his banners and leads the North against the South; he maims Joffrey in battle, but comes afoul of Lannister forces, dying on the battlefield. As long as his wolf's head is still sewn onto his body, we are happy for a more noble death for Robb. However, here's a kicker for you to replace that OMG Red Wedding moment:
and Tyrion Lannister will besiege and burn Winterfell.
That sneaky little imp; but with Winterfell burned, where will Ramsay Snow go?!
Snowdown at the Wall
Jon Snow (still being called a bastard - sorry) is living the cold life at Castle Black, succeeding his uncle Benjen as Commander of the Night's Watch. After Winterfell is turned into matchsticks, Catelyn, Arya and Bran flee to meet with Jon. Mr. Snow denounces his family in favour of his vows, which causes Bran to feel great hatred towards his half-brother, but for some sick reason makes Arya realise she has fallen in love with Jon - MORE INCEST?!?
Their passion will continue to torment Jon and Arya throughout the trilogy, until secrets of Jon's true parentage is finally revealed in the last book.
So, does that really mean R + L = J ?
A Mance with Dragons
Abandoned by everyone they know, the Stark trio head beyond the Wall and straight into the hands of Mance Rayder as the King-Beyond-The-Wall. Martin says that they get a glimpse of the 'inhumans' as the White Walkers attack a Wildling village - presumably similar to Season 5's amazing "Hardhome" episode. Bran uses his magic, Arya uses needle and they all use their direwolves to battle the White Walkers, but just as you always expected...it is R.I.P. Catelyn Stark. Personally I always preferred watching her miss the bouquet at the Red Wedding.
Mother has arrived
The second book, aptly named A Dance with Dragons (the title of the fifth book), would concentrate on Daenerys and her Dothraki horde. Once again Viserys Targaryen gets a golden crown, but this time Dany sides with her snivelling brother. Realising that her husband, Khal Drogo, has no interest in heading for Westeros, Daenerys kills Drogo to avenge her brother, then flees into the wilderness with a 'trusted friend.' Surely that trusted friend would be Lord Friendzone/Mormont? Hunted by the Dothraki, she just happens to stumble on some dragon eggs and bends the horde to her will. We guess at some point she would head to King's Landing, but she hasn't done it in the show yet either, so there is no rush!
The Winds of the Willows
Tyrion would continue to do what he does best and play the game, whilst Jaime travels around murdering anyone with a claim to the throne. Jaime blames Tyrion for his crimes and forces his brother into exile. Seeing the error of the Lannister ways, Tyrion changes sides and joins the Starks to take down Jaime. There would have been some kind of awkward love triangle when Tyrion also professes his love for Arya, and probably some sort of trial by combat between him and Jon Snow over her heart. Martin's letter also states that The Winds of Winter would actually come to the light of day, as the third and final book, and would see Westeros finally fight against the threat of the White Walkers . Given the way that the TV show is playing out, we imagine this plot to play a BIG part in the final two seasons anyway. We would give the Iron Throne itself to find out what that last paragraph said, but we will never know. Martin couldn't have put it better himself...
But that's the second book.
There is a notable lack of Cersei within the original story, with what appears to be Sansa becoming the Cersei-esque Lannister matriarch, but hey, at least Joffrey still dies! Whilst seven books may seem like overkill, there is no denying that the A Song of Ice and Fire books pack a hell of a lot into their many, many, many pages. It is hard to imagine all of Martin's world being crammed into just three novels! It will have been 26 years this October since Martin wrote the letter, so we wonder if the world of Westeros is panning out how he had originally wanted?