George R. R. Martin, creator of worlds and professional grumpy pants, took to his Livejournal June 10 to try and plead for some sanity regarding the fan reactions over the last couple Game of Thrones episodes that aired this season on HBO.
In his huffiest tone, Martin tries to explain that he only can control his books and to please stop trying to get him to change things in the show.
Meanwhile, other wars are breaking out on other fronts, centered around the last few episodes of GAME OF THRONES. It is not my intention to get involved in those, nor to allow them to take over my blog and website, so please stop emailing me about them, or posting off-topic comments here on my Not A Blog. Wage those battles on Westeros, or Tower of the Hand, or Boiled Leather, or Winter Is Coming, or Watchers on the Walls. Anyplace that isn't here, actually.
Yes, I know that THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER named me "the third most powerful writer in Hollywood" last December. You would be surprised at how little that means. I cannot control what anyone else says or does, or make them stop saying or doing it, be it on the fannish or professional fronts. What I can control is what happens in my books, so I am going to return to that chapter I've been writing on THE WINDS OF WINTER now, thank you very much.
If you're not caught up on the show, we won't spoil anything for you, but let's just say that some serious sh*t has gone down which was not included in Martin's writings. People got mad about it.
With the season 5 finale airing on June 14, we can only guess whether the send off will mollify or further infuriate the fan base. Either way, you should probably leave Martin alone. If only to give him time to finish theses damn books already.
Entertainment Weekly spoke to Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin about why all the women in his books and the television show seem to suffer so much violence. It certainly has led to raised tempers over this season's treatment of Sansa Stark.
His comments below probably won't soothe any sore feelings...
The books reflect a patriarchal society based on the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages were not a time of sexual egalitarianism. It was very classist, dividing people into three classes. And they had strong ideas about the roles of women. One of the charges against Joan of Arc that got her burned at the stake was that she wore men's clothing—that was not a small thing. There were, of course, some strong and competent women. It still doesn't change the nature of the society. And if you look at the books, my heroes and viewpoint characters are all misfits. They're outliers. They don't fit the roles society has for them. They're 'cripples, bastards, and broken things'—a dwarf, a fat guy who can't fight, a bastard, and women who don't fit comfortably into the roles society has for them (though there are also those who do—like Sansa and Catelyn).
"Now there are people who will say to that, 'Well, he's not writing history, he's writing fantasy—he put in dragons, he should have made an egalitarian society.' Just because you put in dragons doesn't mean you can put in anything you want. If pigs could fly, then that's your book. But that doesn't mean you also want people walking on their hands instead of their feet. If you're going to do [a fantasy element], it's best to only do one of them, or a few. I wanted my books to be strongly grounded in history and to show what medieval society was like, and I was also reacting to a lot of fantasy fiction. Most stories depict what I call the 'Disneyland Middle Ages'—there are princes and princesses and knights in shining armor, but they didn't want to show what those societies meant and how they functioned...
I'm writing about war, which what almost all epic fantasy is about. But if you're going to write about war, and you just want to include all the cool battles and heroes killing a lot of orcs and things like that and you don't portray [sexual violence], then there's something fundamentally dishonest about that. **, unfortunately, is still a part of war today. It's not a strong testament to the human race, but I don't think we should pretend it doesn't exist.
In an interview with EW, George RR Martin reveals his one regret with regards to A Song of Ice and Fire: not writing Winds of Winter sooner. After having just finished A Dance With Dragons in 2011, Martin says he was writng Winds of Winter, and writing quickly, but he ran out of steam:
I was red hot on the book and I put it aside for six months. I was so into it. I was pushing so hard that I was writing very well. I should have just gone on from there, because I was so into it and it was moving so fast then. But I didn’t because I had to switch gears into the editing phase and then the book tour. The iron does cool off, for me especially.
DON'T SAY THINGS LIKE THAT, GEORGE. You'll only fuel my waiting-rage!
Martin is now concerned with getting the book out before season 6 of the show begins, though he hopes to be finished by the end of this year and has canceled convention appearances to give himself the time to do so. He also teased that he's come up with an entirely new plot twist that he'd never considered before that would have a major effect on a character:
I’m still weighing whether to go that direction or not. It’s a great twist. It’s easy to do things that are shocking or unexpected, but they have to grow out of characters. They have to grow out of situations. Otherwise, it’s just being shocking for being shocking. But this is something that seems very organic and natural, and I could see how it would happen. And with the various three, four characters involved… it all makes sense. But it’s nothing I’ve ever thought of before. And it’s nothing they can do in the show, because the show has already—on this particular character—made a couple decisions that will preclude it, where in my case I have not made those decisions.
I've read all the books, and to be honest, I have no idea who he could be talking about, but consider me terrified.