George RR Martin on the temptation to change his plans for The Winds of Winter


Well, there’s only one logical answer to this question. Bran as king wasn’t part of the ending, at least not like that. He could have been king in the North, or lord of WF.

They built up a king for seven seasons and then decided the last moment that someone else has a “better story”, and indeed one that wasn’t prepared to become king or hasn’t been involved in governing ever, apart from a couple of scenes back in season 1 and his contribution to LF’s trial in season 7. Bran is not Bran anymore, he’s not a person, he’s something else.

That’s what they did. They did what they did with the building of the entire GOT. They knew Dany had the better story, made her a hero, and then scolded the audience via Tyrion’s idiotic and ooc speeches in season 8 for “not paying attention” and then, again via Tyrion, they reminded us that Bran “has the better story”. They “danied” us on the head, lol, only Bran’s “danying” is undeserving.

This decision was certainly political. They calculated the fans’ preferences (Dany, Tyrion, Bran) at the expense of another fan favorite, Jon, and the outcry for making the murderer of a woman king, because “sexism”, in a show that was outrageously sexist from the very beginning. This is the channel and D&D’s decision.

Of course they are addressing the TV audience, and particularly those that are not book readers (no offence meant here; I totally respect people who don’t like to read). Because the rest of us probably acknowledge by now that when the books shall be (hopefully) completed Daenerys is going down as the best female villain ever written in literature. Women can be villains, and when they are it’s totally legit to have the destiny of a villain. That’s not sexism; it can be a good narrative depending on the author and the build-up of the story.

In this context they accomodated Sansa as queen in the North, stripping her of all the female delicacy that she has in the books, because in the modern world women with power are not allowed to have partners and families around them (which is not true, btw, it’s just a twisted misconception–almost each and every woman in a position of power is happily married, take Merkel or May), and sent Jon back at the Wall to the point where he started, as if he hasn’t progressed at all as a character, as if he’s punished for who he is, forever condemned to remain a bastard.

That’s not the ending Martin is planning. Jon may or may not become king of the 7Ks, but before his ending his parentage will have brought everything upside down in Westeros. Otherwise why build it up like that? Why invent Quentyn and f!Aegon in ADWD just to hide the true heir a little more? The show told us that Jon ever existing didn’t matter. I don’t think that’s what Martin intends to tell us.

In fact, in the show, Jon could well have been Ned’s bastard, nothing would have changed the narrative. In this context his returning to the Wall would have made sense, because bastards are considered treacherous to their own kind, blah, blah, blah, and Daenerys’ murder would have deserved the punishment framed in an in-universe moral even if questionable by modern standards frame.

Anyway, personally I don’t have questions anymore. The show’s s8 narrative was a nice story awkwardly told. It wasn’t a brave story, the ending of ep6 was incompatible with the narrative, totally conventional in its supposed unpredictability, as if they chickened out the last moment and its incohesiveness is at the expense of the entire season 8 and frankly, all of GOT.

They could have done better, even without changing the beats. It was unsatisfying and unfulfilling and left much of the audience with a bitter taste in the mouth. For many it felt like betrayal of their years long emotional investment. They could have told the same story better.

Let’s see how they do in the Emmys. No doubt they’ll get loads of them, but I have reservations for the protagonists, the story doesn’t support them taking Emmys. Other stories this year are much, much better and complete and fulfilling. (I’d desperately like KH, LH, and AA taking the award home, but…)


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