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So, George R.R. Martin All-But-Confirmed a Big Ol’ Spoiler-y Fan Theory

Super duper, high and mighty mega spoilers are about to be discussed at length, all ye Game of Thrones fans. So, if you’ve a penchant for attempting to avoid such tomfoolery, please do us all a favor and turn away now. We say this out of love, because we like you and want you to be happy. Oh and also we’re scared of you when you’re angry. OK, good? Ready? Let’s go.

So! George R.R. Martin has confirmed that some fans on the Internet (you know, that thing you’re on right now?) have guessed the ending of — or at least part of the conclusion — of his epic fantasy novel series, A Song of Ice and Fire. Martin, while speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, opened up about the world wide web’s impressive ability to piece together clues the author took great care to litter throughout the available texts thus far.

Turns out? Some of you really are as smart as you feel. So here’s to smug satisfaction, eh?

The whole thing has not been an easy pill for the author to swallow, though. In fact it’s given him a lot of pause when it comes to tackling the story moving forward. (Snap, crackle, pop: could this mean that “snobby book readers” — Maisie Williams’ words, not ours — could be part of the reason why the books have taken so long to be completed? The plot thickens, eh?)

“I’ve wrestled with [the issue of fan speculation online], because I do want to surprise my readers,” the author admitted to the Edinburgh audience. I hate predictable fiction as a reader, I don’t want to write predictable fiction. I want to surprise and delight my reader and take them in directions they didn’t see coming.”

Honestly, it was very nearly inevitable that something like this would happen. After all, the man does take years between novels (to his credit, they’re super freakin’ huge, though), and his fans are of an obsessive nature (an understatement), taking pleasure in scrutinizing the details for their own amusement and knowledge base. “At least one or two readers had put together the extremely subtle and obscure clues that I’d planted in the books and came to the right solution.”

As for what that theory could be? Many fans believe it may be in reference to a big, spoiler-y fan theory — stop reading now if you want to avoid it, we’re serious! — about the parentage of a certain know-nothing bastard.

Though Martin did not specify if that were the spoiler in question, it does feel likely. But who knows, maybe it’s this one instead:

“So what do I do then? Do I change it?” the author pondered. “I wrestled with that issue, and I came to the conclusion that changing it would be a disaster, because the clues were there. You can’t do that, so I’m just going to go ahead. Some of my readers who don’t read the boards, which thankfully there are hundreds of thousands of them, will still be surprised and other readers will say: ‘see, I said that four years ago, I’m smarter than you guys.'”

So what do you think of the revelation? Does that make you more or less excited for the series’ conclusion? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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34 comments

  • If the theory is true, then Jon already is the merging of Fire and Ice, as his mother was Lyanna of House Stark (Ice) and his father was Rhaegar of House Targaryen (Fire).  He doesn’t need to marry Daenerys for that merge to happen

  • Jerry, I agree. I think Jon will marry Danaerys thus bringing Fire and Ice together and restoring balance to the world. There is an old Scottish tradition that where Fire and Water come together there is the greatest possibility for magic (see my book “Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore” for more on that) and in Scandinavian cultures they say that the world was made from Fire and Ice.

  • One being the villain and the other the hero is far too simplistic for GRRM. I’m betting on one last wedding at the end, Jon Snow to Danaerys Targarean… who cares if they are closely related right? Thus the treaty is kept (or reinforced) by the union of fire and ice.

  • I don’t give a rat’s. Have been reading the books since the beginning. I love the books, and I love the TV series. I’ve also read a few of the theories.  However it ends, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a brilliant story, beautifully written, beautifully acted and produced.  I’m really looking forward to the next book and series. :)

  • The ending is this: You are not reading a book of heroic fantasy. You’re reading a hard science fiction book, about a colony world in which electricity doesn’t work and with it, most of the technology. Thousands of years ago, people came from the stars in their moon-sized spaceship and released the only form of advanced technology that can work on such a world: dragons. That technology gave them and edge enough to build an empire, despite being newcomers. Those people were ancient Valyrians. And, because our only points of view in the whole story are from the people who live hundreds of thousands of years after the fact, we call that sufficiently advanced technology that can work on that technology-free world MAGIC!
    Thing is, that is not the first time GRRM did that. Look for Windhaven, the book he wrote with Lisa Tuttle.

    You heard it here first, people! And I heard it here :D http://www.sffchronicles.com/threads/547468/

  • Even if many readers are able to piece together the basic gist of the ending, I’m sure it will be a long and twisting road to get there. We’re all still in store for many surprises regardless of knowing the general outcome. I mean, why put the clues in in the first place if not in the hopes that at least a handful of attentive readers will pick up on them.

  • Thank you, GRRM, for choosing to stick with your original story plan despite fans figuring some of it out. Even though I think I’ve figured out some things, I’m sure there will still be plenty that is a surprise, and if there is even one thing I can say, “I was right!” about, that will make me like your books more, not less! Unpredictability is overrated (and is not the same thing as good writing).

  • I don’t think it’s rocket science to conclude that two (or more) major factions, led by two (or more) major characters, featuring three (or more) dragons, will convene at the Final Battle in the North — The War For The Dawn — there are at least two or three prophetic dreams detailing said protagonists fighting armies of ice (and each other), killing their blood relatives, etc. 

    In my perfect ending, said characters’ armies initially clash, then come to some “uh, the Good side isn’t as Good as we thought, and the Evil side isn’t completely Evil” revelation, and a possibility surfaces where Fire/Ice/Summer/Winter/Seasons/Dragons/Magic might all come into a new balance.  Jon Stark-Targaryen’s story is the Song of Ice and Fire.

  • Here are some spoilerish ideas: Bran will be a dragon rider (so to speak) by warging into one of them. He will remain a dragon forever and will be the Warden of the North that watches for the return of the Others as well as acting as permanent protector of House Stark. Also, Sandor Clegane is alive and well at the monastery where Brienne saw Stranger.

  • See, I find this approach of writers to be absolutely insulting and frustrating. J K Rowling did this as well and ruined the Harry Potter series by completely changing her last 2 books and what what she had planned out as happening originally because she didn’t want readers speculating about the ending. It’s unfair.

    If you have written a solid story that people are enjoying, carry on to your ending. If they guess what it’s going to be, whatever, who cares. Just because a fiction might be predictive, doesn’t make it bad. The journey is just as enjoyable as the destination and I HATE it when an author deliberately and mindfully messes up a logical and satisfying ending just to “surprise readers”. 

    I wish writers would stay off the internet and not read their fans theories about what’s happening. Just write the story, create it, and let it go into the world. Don’t analyze how the world is reacting as you go and change what you’re ending is going to be.

  • I think Jon Snow fits in with the “three-headed dragon” prophecy, in which Jon won’t have to defeat Dany, but serve by her side along with Aegon VI.
    I think the idea that Jon represents a balance between the Targaryens’ fire and the White Walkers’ ice is still a pretty interesting theory, but  I don’t necessarily think it’ll mean Jon comes to a head with Dany. 
    Maybe he’ll be there to rectify and strengthen a peace treaty with the White Walkers. 

  • I don’t think villains are as stereotypical or obvious in this series. So I don’t think Daenerys will be a villian but like Eric said that it will be a balance. There could be conflict between D and Jon but as the theory states a treaty could reemerge with Jon being on the white walker side.

  • I don’t think speculation (whether right or wrong) will ruin the ending. The writing keeps me reading. For me, it doesn’t matter if I know what is going to happen as long as the author has a talent for written word. I will read the same book 15 times if the writing is good.

  • I’m not surprised at all. I’ve joined some other authors’ official forums for stories I thought *I* was obsessed about…and the sheer amount of piecing together some of these fans do….is incredible and borderline insane. People will read the books over and over again and take actual notes, create timelines, and scrutinize every detail.

    It’s interesting to watch them develop theories, but imo it becomes too obsessive and it kind of takes the fun out of the stories if you want to be the one to predict everything before it happens. Go write your own damned book, lol.

    I do like that GRRM has decided not to change anything, and he does have thousands, if not millions of fans who will definitely still be surprised, and will re-read the books to catch all the clues.

  • I feel like this is sort of inevitable.  When you have such a large fanbase that loves to speculate online about where the books are going, the way GRRM’s does, inevitably someone’s going to get it right.

    • I see what you mean by your first comment, but I didn’t read it that way–I didn’t read it as condescending towards his fans.  And I can see whay he’d be a little frustrated, if he has a plan & now the execution of said plan is compromised.

      That said, your second comment is more apt–it is odd that he’d plant clues without expecting fans to dig ‘em out.  GoT fans, of all people!  And as many others have noted, here included, if he’d just finish the damn books already, this “problem” goes away.

  • People who get all uppity over reading the books and figuring the stuff out can all eat a big one. Yes, I’ve read the books too and come to the same conclusions as you guys have. I’m also terribly excited for the next books in the series because for me, it would be fun to find out I was right. However, rubbing it in the faces of show watchers and other people is below the quality of people who should be reading these books. Be decent human beings and just enjoy the fiction as the epic story that it is and don’t be a smug ass.

    • The books pretty clearly state that Valyrian steel is forged by dragon fire (hence why nobody can make it anymore) making it “dragon steel”. Obsidian is igneous rock formed when lava is cooled rapidly. Since magma is molten rock and we know that dragon fire can melt stone (Harrenhal) it would stand to reason that dragon glass is a byproduct of dragon fire rather than something intentional in the case of dragon steel.