“Thrones” Author On The Problem Of Fandom

Thrones Author On The Problem Of Fandom

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” came to an end a few months ago, the shorter eighth and final season often drawing vocally negative responses on social media – a far cry from its earlier heady first six seasons which scored universal raves for certain episodes.

While the show is over, the book series upon which it is based still has two novels to come and author George R.R. Martin says he’s not a reactionary who is scrambling to make changes to his original “A Song of Ice and Fire” novel series ending in the wake of the TV series reaction.

Speaking with EW, Martin says that despite outcries, he won’t be taking either good or bad reaction into account and offers a warning about those who make changes to their original game plans based on online reaction:

“The internet affects all this to a degree it was never affected before. Like Jon Snow’s parentage. There were early hints about [who Snow’s parents were] in the books, but only one reader in 100 put it together. And before the internet that was fine – for 99 readers out of 100 when Jon Snow’s parentage gets revealed it would be, ‘Oh, that’s a great twist!’

But in the age of the internet, even if only one person in 100 figures it out then that one person posts it online and the other 99 people read it and go, ‘Oh, that makes sense.’ Suddenly the twist you’re building towards is out there. And there is a temptation to then change it [in the upcoming books] – ‘Oh my god, it’s screwed up, I have to come up with something different.’

But that’s wrong. Because you’ve been planning for a certain ending and if you suddenly change direction just because somebody figured it out, or because they don’t like it, then it screws up the whole structure. So no, I don’t read the fan sites. I want to write the book I’ve always intended to write all along. And when it comes out they can like it or they can not like it.”

A great example of this could be seen with the first season of HBO’s “Westworld” in which discussions on Reddit and other fan boards about the show’s mysteries and spoilers led to many working out all the twists before the show’s season finale. As a result, there was a perceived overall reaction of disappointment.