When a famous storyline is adapted into another medium, creatives are always forced with the challenge of how closely to honor the source material and its many important reveals. In the case of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels, its adaptation, Game of Thrones, concluded earlier this year, depicting a story that the author has yet to reveal in his novels. Fans have wondered how, if at all, the paths that the TV series explored would influence Martin's novels, with the author confirming that he is primarily writing to entertain himself as opposed to crafting narratives to satisfy readers.
"No, it doesn't. It doesn't change anything at all," Martin revealed to The Observer about the series changing his novels' trajectory. "You can't please everybody, so you've got to please yourself."
The last novel to be released in the series, A Dance with Dragons, was published in 2011, the same year that the HBO series premiered. The author has promised two more books and, given the passionate following of both the books and the TV series, one might think it would motivate Martin to finish his books. Unexpectedly, it was exactly those pressures that have prevented him from moving forward more quickly.
"I don't think [the TV series] was very good for me," the author admitted. "The very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. Every day I sat down to write and even if I had a good day … I'd feel terrible because I'd be thinking: 'My God, I have to finish the book. I've only written four pages when I should have written 40.'"
Reactions from fans of both the books and the TV series to the Game of Thrones finale on HBO have been divisive, though Martin says most of the interactions he has had with fans have been positive. He did note, however, that the story's popularity has made public appearances far less appealing.
"I don't want to go to a party where an unending succession of people want to take selfies with me," Martin admitted. "Because that's not fun the way it was in the old days. That's work."
He added, "I can't go into a bookstore any more, and that used to be my favorite thing to do in the world. To go in and wander from stack to stack, take down some books, read a little, leave with a big stack of things I'd never heard of when I came in. Now when I go to a bookstore, I get recognized within 10 minutes and there's a crowd around me. So you gain a lot but you also lose things."
Stay tuned for details on Martin's upcoming novels. A Game of Thrones prequel series is currently filming.
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