Quick Analysis of the Ur-Text

So, as some of you may have been aware, a three-page letter in which George R.R Martin pitches his idea for the original trilogy that was to be ASOIAF has been found. Now, grain of salt – lots of things shift between conception and execution – but let’s take a gander:

(WARNING – KIND OF SPOILERY, BUT NOT REALLY BECAUSE NOT MUCH IS STILL CANON)

GOT1

A couple things to note:

– TWOW supposed to focus on the Others.

– any theory that the Others are something other than omnicidal is now conclusively Jossed.

– what the hell is a neverborn? Are we going to see zombie stillbirths crawling around?

– note the emphasis on revenge.

GOT2

– Tyrion, Dany, Jon, Bran, Arya are the big five characters.

– originally Eddard saved Catelyn and Arya! That would have made a big difference in ultimate futility assessments.

– Robb was supposed to maim Joffrey and die in battle?! Tyrion was supposed to burn Winterfell? Wow, talk about a radically different path.

– Catelyn, Bran, and Arya were going to try to find refuge with the Night’s Watch? Arya was supposed to fall in love with Jon? Glad they didn’t go with that route.

– Benjen not dead at least in this outline.

GOT3

– Catelyn was supposed to die in a white walker attack on Mance Rayder’s camp?!

– Dany was supposed to murder Drogo for killing Viserys?!

– Tyrion was supposed to kill Joffrey? King Jaime? Tyrion in love with Arya?!

 

Well then. I think we can see that it’s a good thing GRRM is a gardener rather than an architect, because the story we got is very different, and a lot more unconventional, than the one he originally sketched out.

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94 thoughts on “Quick Analysis of the Ur-Text

  1. Winnie says:

    It *has* changed quite a bit, (and thank goodness!) but I would note that one pretty major change is with Sansa’s character.

    She doesn’t marry Joffrey or bear his child and while some argue that she “lost her wolf” and betrayed the Starks, she’s hardly estranged herself permanently from them in the books like she would have in Martin’s original outline.

    Also if Martin was originally planning to have *Arya* fall in love with Jon Snow only to have that passion be redeemed when the truth of Jon’s parentage is revealed, then maybe he’s now decided to transfer that role to *Sansa* who is after all more likely to be re-united with Jon sometime in the future than Arya (who’s pretty business with the whole master assassin business anyway.) Not to mention that while Arya has never even registered on Tyrion’s radar, it’s no secret the dwarf has developed a certain attraction for his wife despite having never consummated the marriage. So again that might be a sign that Sansa’s taking on that role, ESPECIALY since again the fact of the marriage, (however much of a sham it may be and even with the non-consummation loophole,) certainly complicates any plans for Sansa to marry in the future unless of course Tyrion’s dead.

    But that could all be bunk. In any event I’m glad we didn’t get King Jaime, and it’s nice to be given confirmation the Others are indeed the Big Threat.

    Plus, it certainly looks like Martin never originally planned on Dany/Jon. I’m not saying he might not go there eventually but it wasn’t part of the original concept and frankly I’m relieved. I’ve never fancied that ship at ALL.

    • Definitely shows how the 5-year gap really changed things.

      • Winnie says:

        Well Martin now admits that without the gap he wishes he’d made the kids older in the first place-in that sense having them deliberately aged up more on the show to start with, (and seeing them visibly age in front of us,) has definitely been helpful.

        It’s certainly easier to imagine Sansa as eligible for marriage or a possible femme fatale, now that Sophie Turner is 18 than it was when she first appeared! BTW, in recent pics and shoots, I have to say she looks *stunning*. Which is admittedly arguably irrelevant….unless you share my theory that she’s the YMBQ

        • ad says:

          Hey, if Cersei were to be scarred badly enough, Shireen could be the YMBQ. All prophecies should be fulfilled unexpectedly, after all…

          • Winnie says:

            Personally, I would LOVE it if Shireen were cured of her greyscale and so one day either married Rickon or perhaps even Jon, thus finally uniting the Stark/Baratheon bloodlines and in the latter case healing the BaratheonTargaryen rift as well.

            Unfortunately, I have grave doubts about Shireen’s future survival prospects and frankly the show has me even more worried.

        • name says:

          he’s also said he initially intended to have people age “in book” and the 5 year gap was supporsed to help get back to that

    • ad says:

      I doubt that Sansa would have been permanently estranged from her family, even in the original vision. She would have had to put loyalty to her son and husband first whilst they lived, but things would have changed by book three.

      • Bail o' Lies says:

        It seemed originally Jamie became king by killing everyone in front of him in the line of succession that included Sansa’s son, and probably Sansa herself.

    • Jon/Sansa as a romantic or married couple is one of the most ridiculous and least substantiated crackpots out there, right there with “Mance is Rhaegar” and “the Others have sexual relations with sheep” (I don’t know if I can use the F word on WordPress).

    • starkaddict says:

      what is with the Jon Sansa pairing. That is one couple I could never abide. And I don’t get it to be frank. Jon has a type. Ygritte, Val, even Mel and Arya in some ways. All bold and brash. Just because he beheaded Janos Slynt does not mean Jon Sansa will make a good couple. Not to mention Arya might not consider incest as much a taboo as Sansa

      • It’s bizarre and out of nowhere. Absolutely nothing in the books supports the idea of them having those kinds of feelings for each other, which is unlikely to begin with.

        When I read posts where people claim there are “hints” and it’s been “foreshadowed”, I was really puzzled. Now I’m starting to see where it comes from: a lot of people still seem to like the trope of women being prizes that men “win” through their heroic deeds. So, since Sansa wished for “some hero” to cut off Janos Slynt’s head, that means that Jon has performed the required heroic deed (although not really, since it was no more heroic than anyone in authority using that authority to behead someone for disobedience), even though it had nothing to with Sansa, this means Jon should now be awarded the princess’ hand, just like in fairy tales and old-fashioned fantasy, right? (The crackpot requires us to think of Janos as a scary monster that Jon bravely slew while rescuing the fair maiden.)

        Really, if people are using the logic of “Sansa should marry the closest thing to her fairy tale knight/hero”, then it would make more sense to conclude she’ll marry Brienne. 😉

        • starkaddict says:

          well, what is GRRM’s stance on gay marriage?

          GRRM keeps on throwing wrenches in the whole fairy tale thing and we keep on trying to mould the books into our limited views all the same. Jon the hero should get the girl. Irrelevant is the fact that neither the prince nor the maiden fair ever showed any desire as such.

        • rachelrtw says:

          I’m impressed that anyone managed to reach that far to find a theory/foreshadowing, but I suppose it does make a certain kind of sense. Any sense is does have, though, is for me completely overshadowed by the fact that Sansa ignored and disliked Jon throughout their entire childhood haha. I think his status as bastard challenges her notions of fairy tale worlds and perfect marriages, and she doesn’t like that. I wouldn’t want him to end up with Arya either, but at least they were actually fond of each other.

      • I find the bigger problem to be the conflating of familial love with romantic love. The Westermarck Effect is real – Jon, Sansa, and Arya grew up together, so regardless of whether they’re half-siblings or cousins, I don’t think they breach the taboo. They’re not Lannisters, for the gods sake.

        • That’s what I’ve tried to tell the Starkcest shippers on Westeros.org many times. But Starkcest is only getting more popular, and that was even before this letter was posted, revealing that GRRM was ignorant about Westermarck effect at least in 1993, which lots of people are now using as proof that Starkcest will happen, one way or another.

        • Winnie says:

          No but to play, Devil’s Advocate Jon *is* half-Targaryen!

          Assuming you’re right though, (and you often are,) who do you think Jon’s Queen will be? Dany and he didn’t grow up together but still it *would* be marrying his Aunt!

          • I’m not sure why you think Jon will definitely have a Queen? Or be a King?

          • starkaddict says:

            cousincest(?) is not that big a taboo, even in real world. So Jon with his half sister would be considered a big no-no. But Jon with his Aunt as such is all right, for a certain definition. Even though Arya/Sansa and Jon are cousins, neither of the parties are aware. And perception plays a big role – Westermarck Effect(Thanks Steve).

            And this is even before bringing the whole Targcest angle.

          • I don’t think Jon accepts the crown.

          • Winnie says:

            Ok Steve if you don’t think Jon gets the crown in the end then who is your pick for it?

            I’m not saying you’re wrong about Jon since you’re often right but I AM curious as to who you think is gonna hold the throne.

            And your interpretation for the YMCA.

          • Tom says:

            I dunno about Steve, but I hope there is no one on the throne at the end, or if there is it’s more a constitutional monarchy. I know that fast forwards political development by a few centuries but catastrophic disasters tend to be catalysts for dramatic social restructuring.

          • Winnie says:

            Well I must say this whole series works as a powerful argument against the idea that hereditary monarchy offers any kind of “stability” for a society-or that old style nobility and aristocrats ever practiced much in the way of ‘noblesse oblige.’

            Seriously, Braavos seems SO much more functional.

    • rachelrtw says:

      I’d say the age difference between Sansa and Arya is significant here, in terms of the Jon/Arya storyline perhaps being transferred to Jon/Sansa. Even though it’s not a big age difference, and even though we’ve seen that GRRM has no problem portraying child brides (marrying Dany off so young etc), the differences between Sansa and Arya (or even Dany and Arya) make their ages seem much further apart. Sansa has always been a lady, tall and wanting to be a grown up, whereas Arya has always been a scruffy little tomboy. Sansa was more sexualised, with her beauty constantly discussed, her conversations with Cersei and her interest in marriage etc, so it would be much easier to accept her in a relationship with anyone than it would be to see Arya with Jon, who was always this little scruffy kid throughout Jon’s childhood and adolescence.

  2. Sean C. says:

    Wow, Jon/Arya shippers (wherever you are) should feel at least a twinge of vindication, even if I highly doubt this version of events has survived in anything like the current form.

  3. bryndenbfish says:

    I love the part about Dany finding the eggs after Drogo’s death instead of Illyrio giving them to her. In the AGOT manuscript read by reddit user _honeybird, Illyrio does not present the eggs to Daenerys. Which leads me to my hypothesis:

    Remember Dany’s 1st chapter in ACOK where she encounters the ruined cities in the Red Waste — the scenes that everyone seems to dislike? I wonder if GRRM originally intended Dany to find the dragon eggs inside one of these Vaes locations after the death of Drogo. Perhaps Dany’s 1st chapter from ACOK contains remnants of earlier, older work that GRRM wrote that had Dany discovering the eggs in one of the dead cities. It would have a creepy, dark vibe to it and would fit GRRM’s motif of shrouding the re-discovery/re-birth of dragons in ominous terms.

    This would be similar to how Tyrion’s Shrouded Lord chapter became the dream sequence where the Shrouded Lord became Tywin in ADWD, Tyrion VI.

  4. Rachel says:

    /must have more info on neverborns/ Might they be some origin of the babies that Craster was giving to the others

  5. Brett says:

    “Neverborn” sounds demonic to me, like evil spirits or created ice monsters (ice golems?). Some of that might still be there if we ever see the “Ice Spiders” from AFFC.

    • Space Oddity says:

      I think that might be a name for the Others, proper.

      • Grant says:

        I do recall seeing well before this a mention somewhere that Martin was originally going to call the Others the Neverborn. I’d say he definitely made the right choice there. Others might be simple, but it does get the point across. Neverborn sounds like someone tried to cross Neil Gaiman with Kingdom Hearts and failed at both.

      • Salvation122 says:

        My gut instinct is that it’s the proper name for Mel’s shadowbabies.

  6. Winnie says:

    Also it’s almost jarring there’s no mention of such figures as Tywin and Cersei. Where would the series be without Tywin’s horrible fathering and Cersei as the Queen We All Love to Hate?!?

    Not to mention a regrettable lack of Stannis the Mannis!

    • Yep. Very much a work in progress at this point.

    • Bail o' Lies says:

      It seems like the major Lannisters were Jamie and Tyrion in the first outline. In this thing Joffrey actually fought in battle against Robb. Instead of being the sniveling coward we know.

      My guess is that Tywin was invented to remove any noble or respectable traits the original Joffrey had so we can completely and utterly despise him.

      Cersei probably came from GRRM needing to make the queen a Lannister to explain why the Lannisters are backing Joff, and to explain how do you get something like Joff.

      And both then went from there to the characters we know.

    • Mr Fixit says:

      Seems there are no Baratheons in this version, which would make Lannisters the royal family. That’s why there’s no Cersei – Joff’s mother isn’t a Lannister. That would also make Jaime and Tyrion paternal rather than maternal uncles. That’s also the only thing that explains Jaime’s apparent position in the line of succession.

  7. I think the biggest difference beyond character arcs is how in the ur-text the 3 Main Storylines™ are largely balanced. Each book of the proposed trilogy was to focus largely on one story arc (but it sounds like not exclusively on just one). The shithammer hitting Westeros would have ramped up with each book (“Aw crap, civil war!” “Aw crap, foreign invasion!” “Aw crap, army of the undead!”). And even the titles would have given a clear picture of what the reader and characters were in store for.

    Instead, ‘The Game of Thrones’ part of the story has sprawled to cover the majority of series, filling up the bulk of the first three books and still occupying the lion’s share of the 4th & 5th volume. Additionally my impression is that through the course of Feast-Dance, the 3 Main Storylines™ have begun to intersect much more organically than how it feels in this letter. As evidence, I would point out that the characters who do the most to create these connections in Feast-Dance (Stannis & Co., the Martells, the Ironborn, Varys & Illyrio) are not mentioned in the ur-text (the exception to my example would be Tyrion).

    I definitely think that this change is for the better since I think that the ‘Thrones’ part of the story has been what has set it apart from most fantasy, while ‘Dragons’ and ‘Winter’ being heavier could have led it into much more familiar territory. [Plus the added politics helped lead to the creation of a blog I quite enjoy, so there’s bonuses all around.]

    • Winnie says:

      Oh, I agree the politics are what elevated the series to true greatness, (and inspired this site!) but sometimes I do worry that too many readers, (just like the citizens of Westeros,) are so caught up in the Game that they miss the importance of the greater existential forces that are coming.

      In fact, I wonder if Martin isn’t having trouble in part because its so hard for him to deal with the WW or dragons when there’s so many political games see played out.

      • artihcus022 says:

        I think the main issue is reconciling the Political with the Magical Threat. I am pretty sure that is the main reason why the books got larger and larger, since the politics are woven with magics – the Wildlings/Night’s Watch versus the White Walkers is one part of that. I think Braavos is the key It’s between Valyria and Hardhome and played a role in destroying both.

    • It’s more balanced, but it’s also a lot more conventionally fantasy.

      So I’m glad about that.

      And I agree, I think the main storylines are beginning to move back together – GRRM’s talked about this a bit, that the story structure starts in one place and then opens up and is now narrowing back.

      • Mr Fixit says:

        According to what we already of Martin’s early (and not so early) plans, we’re maybe at the half point of the narrative – middle of the original second book (Dance). If Martin’s story continues at the same trajectory, we’ll have… 10 books in the series! Yay!

        Eh. I don’t believe it’ll get to that point, but I do think that seven is unfeasible. Eight or nine books, what do you think? I lean toward eight for the time being.

    • medrawt says:

      Yeah, this more or less confirms some things that I suspected (and which were largely confirmed anyway) about Martin’s large-scale plan and the way the balance has tipped; the first book ate the series, and both GRRM and the bulk of his readers went all in on one aspect of the series’ appeal … which poses some real challenges now in terms of how to get back to what was supposed to happen, in the final book especially, because the climax the outline suggests the series will be building to has been largely shunted off to a corner and a great many fans are pretty vocal about finding all the Bran/Others stuff boring. Can GRRM make the pivot without devoting an equally monstrous amount of text to building up all this material to have equal weight with the stuff he’s actually been lavishing attention on for the last 20 years? What’s the cumulative effect of the series going to be, with potentially a very different balancing of elements than the original outline?

      Of course, for me, I’m neither especially interested in generic “high epic fantasy” per se nor especially taken with the ways in which ASOIAF is a “cliché-breaker”, so a lot of the special value the series-as-it-is has for some readers isn’t meaningful to me.

      • You raise some solid concerns. My opinion however is that Feast-Dance represents an impressive number of points where the politics and existential magical crises have been solidly interwoven.

        As I mentioned above, the inclusion and incorporation of the Martells, Greyjoys and the Stannis Inquisition has created several linkages to connect ‘The Game’ with the coming ‘Dance’ and the ‘Winds’. But I think it’s worth noting that in Book 1, all of these characters are way, way in the background. One Greyjoy is a secondary character, Stannis is mentioned a few times, and the Martells are referenced once or twice (I don’t even think any living Martell is named in AGOT). So while the Game has sprawled, I think it has [a bit counter-intuitively] allowed GRRM to create a more cohesive grand epic where everything is one large web. As opposed to telling the Game story, then layering on the Dance, then finally the Winds.

        Or, to put it more anecdotally: I’ve been able to get a solid number of friends to read the series over the last couple years. Everyone loves Books 1-3. However I can easily divide the ASOIAF fans in my life into two catagories. 1) “Gawd, Feast-Dance is so weird/boring! Who are these characters? Where are the battles? It seemed like nothing happens. Get to the dragons vs ice zombies already!” Versus, 2) “Wow, Feast-Dance is wild. The level of plot complexity just ramps up without getting impossible to follow. The moral ambiguities of the previous books have gotten even greyer. Characters I once hated, I now love or at least pity. I’m enthralled by descriptions of the Hobbesian nightmare that the Riverlands have become and I could read a hundred pages of monologues from Septon Meribald. Are the pieces coming together? Maybe! But I’m still loving the ride.”

        Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, but I think that had ASOIAF more closely resembled the ur-text, my first group of friends would have largely thought it was an exciting read. Whereas the second group would have found it forgettable.

        Or to put it another way. Even if the ur-text had become a huge hit that would have broken away from the SciFi/Fantasy shelf at the bookstore, does this first draft sound like the type of fictional world that would support a WOIAF-style companion text? Martin may have some trouble sticking the landing, but I’m very happy that he decided to let his muse be adventurous.

  8. artihcus022 says:

    One thing that’s interesting is how Cersei is not present in the story here. It’s like “King Jaime” is both Jaime and Cersei, that is the power-hungry one who screws over Little Brother and attacks anyone in her path. Tyrion’s role in the books has become much broader, and I think he entered Dany’s story a little later, since otherwise the link between Essos and Westeros is missing in the outline whereas that link and joining of Westeros and Essos is the theme of ADWD. The Landing of the Golden Company takes the place of the planned Dothraki Invasion.

    And of course Jon’s parentage and the theory whereof is pretty much confirmed.

  9. Lann says:

    So the RW was not part of the original plan?

    • Winnie says:

      Apparently not. Personally I was always disappointed that we never got to see Robb vs. Tywin on the battlefield…but then again victories in *battle* aren’t really how Tywin got his reputation are they?!?

    • If I had to guess, the RW came up in his research toward the end of the first book and was too good not to use.

      • Winnie says:

        Like its historical counterpart, “The Black Dinner.”

        fAegon obviously was inspired by Perkyn Warbeck, when Martin was researching the War of the Roses. Though, frankly I think including him was a mistake and the show was right to lose that subplot and focus on getting Dany to Westeros earlier.

        • Space Oddity says:

          Aegon seems like a bizarre mash-up of Perkyn and his archnemesis, Henry VII. Which leads me to suspect he’s either going to wind up dead, or ruling Westeros when all the dust is settled.

        • I don’t think he’s a mistake – GRRM’s clearly been setting up fAegon since ACOK, can’t wait to get to that chapter btw, so I’m looking forward to the payoff.

          The mistake is not bringing him in earlier so that people cared. If fAegon had come up in 2005 rather than 2011, he wouldn’t feel as much of a Johnny-come-lately.

        • rachelrtw says:

          Can we be sure the show has definitely decided to leave him out? I’ve only read the books once so I could be wrong, but doesn’t he appear after the current ending point of the TV series? Also, lots of things have happened in the wrong order/moved to different timelines (e.g. all of Bran’s story already being played out, Dany having nothing to do during series two) – have they actually confirmed he won’t be in it?

  10. artihcus022 says:

    Well I think it comes from the fact that the Stark vs Lannister was always a Red Herring, something obviously manufactured to resemble a clash between Good and Evil with Tywin being a Dark Lord character, and then in A Storm of Swords that conflict gets exploded completely.

  11. OTL says:

    After reading this it makes Stannis’ chances of ever sitting on the Iron Throne even smaller. I mean even Jon Aryn got a mention?

  12. Jaime'slefthand says:

    Spare a thought for the people on the Heresy threads over on Westeros.org. Man, have they been wasting their time.

    • Sorry, not familiar with that thread. Explain?

      • Jaime'slefthand says:

        Basically a group of people trying to find ways of spinning The Others as not being omnicidal ice demons. They’re currently on their 149th thread.

        • Oh right. They anger me greatly due to willfully bad textual analysis. The schadenfreude is strong in this one.

          • Space Oddity says:

            Sort of like the Dornish Master Plan, wherein it is assumed every Dornishman is of course part of a hive mind…

          • Winnie says:

            Plus its the final death knell for anyone who still doubted R+L=J. Yes they do exist out there just like flat-earthers and anti-vaxxers.

          • Oh, they really do. coughPrestonJacobscough

          • Space Oddity says:

            To my mind, the worst thing about it is he does offer one decent theory towards the start–that Oberyn’s original plan was to poison Tywin, than when the accusation got made, to insist on a trial by combat that would give him a shot at Gregor.

            And then the insanity begins…

        • Tom says:

          They may still be omnicidal ice demons, but I have too much faith in GRRM to think he won’t actually explore why/what they are. Because they’re also clearly intelligent, if alien.

          Considering how dramatically everything else in this outline changed I really don’t think it can be used to joss anything at all.

  13. Chris says:

    For everyone pointing out characters absent from the outline, he does refer to his large and diverse cast, which will change throughout the series. Since he already sent along 13 chapters, he probably just didn’t feel the need to talk about every character in the letter. I’m sure Cersei, Tywin, Stannis, etc were all still there.

    • Space Oddity says:

      Ehh, trust me, as man who writes by the ‘I have a general outline, and a few plot twists I will use–as for the rest, let’s see what happens’ method myself, characters DO pop out of nowhere on you. And frequently go places you never expected.

      For example, I wrote a comical old guy who was sleeping through a meeting in one scene, and enjoyed him enough to put him in a second with a little explanation of why he was so frequently tired. He’s now an aged degenerate roux with a heart of gold who’s busily saving the kingdom with his wits like a fox and his nerves of steel.

    • It’s pretty clear that the Lannister family in the ur-text was nothing like the Lannister family in the books. Tyrion seems more like a mix of Tyrion and Jaime, and Jaime like a mix of Cersei, Tywin and Maegor the Cruel, or like the imaginary version of Tyrion from the “Bloody Hand” play. Tywin and Cersei therefore either don’t exist, or are nothing like the characters from the books, just like ur Jaime is nothing like Jaime. Most likely, GRRM only came up with Cersei and the twincest later on, splitting ur Jaime into two characters.

      Littlefinger and Lysa certainly don’t seem to exist in this version (since there are no reasons for them to exist in this plot) and were probably created only when Catelyn’s arc was changed, and Sansa developed and made into a central character. Brienne definitely did not exist in this version. Other characters who probably don’t exist include Varys, Sandor, Stannis, Davos, Melisandre, Renly, the Tyrells, the Martells and the Greyjoys.

      • Space Oddity says:

        You know–reading it, it hit me that there is a proto-Stannis in this story. The not-so-handsome, not-so-charming but militarily skilled younger sibling who nobody appreciates.

        No wonder Tyrion and Stannis have split the Richard III role between them.

  14. artihcus022 says:

    First of all, how seriously we can take this outline as an example of original intentions? We are mistakenly calling this an UR-Text, but a Ur-Text would be early versions of the chapter with a different plot and that is not what this is. It’s just a general synopsis.

    What I mean is that, maybe GRRM published this rough plot with conventional structure and beats to the publisher to give them a sense of general direction to stick with the series, but not something he was all that serious about. I don’t think this outline survived much contact at all. It might be interesting to read it with the first drafts of the 13 completed chapters he had submitted to see the textual differences, that is if that ship ever comes to sail.

    I mean Theon is there from BRAN 1 AGoT(and GRRM said that scene of the direwolf pups is the first image he had of the books) which might presumably be included in the 13 pages given to the publisher and his background and personality is set up from the beginning. I suppose Tyrion and Jon’s quasi-camaraderie at the Wall might set up a rivalry that was supposed to go down later. So right from A Game of Thrones the story is already far away from the outline.

  15. Abbey Battle says:

    I have to admit that I’m more than a little intrigued by this little document, in great part due to the sheer degree of DIFFERENCE between the basic concept and the actual books … but also by the vexing question “Would it have KILLED Mr Martin to leave the —-ing Incest out?”

    On a more serious and less cantankerous note, I would be intrigued to see someone take this basic concept and that inimitable style Mr Martin has made his own to write out this story as Mr Martin never did – rather in the fashion that THE STAR WARS as created by Dark Horse took the working notes of Mr Lucas and turned them into a story in its own right.

    If nothing else this basic concept would be FAR easier to adapt than the actual books themselves …

  16. […] in Westeros until the War of Five Kings is over, and this makes me wonder how much of GRRM’s original plot structure remains intact. In the original trilogy, Dany doesn’t get to Westeros until Book 2, whereas […]

  17. […] a lot more standard fantasy than we’re often used to from GRRM, but as we can see from the Ur-Text, Bran’s story was always meant to be more of a quest narrative – albeit one that will […]

  18. […] What does this mean for the White Walkers? Well, let’s start with how GRRM describes them in his pitch memo: […]

  19. […] Here we see Bran in full greenseer-in-weirwood mode, albeit clearly a young one still in development. And this may well be the first significant magical act of his career, as he reaches out to open Jon’s third eye (as he may well be doing in Mercy), just as Bloodraven did for him. This awakening  is absolutely crucial for Jon’s future – after all, without it, Jon might not be able to transition into and out of Ghost following his assassination. This passage suggests that GRRM may have been planning for Jon Snow’s death and rebirth way back in A Clash of Kings, which is interesting since it’s not at all clear that was part of the plan in the Ur-Text. […]

  20. […] this doesn’t seem to have much of a payoff, so I wonder whether this is a leftover from the Ur-Text where Tyrion’s storyline was supposed to revolve around the Starks and […]

  21. […] last phrase suggests something of Sansa’s original character arc as described in the Ur-Text. Both there and here, Sansa’s reproductive system threatens to rob her of agency and […]

  22. […] power by right of conquest. (Maybe that’s why Tyrion was supposed to burn Winterfell in the Ur-Text?) On a military level, this probably also means that the Goldcloaks don’t break when Joffrey […]

  23. […] Bran exists as a character to go north of the Wall and always has, as we can see from the Ur-Text. If that makes for disappointment, I apologize. All I can say is, just you wait for A Storm of […]

  24. […] statement about what kind of book this was going to be. While his gardener ways had mooted his original plans for a trilogy, he knew that this book was going to be the big firework show that he’d been building up to […]

  25. […] against three or four that we’ll see in AFFC with Brienne) that GRRM is introducing in the first act so that he can be fired in the third. The fact that Garlan hasn’t ever fought […]

  26. […] impact it has on the story exactly, and B. I wonder whether this is an artifact left over from the Ur-Text when Tyrion was supposed to fall in love with Arya and yet burn Winterfell, and that’s where […]

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