If you were one of those people who worried that George R.R. Martin’s non-machine writing pace would result in furthering the bifurcation of narratives between GoT and A Song of Ice and Fire, and treated said potential division (and/or the TV show’s potential predating/spoiling of the books) as apocalyptic, continue preparing your bomb shelters. The author just announced that he’s including an important twist in his next book that absolutely cannot happen on the TV show, for on the TV show, that character no longer exists.
Martin was going to submit the next novel — The Winds of Winter — to his publisher at the end of last year, so the book could come out before the April 24 release of Game of Thrones‘ sixth season on HBO. That deadline was missed. Through all of this, he’d been contemplating one twist for a couple of years.
He told IGN, “I have decided to do it. Will you know it? I don’t know. It is fairly obvious because it is something that involves a couple of characters, one of which is dead on the show, and not dead in the books. So the show can’t do it, unfortunately, because they have killed someone I have not killed.”
It’s easy to do things that are shocking or unexpected, but they have to grow out of characters. They have to grow out of situations. Otherwise, it’s just being shocking for being shocking This is something that seems very organic and natural, and I could see how it would happen. And with the various three, four characters involved… it all makes sense.
For those so worried about spoilers that you feared even George RR Martin’s own vague statement about this character would spoil his twist, the author promised that “at this point there are like 15 characters who are dead on the show who are still alive on the books” — so have fun sorting through all of that.