Fans are still reeling from the ending of the HBO adaptation. Unfortunately, their reaction is as much about the widespread unhappiness with the way the show dramatically fell from such unparalleled heights, as it is about some of the shocking endings to major character storylines. Everyone knows that some aspects of the TV finale were taken from George RR Martin himself. But the author also just revealed that very much will be different in the final two books. And one Stark will absolutely have a completely different arc.
Martin said of what was shown on the show: “People know an ending – but not THE ending… (The TV show) passed me, which I hadn’t expected.
“Nevertheless, I will continue to do what I have been doing for the past years: I still try to finish the next book, The Winds of Winter and then the following novel, A Dream Of Spring. These are the things I am concentrating on. After that, we will see.”
In the Season 4 episode Oathkeeper, the TV show totally veered away from Martin’s vision for one of the central foundations of the entire saga, which changed everything for one unexpected character.
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This scene famously showed the Night King and his senior generals turning Craster’s last baby son into a white walker.
From then on these characters became major focal points of the storyline. There is nothing like this in the books.
On a smaller level it certainly seems impossible we will see any of the Others riding on one of Dany’s dragons.
But one a major level, the oversimplification of the enemy also gave one popular character a truly spectacular hero moment that cannot possibly be repeated in the books.
In the books, there is no Night King. Nor is there any sign there will be a Night King.
It seems very unlikely Martin will use the rather simplistic device that killing a single figure will cause an entire army to disintegrate into shards of ice, however pretty it looked on screen.
This means the slightly random choice of Arya to actually be the one to defeat the greatest evil is redundant. No doubt, she will have her own heroic moments, but being the person to single-handedly save the word is unlikely.
As for the ancient evil of the white walkers or Others in the books, a far more ancient prophecy may come into play, instead.
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Fans will hope there is far more of the mythology and prophecies from the books and histories that come to fruition in the final novels of A Song of Ice and Fire.
For a start, in the books, the white walkers are described as rather terrifying, but also strangely beautiful.
According to George R. R. Martin, himself, the Others are: “Strange, beautiful… think, oh… the Sidhe made of ice, something like that… a different sort of life… inhuman, elegant, dangerous.”
The Sidhe were the original Celtic notion of fairies, or what has commonly become also associated with elves.
Excitingly, this all brings the notion of Azor Ahai ‘The Prince Who Was Promised’ back into play. But who is it?
Fans will still be hoping Jon Snow’s secret Targaryen heritage actually has a point. Or Daenerys might actually do something heroic before dying. Or be sacrificed by Jon to forge Lightbringer, as many fans believe.
There is also still the mysterious ‘other’ Targaryen, purportedly the elder son on Rhaegar and ‘first’ Aegon, introduced in the books but dropped from the show. Dany’s vision shows Rhaegar calling his son the ‘The Prince Who Was Promised’.
As for Arya, fans will also be hoping Arya actually carries on with her famous list and kills Cersei, among others…
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