Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Quote of the Day

I haven't read that many interviews with George R. R. Martin since becoming a freak for his Song of Ice and Fire series last year, so perhaps everything he says in this radio chat with John Hodgman he has said before, a thousand times even, but it was all fresh to me so I say check it out if you care to. If you care! They talk about death (he did not appreciate Tolkien bringing Gandalf back to life, thank you very much) and publishing (the topic of The Great Gatsby 2 is broached) but what I found most interesting was his relationship to the online communities that analyze his every period placement.

"In one sense it's great; it's exhilarating to know that you have so many readers and so many people are anxious of the next book, and so many people are saying nice things about the book. There are dangers there as well. Way back in the 90s, the late 1990s I think was when the first website devoted to the series started. It was a website called Dragonstone, started by a guy in Australia. When I first discovered that, look it's a fan site. All these fans are discussing my books and they're analyzing them. It was very exciting. Oh, look, they're actually paying attention. You're working hard on these books and you're putting in little things, foreshadowings or symbolisms or things that have double meanings. You're trying to hide things and these people are analyzing it and they're finding the things, and that's all great.

But it wasn't very long after that site started and I was reading it and enjoying it that I began to say, I probably really shouldn't be reading this stuff. For one thing, they're generating so many theories, that some of those theories are bound to be right. What do I do if I'm setting up a mystery that I'm going to solve in book six, and people have already guessed this mystery as of book two and they're discussing - - do I change it? Do I say, oh my god, they've already guessed it, they're four books ahead of me, I better change what I'm planning. I think it's a mistake to do that, because that's what you've planned. All the clues and the foreshadowing and the super structure that you build is in place for that reveal, you can't change it just because someone's got it. So I sort of distance myself from the sites."

So what you're telling me, George, is that that time I decided way back in the first book that Jon Snow was destined to be with Jaime Lannister all hot-and-heavy like, that's still going to happen then? Good.

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