The Westeros world is abuzz with news that the UK book retailer, Waterstones, released three pages of George R.R. Martin's original Game of Thrones outline to the public at large.
Variety reported that the bookseller had permission to post the images that look as if they were captured on a cell phone camera. You can see the reflection on the glass casing of the framed letter which is said to hang in the London office of Martin's publisher, HarperCollins. The tweet has since been pulled but not before the fan site WinterIsComing got screen shots of all three pages.
Martin's outline is radically different in some ways from plot that has wound out in both the show and the books. Here are 5 of the biggest differences, which contain some minor spoilers...
1. Daenerys doesn't drink the Dothraki Kool-Aid and fall in love with Khal Drogo. She kills him in revenge for killing her brother.
2. Catelyn Stark doesn't die at the Red Wedding (or come back as she does in the books as the zombified Lady Stoneheart--which we all now know was cut from the show). She travels with Arya and Bran "North of the Wall" and is killed by Mance Rayder's crew.
3. Martin's outline featured a full-on, hyper evil Jaime Lannister who kills "everyone" in the Lannister family's way and blames it on Tyrion--which we know didn't happen because Jaime's been humanized by Brienne of Tarth (yay Brienne!).
4. Sansa is not spared a wedding with the awful Joffrey. She has to marry him and actually bear him a child!
5. Daenerys invades Westeros right after killing Khal Drogo. She doesn't turn into Gandhi and try to empower every enslaved culture she encounters.
We know this stuff isn't going to happen now. But Martin does outline things that might happen. There's a love triangle with Tyrion, Jon Snow and Arya. Martin sketches out a plot in which Jon is "helplessly in love" with the powerful, Needle-wielding warrior. Later on, Tyrion is smitten, too and the men become deadly enemies.
The letter says that "five central characters will make it through all three volumes." Tyrion, Daenerys, Arya, Bran and Jon get safe passage through the end of the series in this version. One part of the letter, though, is gospel in Game of Thrones land.
"Old characters will die and new ones will be introduced. Some of the fatalities will include sympathetic characters. I want the reader to feel that no one is ever completely safe, not even the characters who seem to be the heroes. The suspense always ratchets up a notch when you know that any of the characters can die at any time."
We've all seen the trailer now and know that we don't have a new volume of the book this year. We also know that the series sometimes veers away from the books. Will we see Tyrion encountering a newly empowered Arya on the road? Will he fall "helplessly in love" with her? Now that the character is growing up a love triangle with her non-brother-brother Jon Snow and Tyrion might make sense.
From the trailer, it seems that Games of Thrones next season will focus on Arya and Tyrion's travels so they might have a close encounter this season. Jaime is safely out of the influence of Brienne of Tarth so we might see more of his dark side coming out. But as we all know, George Martin's strength is the unexpected so taking this letter to be a "road map" to where GOT is going might just be as foolish as standing in front of the moon door and not expecting to get a big push.