Everything that's happened on the TV adaptation for the last season and a half has been cobbled together by the showrunners and their scriptwriters.
Granted, Martin is their chief consultant and guru on the show. We assume he is shaping the narrative to some degree as the show thunders toward its grand finale next week, giving his team the general idea of where the story is headed.
But how closely does it have to hew to the book Martin is actually writing?
Think about it: If Martin is like most writers with a publication date looming, he's still tinkering with plot details and narrative choices. He may think he knows where he's going, but still deciding the best way to get there.
|Martin's ouvre has taken on a life of its own.|
What's an author to do?
You know what they say about pleasing all of the people all of the time. So, for the sake of sanity, most authors try to write for the only audience that matters — themselves. (Or a least their inner editors.)
But with an audience as massive as Martin's now is, ready to scrutinize every semi-colon, he's got to be feeling the pressure. Meanwhile, the TV series gallops along at it's own breakneck pace.
But it could work to Martin's advantage. He now has a worldwide supply of beta-readers (okay, beta-watchers) eager to point their thumbs up or down over each new revelation that flickers across their screens. Social media explodes like dragon fire the minute after each new episode is aired.
|George R. R. Martin: who's writing this thing anyway?|
Not that he will necessarily adapt his novel-in-progress according to what plays on social media — nor should he. Anyone who cheerfully kills off his nominal hero at the end of the first book in a six-book series doesn't exactly fall into the crowd-pleaser category.
But with public outcry (not to say outrage) reaching fever pitch at each new plot twist revealed on the show, he now he faces the kind of integrity test that has so often challenged his characters over the last eight seasons.
Will he do the right thing, according to his own perverse instincts? Or will he strive — for once — to give the people what they demand?
Stay tuned . . .