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So, was WoT supposed to be a trilogy?


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I am just curious about this. Everyone who has read the series notices just how standalone-ish the first three books feel up to a point. I've read both that the original deal was for 6 books from the get go, but I've also heard that the book deal was actually only for 3 books and that Jordan would have ended it with the Dragon Reborn if the series wasn't popular enough to get more books.

 

What makes me ask is that I am currently reading the Dragon Reborn and for the first time it has really hit me just how ambiguous the references to future events are in tEotW and TGH. While right from the beginning TDR seems to be throwing out portents waaaay down the line whenever it can. Like, Rand cleansing Saidin and breaking the Aiel down the road, stuff. Just curious, anyone have any info on this?

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anyone have any info on this?

 

No official word but I do remember reading some where that it was only going to be three books.

 

What makes me ask is that I am currently reading the Dragon Reborn and for the first time it has really hit me just how ambiguous the references to future events are in tEotW and TGH. While right from the beginning TDR seems to be throwing out portents waaaay down the line whenever it can. Like, Rand cleansing Saidin and breaking the Aiel down the road, stuff.

 

While this is true to a point there was stuff inn the first books as well. For instance as early as EotW chapter 15 Min has viewings for the gang and we still haven’t seen the out come of some of them.

 

 

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I believe that the original-original plan -- like when he was writing Eye -- was for three books, but he *also* wasn't sure whether or not the second book would get published, so he wrote Eye so that it could be interpreted either way.

Same deal, I believe, with Dragon Reborn -- by the time he wrote that one, he was thinking it would take four to six books or so, but wrote TDR so that it could be the ending, in case Tor didn't continue to publish the series. Note that The Great Hunt was written before Eye actually got published, but TDR after.

 

Then TDR went New York Times bestseller and away we went.

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When RJ first pitched it to Tor, he thought it would probably only take 3 books, and was sure it wouldn't take many more. Tom Doherty thought the proposed book 1 (containing at least books 1&2, and I believe book 3 as well) was more than one book's worth, and so convinced RJ to sign a six book contract, on the understanding that if it was shorter than six books, he could write something else to fulfill the contract. Before RJ finished writing the first book, it was evident to him that it was too big for one book (it ended up three). The great successof the first book meant the series could continue, which it did, going from strength to strength, with book 8 onwards topping the bestseller lists. The big problem was that there was just more to write than RJ had anticipated. RJ has said that Osan'gar, Aran'gar and Cadsuane were all part of his plans when he started writing. That's all stuff that I've pieced together from various RJ interviews, and a few things from Tom Doherty, Harriet, and BS.

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  • 10 years later...

I distinctly remember buying book 1 at a used book store in the 90’s and it said something like “Book One of an exciting trilogy”. 

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I think before book 1 was brought to the publisher, it may have been a single book. Stop before the last two chapters and Rand uses the eye of the world to win the last battle with the dark one.

when RJ brought the manuscript in for a first read he was told to alter the ending. The last two chapters say the story isn’t over. At that point a trilogy may have been the goal, but once he started expanding the story, it kept unfolding and details and arcs and digressions... The sales were probably good enough that the publisher gave RJ too much latitude, so RJ never had to close the story in a finite number of pages, this allowed him to open up the universe in a way few stories have been allowed to do. #WorthIt

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  • 4 weeks later...

As for the ending, a competent writer does know how their story is going to begin/end roughly.  While there can be some pivots, you tend to stick to the structure.  When you know how things will end, you get wonderful things like WoT, Mistborn, and Breaking Bad (major pivots were made, but the overall arch remained.)  When you don't know how you will end it, you get Lost, The Dark Tower, The new trilogy...  ...Hell...  ...anything JJ Abrams touches, The Dragging Dead, X-Files, and the poster child of bad endings-- Game of Thrones.  Which is very interesting to me.  Has GRRM committed that cardinal sin of not having the ending to ASoIaF already constructed?  Or did he just want the TV show to move on its own, and reserve his book ending for the readers? Or is he feverishly looking for a new ending seeing how poorly the show's was received?  Sorry, I am responding to a decade-old post and digressing, but man-- bad endings to good stories are the worst.  You just wasted my time.

Edited by Adventures In Oosquai
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GRRM knows how the books will end and gave the showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (also known as DnD for short) notes on the ending. The problem is that DnD aren't good writers when they don't have much material to go on and more importantly they wanted to end the show at seven seasons (the show being 8 seasons seems to be a compromise between them and HBO). The show needed more seasons to be able to finish properly leading the show ending to be terribly rushed. The ending of the books will likely have the same basic ideas as the show (like who becomes king in the end) but it'll likely be better written and make more sense then the show.

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1 hour ago, Captainwilhelm96 said:

GRRM knows how the books will end and gave the showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (also known as DnD for short) notes on the ending. The problem is that DnD aren't good writers when they don't have much material to go on and more importantly they wanted to end the show at seven seasons (the show being 8 seasons seems to be a compromise between them and HBO). The show needed more seasons to be able to finish properly leading the show ending to be terribly rushed. The ending of the books will likely have the same basic ideas as the show (like who becomes king in the end) but it'll likely be better written and make more sense then the show.

I don’t have a lot of confidence that we will see an end to ASOIAF, Martin doesn’t have a great attitude towards the readers, has publicly stated that he doesn’t owe the readers anything. Its now 9 years since the last book and no sign of The Winds of Winter, let alone a Dream of Spring. He is no spring Chicken at 71.

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GRRM has recently been giving updates on his progress on Winds of Winter and the level of optimism in those seem to match those of his Dance with Dragons updates that were made about a year and a half before the book was released. So, there's some hope for at least WoW to be completed. If GRRM dies, hopefully someone else will finish the series.

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/7/2020 at 1:26 AM, Captainwilhelm96 said:

If GRRM dies, hopefully someone else will finish the series.

 

If I remember correctly, he ruled this option out.

 

Anyway, I will judge the ending of SoIaF only after I read it and as these books are not yet written, there is nothing to judge about. 

I personally regard the TV series (GoT) as different kind of work and thus believe that readers might find many similarities but also many differences between the endings of both stories. 

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From what I understand so did RJ in regards to WoT. It wasn't until he was almost on his deathbed that Harriet convinced him to let it be finished for the fans. So hopefully, at some point GRRM did or will change his mind and let the series be finished by somebody else.

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Martin has always been protective of his characters. They are real to him, in a way. He has stated he doesn't want another author to pick it up if he passes. That may end up being the case, or he might just not want to be talking about such things just yet. Regarding whether or not he owes his fans anything, I can be on board with that. I think his comments there need to be taken in context the abuse he got from some fans while Feast and Dance were being written.

Edited by Agitel
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Warning spoilers for a Song of Ice and Fire

 

I also have some difficulty seeing it finished in 2 books anyway, look at where the books are finished. Jon is still dead, Stannis and Catelyn Stark/Lady Stoneheart are still alive, Danny is no where near invading Westeros but her Nephew, Rhaegar’s son Aegon has. As well as what we saw in the TV Show.
There is still a long way to go yet. 

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