Oh god oh god oh god. George RR Martin‘s 1993 pitch for Game of Thrones points to the death of a beloved character, and I’m honestly not sure I can handle it.
Basically: when HarperCollins moved offices in 2015, they tweeted (and then deleted) pictures of Martin’s original pitch for the first novel in the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire‘ series, which outlined some of the plots we’ve already witnessed – and some which never came to pass.
A Redditor who goes by the username TheNextRobin grabbed screenshots of the tweet before it was deleted, and since then there’s been wild speculation about what the pitch means for the future of the series, and in particular what the words in the redacted section of the pitch say.
The pitch included some wild storylines that never came to pass: Daenerys killing her husband Khal Drogo in revenge for Viserys‘ death, Sansa having Joffrey‘s child and choosing the Lannisters over the Starks (a decision she later bitterly regrets), Jaime succeeding Joffrey on the throne and blaming Tyrion for his son’s death, Arya and Jon falling in love and being bitterly tormented by the fact that they’re half-siblings (at least until Jon’s true parentage is revealed), Tyrion also falling in love with Arya (leading to a great rivalry between Tyrion and Jon), and Catelyn, Ayra and Brann feeling North of the Wall after the destruction of Winterfell and being captured by Mance Rayder.
It’s like looking into one of those fun-house mirrors, where everything kind of feels the same but is horrifyingly different.
But, as Mashable‘s Adam Rosenberg points out, Martin’s pitch pointed to five key characters driving the story, even while main characters die.
“As you know, I don’t outline my novels. I find that if I know exactly where a book is going, I lose all interest in writing it. I do, however, have some strong notions as to the overall structure of the story I’m telling, and the eventual fate of many of the principle characters in the drama.
“The cast will not always remain the same. Old characters will die, and new ones will be introduced. Some of the fatalities will include sympathetic viewpoint 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 character can die at any time.
“Five central characters will make it through all three volumes, however, growing from children to adults and changing the world and themselves in the process. In a sense, my trilogy is almost a generational saga, telling the life stories of these five characters, three men and two women. The five key players are Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, and three of the children of Winterfell, Arya, Bran, and the bastard Jon Snow.“
WHERE, GEORGE, IS SANSA?
Sansa has been something of a controversial character at times, but in my opinion if you don’t like Sansa then you’re wrong and I hate you. She wasn’t the badass character Arya was, but she was forced into situations no one should be forced to deal with and survived. Her dream of being a princess surrounded by pretty things was squashed the minute Joffrey cut off her dad’s head. AND THEN SHE MOTHERFUCKEN’ TOOK BACK WINTERFELL.
It doesn’t mean that Sansa is going to die, of course. It’s obvious Martin changed his mind about pretty much everything in his original pitch, so maybe – hopefully – he changed his mind about Sansa being a main story driver. The thing about Martin’s imagination is that it’s bigger than even he has time for, which is why we have tens of thousands of words dedicated to nothing more than backstory. What ASOIAF ended up being was far, far bigger than his original pitch.
But if he murders Sansa then I’m going to slit his fucking throat.
If you want to read the original plots outlined by Martin, Variety has a great wrap.
WARNING: This next part is about to discuss the leaked Game of Thrones episode, ‘Beyond the Wall‘. Please stop reading if you haven’t seen it, I promise that what I’m going to say isn’t so good that it’s worth spoiling yourself over.
Alright. ‘Beyond the Wall’. Let’s do this. Ignoring everything that actually happened beyond the wall…. just what in the living FUCK were they doing with Arya and Sansa? Like, let’s make Arya, who is basically a bloodhound but for smelling bullshit, threaten to cut Sansa’s face off because she found a letter she knows Sansa wrote under duress.
Two episodes ago, Sansa and Arya are bonding over the awful paths they’ve walked to return to Winterfell, and suddenly Arya – who was warned, by Sansa, that Littlefinger is not to be trusted – is letting herself be tricked by Littlefinger and turning on her own sister for the crimes of, what, wanting to be a princess when she was little?? COME ON.
Arya has never properly dealt with the death of her dad, but if she can forgive Sansa in Season 1 for lying about Joffrey and Nymeria (“I don’t hate her, not really,” she later tells Ned), surely she can forgive her sister for being unable to save their dad after they’d both already admitted they wished Sansa had killed Joffrey.
Game of Thrones have perfectly navigated the awkwardness of Sansa basically succeeding her family home to her half-brother; don’t insult us by turning Arya into a caricature.
…..Why did I start writing this? Oh yeah – the leaked episode definitely points to Sansa either dying at the hands of Arya, or marrying Littlefinger to regain control of Winterfell, and I’m not sure which fate is worse. Ugh.