"Canon" and which is the primary source

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  • I don't think the books are done. The outline might be done but definitely not the full blown books. Winds of Winter (2nd to last book) is pretty much done according to all the news being released about it. But it doesn't look like A Dream of Spring(final book) will be released at least for the next 5 years. From a business perspective it would make no sense to have Winds of Winter fully done and not release it alongside or before season 6 which by all accounts is what Winds of Winter is mostly about. They would definitely release the book if it was done. GRRM has said multiple times the plan was always to try and release before season 6 but it just didn't not happen. There's no reason for him to lie. If he didn't want to spoil the show he could have simply released it right after season 6 ended. But since it's still not out then it's clearly not done.

    People are not going to stop watching the show or reading the book either way. So it's makes sense to release then when they are ready. Especially since Winds of Winter book would have seen a huge increase of sales with the hype of season 6. Waiting til after season 6 is over actually would be a poor marketing move and would mean missing out on the hype.
  • If you wanted to talk conspiracy theory then my theory is GRRM is waiting to see the reaction to the end of the TV show. If the reaction is universally positive he can just match the ending and take credit. If the ending is universally despised he can change the ending and try to make something more appeasing.
  • i do legit worry a little bit about the fate of the last book.  if it's 5+ years after the conclusion of the tv series and the completion of the story in everybody's collective memories and it's not done yet, maybe not even close to done...  what's martin's motivation for buckling down and completing it?  he seems to have no compulsion to just finish things for the sake of finishing them so if the story's already been told once, well...  on the other hand, maybe it will be easier when the pressure is off, since the dedicated book readers will wait as long as they need to, presumably the faddishness and popularity of the i.p. will fade with time after the conclusion of the show.
  • I'm sure there's a huge financial motivation and most likely contractual obligations with him and his publisher.
  • oh, i'm sure...  but he already has financial incentives to finish the books and hasn't finished them.  also, he's already, i'm sure, fabulously wealthy and may prefer enjoying that fact to writing (though i don't know that one way or the other--and wouldn't blame him for that in any case).
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  • Personally I believe the owner of the IP controls the canon. Now this may be further complicated by the ownership of various SoIaF "channels" (I do not pretend to know all the particulars in the contract between GRRM and HBO). I think an interesting case study is the Wheel of Time series in which the author Robert Jordan passed away and Brandon Sanderson picked it up to finish the series with 3 books (total of 14 books). Now, I am not too deep in that series culture but my understanding is that the series was finished in a satisfying way and therefore there are "no issues" with considering the entire series as canon. Likely due to the fact Jordan left extensive notes for a successor to finish it - Sanderson wasn't stumbling around and making everything up.

    What I am getting at is that it makes the most sense for the creator of a fictional universe to control the canon and I believe when HBO originally got into this they thought they would be adapting the entire work but that is not quite the case as we know. The situation has evolved which in my mind has created two different universes (GRRM has discussed this and the unavoidable nature of the divergence of the two medias) and although GRRM has shared details subsequent to the last published book with the double Ds, there will be differences which could turn into relatively significant variances not due to adaptation decisions but simply because the show runners had to fill in the gaps. I will treat the books as a much richer and accurate version from the "universe's owner" and the show as its own take on the story. Not sure if this is at all insightful.

  • Zsa004 said:

     I will treat the books as a much richer and accurate version from the "universe's owner" and the show as its own take on the story.

    This seems like the easiest way to think about it. It's weird cause any divergences in the show will be much better remembered since it's such a larger audience, but the show is still an adaptation of Martin's story. It's weird to think of it as adapting books that don't exist, so technically maybe the new seasons are an adaptation of George's outlines?
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  • The books are ASOIAF canon, and the show is the show canon. There are characters who are dead in the show but still alive in the books and vice versa. The show may have spoiled some things like the deaths of Hodor, Stannis, and Shireen, but the books may arrive at those deaths differently. The show has changed many plotlines and eliminated or merged many characters such that the books and the show are treated as two separate entities. 

    For example, the North storyline is already way past the book, and I don't doubt that the endpoints are the same (Jon as KitN with Sansa, LF, and the KotV in the mix) but how they got there is so different (Book!Ramsay married someone else; LF did not send Sansa to rape camp) that TWOW will not be a novelization of that. I don't know if that answers the OP. I don't care about being spoiled because I don't read the books to be surprised, I read them for a richer experience. But the show offers its own pleasures as well.
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