Dear George R.R. Martin,
After watching the series finale of "Game of Thrones" on HBO, I have a single request: please finish writing the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series sometime in the near future.
I started reading your books within this series four years ago when I was 15, which was before I knew much about the TV adaptation on HBO. I vividly remember going to my local bookstore to browse around and leaving with the first installment of your series — a series that would quickly consume my life.
Your writing style was (and still is) like nothing I've ever read before and while I was confused as hell trying to follow the complex character map you created within Westeros, I wanted nothing more than to continue reading. I was absolutely enthralled by the intricate details, the construction of such a fantastical yet realistic world, the intense emotional complexity of the story, and most importantly the depth at which you developed each character. It goes without saying that because of all of the previously mentioned things I finished all five published books within the series in less than a year and enthusiastically encouraged my fantasy-loving friends to do the same.
You can imagine my disappointment when I came to the realization that book six ("The Winds of Winter") was still under construction and had (at the time) been for the past four years. For a while, I held out hope, determined only to begin the HBO adaptation once I had read your vision in its entirety to avoid having it tainted or incorrectly interpreted on a television screen. But four years after finishing the books without having received any sign of the next, I begrudgingly sat down and finally began season one, episode one.
Three weeks after that (yes, I binge-watched the entire series) I sat anxiously awaiting the start of the highly anticipated final season with the rest of the general public. While the show was phenomenal in its depictions, I thought watching season eight was painful and rushed as the writers struggled to translate your vision and its complexities into a logical and digestible TV narrative. Therefore, I urge (even beg) you to finish the series in order to help calm the frustration mixed with disappointment and help answer the questions surrounding the rushed plot and character arcs within the adaptation.
Simply put, I can't help but wonder how your ending or even your approach would've differed from the lackluster finish I witnessed on HBO.
When will Tyrion meet Daenerys? Will her dragons promptly reach Westeros? What will become of characters like Margaery Tyrell, Stannis Baratheon, and Ramsey Bolton who all met their demise early in the show but are still alive in the latest novel? Will Bran eventually become the powerful Three-Eyed Raven we've come to know or will his mystical powers be kept more minimal? Will he have a greater purpose?
While I anxiously await answers to these questions, I think the biggest reason I implore you to complete the series because as an audience, we need the details, the multiple perspectives, the depth, and the emotion that your writing brings to the story. We need to understand why the narrative culminated the way it did from the man who originally crafted it. I am missing the connection that would've allowed me a glimpse inside Daenerys' head and ultimately a glimpse into her descent into madness. The details that you provide may be able to help me understand why she suddenly chose to scorch the innocent in King's Landing after she spent years protecting the innocent elsewhere. Moreover, finishing the books would give the audience a more concrete construction of the narrative and how the events build and even point toward a specific conclusion.
Yet we've been left wondering about certain characters and their arcs. Why does Bran go from being the Three-Eyed Raven and not wanting anything anymore to suddenly accepting rule over Six Kingdoms? Why did Daenerys descend so quickly into anger and madness? How is Sansa so comfortable settling for Queen in the North when she had the poise and the power to rule all Seven Kingdoms?
These are details that the TV adaptation rushed through in order to fit everything into the six-episode season. But, they are also the details that you have the opportunity to address, to build upon, and ultimately unravel within the pages of your future books. Please, take advantage of that. If not for me or for an audience, then for yourself so that your vision can be preserved in the form of pages and ink for future readers to enjoy.
As a fan who has been consumed by this series for years, I ask you one question: Is Winter really coming in the near future or is it time for me to pack my "coat" of hope away and move on?
A Reader Who is Still Holding onto a Sliver of Hope (and the entire world of Westeros)