We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

George RR Martin’s original plan for Game of Thrones sounds wild

George RR Martin once shared his plans for Game of Thrones and they're a bit odd with Tyrion, Arya, and Jon Snow all having very different adventures

George RR Martin's original plan for Game of Thrones sounds wild

When the fantasy series Game of Thrones came to an end, fans weren’t happy. Accusations abounded that the TV series had been rushed, that characters were mistreated, and the general sense of displeasure was palpable.

Inevitably then, fans turned to George RR Martin’s books for solace in the hopes of finding the true ending. There’s just one problem. Martin is writing his books on a schedule that some glaciers would consider slow, and he hasn’t finished them yet. So you’re sort of stuck with the HBO version.

Or, if you wanted to, you could read Martin’s initial plan for the series, including its ending. Yes, you see, when George RR Martin originally wrote to his publisher pitching his fantasy books back in 1993, he included an outline for the series, which included a pretty detailed breakdown of where he thought the series would go. We won’t lie. It’s pretty weird, considering where the show ended up going.

First of all, Martin thought he’d manage to tell this story in just three books, and it starts out broadly the same. Ned goes to King’s Landing after the death of Jon Arryn, uncovers Cersei’s and Jamie’s incest, and is killed, kick-starting a war between the Lannisters and Starks. Here are the major changes that were supposed to happen:

George RR Martin's original plan for Game of Thrones sounds wild

Joffrey fights Robb

In the original plan, Joffrey was less of a coward and actually went to war rather than sitting on the Iron Throne. He’d end up fighting Robb and get maimed for his troubles before fleeing back to King’s Landing.

As for Robb, he ended up dying not at the Red Wedding but during the war when he ran into Tyrion and Jamie Lannister, who go on to burn down Winterfell.

George RR Martin's original plan for Game of Thrones sounds wild

Jamie becomes the big villain

Tyrion was eventually going to get sick of Joffrey’s bullshit and poison the king. Rather than Tommen taking over, though, Jamie was going to be revealed as the true villain and murder everyone in front of him in the line of succession.

Tyrion would be so disgusted by this that he’d end up switching his allegiance to the Starks.

George RR Martin's original plan for Game of Thrones sounds wild

Everyone love Arya

Here’s where things start to get a little odd. It would eventually be revealed that Arya and Jon Snow (her half-brother)had fallen in love, and apparently, they’d be “tormented” by the fact they could never be together.

Jon wasn’t the only character who was supposed to fall for Arya either. Tyrion, of all people, would supposedly have fallen for her and become a major rival of Jon’s.

George RR Martin's original plan for Game of Thrones sounds wild

Across the Narrow Sea

In Martin’s original plan, Daenerys was supposed to invade a lot earlier but not before she escaped Khal Drogo. Yes, in this version, the great Khal’s not some honourable horse warrior; he’s just a slave-trading bastard who Dany kills before discovering a dragon.

YouTube Thumbnail

Sansa loves Joffrey

In this version of the story, Sansa would have truly loved Joffrey and turned against her family. She’d even have given Joffrey a son, although we imagine evil Jamie would have murdered him to get the throne.

For all the changes, though, the broad strokes are sort of there. Poor Ned and Catelyn always end up dead, Bran loses the ability to walk but gets magic powers to make up for it, and there’s even a brief mention of the Others (The White Walkers) coming from the North.

If you love Westeros, then check out our guide to the House of the Dragon season 2 release date, or we have individual breakdowns for the House of the Dragon charactersSer Criston Cole, King Viserys Targaryen, and the scheming Larys Strong.