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George RR Martin defends Game of Thrones shock rape scene

The author insists that prose and TV have 'different strengths and weaknesses'

By Jess Denham

Published 19/05/2015

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin
Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin

George RR Martin has defended Game of Thrones showrunners for departing from his books in Sunday night’s shocking TV episode.

Sansa Stark’s brutal wedding night rape at the hands of Ramsay Bolton outraged many viewers, particularly fans of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels on which the HBO series is based.

Martin’s original story had a girl posing as Arya Stark marry Ramsay and be subjected to a sexual assault, rather than main character Sansa.

But as far as the author is concerned, D.B Weiss and Dan Benioff have full creative license to do what as they please with his material.

“I am getting a flood of emails and off-topic comments on this blog about [Sunday night’s] episode of Game of Thrones. It is not unanticipated,” Martin wrote in a post titled ‘The Show, the Books’.

“The comments, regardless of tone, have been deleted. I have been saying since season one that this is not the place to debate or discuss the TV series. Please respect that.”

Martin, 66, went on to reiterate what he has said previously about the differences between the show and the books.

“How many children did Scarlett O’Hara have? Three, in the novel. One, in the movie. None, in real life. She was a fictional character, she never existed. The show is the show, the books are the books – two different tellings of the same story,” he continued.

“Small changes lead to larger chances lead to huge changes. HBO is more than forty hours into the impossible and demanding task of adapting my lengthy (extremely) and complex (exceedingly) novels, with their layers of plots and subplots, their twists and contradictions and unreliable narrators, viewpoint shifts and ambiguities and a cast of characters in the hundreds.”

Martin paid tribute to how faithful Game of Thrones has been to his books compared to other TV adaptations, telling irate fans to “talk to the Harry Dresden fans or readers of the Sookie Stackhouse novels or the fans of the original Walking Dead comic books”.

“Prose and television have different strengths, different weaknesses, different requirements,” he said. “More and more, they differ. Two roads diverging in the dark of the woods, I suppose, but all of us are still intending that at the end we will arrive at the same place.

“In the meantime, we hope that the readers and viewers both enjoy the journey. Or journeys, as the case may be. Sometimes butterflies grow into dragons.”

Martin directed anyone “curious as to the road the books are taking” to the sample chapters of upcoming sixth book The Winds of Winter on his website.

Jon Snow in Game of Thrones season 5
Jon Snow in Game of Thrones season 5
Maisie Williams as Arya Stark. Photo Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO
Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones season 5
Tyrion Lannister in Games of Thrones season 5
Myrcella Baratheon in Game of Thrones season 5
Sansa Stark and Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones season five
Carice van Houten as Melisandre. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Kit Harington as Jon Snow. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant. Photo Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO
Kit Harington as Jon Snow, Stephen Dillane as Stannis Baratheon and Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei and Jacob Anderson as Grey Worm. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Dean-Charles Chapman as Tommen Baratheon and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister. Photo Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO
Alexander Siddig as Doran Martell. Photo Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO
Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand and Deobia Opaeri as Areo Hotah. Photo Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO
Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark and Aidan Gillen as Littlefinger. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Daniel Portman as Podrick Payne and Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Michael McElhatton as Roose Bolton, Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Bolton and Elizabeth Webster as Walda Frey. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Conleth Hill as Varys and Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister. Photo Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO
Jonathan Pryce as the High Sparrow. Photo Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO

Martin has been forced to defend sexual violence in Game of Thrones before, insisting that his novels are “inspired by and grounded in history”.

Source: Independent

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