It’s now a foregone conclusion that the ending of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series will be revealed by its own television adaptation, Game of Thrones. While fans of the book series may be disappointed about that, they can at least be thankful they’re not getting the original ending to A Song of Ice and Fire.
George R. R. Martin’s first draft of A Game of Thrones, sent in a letter to his publisher in 1993, was quite a bit different than the story we wound up with. Although some elements of the plot Game of Thrones fans are familiar with were in that original outline, most of it reads like a bizarre, alternate Westeros from Internet fan fiction.
To make matters even stranger, Martin sent in the first 170 pages of the novel with that letter, meaning the beginning of Game of Thrones was meant to set up a bizarre, intensely uncomfortable alternate plot. Almost three years passed between the letter and the actual publication of A Game of Thrones in 1996, and enough changed in the interim to get the story back on track. It started, though, in a world you'll barely recognize.