U.K. bookstore chain Waterstones and book publisher HarperCollins UK recently posted a letter from George R. R. Martin which contains the initial outline for the Song of Ice and Fire trilogy. The letter, dated December 7, 1993 reveals a storyline that changed so significantly by the time A Storm of Swords was published that it could be considered a “What If?” version of the beloved fantasy series.
Winter Is Coming has the full text of the letter along with some interpretive summarizations of the changes that occured between the outline and actual publication of the books. (The outline contains one potential spoiler but it has been blocked out, so anyone who has read up to A Feast For Crows and watched all four seasons of the show can read it freely.)
Perhaps the most telling is that the series was originally pitched as straightforward high fantasy instead of the historical commentary on high fantasy that it became. There’s also a blacked out portion of the outline that is clearly an upcoming plot that was originally planned for book two.
The outline is a fascinating read. Check it out at the link above.