Letter from George RR Martin to his agent reveals earliest plot ideas – which included a love triangle involving Arya Stark, Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister.

[pullquote]“it’s super-interesting to see the specific ways that the story-as-plotted changed, and to try to figure out why.”[/pullquote]A leaked 22-year-old letter from Game of Thrones author George RR Martin reveals the author’s earliest plot ideas for his epic series of fantasy novels, which included a disturbing love triangle that failed to make the final cut.

Written to his agent, the late Ralph Vicinanza, the letter is dated October 1993, and in it Martin pitches “the high fantasy novel I promised you”, A Game of Thrones.

Unaware of the major writing task which would lie ahead of him, Martin told Vicinanza: “When completed, this will be the first volume in what I see as an epic trilogy with the overall title, A Song of Ice and Fire.”

The book series now stretches to five increasingly lengthy volumes, with two more yet to come. The letter goes on to sketch out Martin’s plans for how the series would play out. Affixed to the walls of his UK publisher HarperCollins’ new London offices – with a potentially revelatory final paragraph blacked out – it was photographed and leaked online by Waterstones yesterday.

The tweet was later deleted by the bookseller, but HarperCollins confirmed that the letter was authentic on Friday. “We’re enormously proud to have it in our possession,” said the publisher.

The images were captured by the fan site Winter is Coming, which blogged that “it’s super-interesting to see the specific ways that the story-as-plotted changed, and to try to figure out why.”

Martin explains to his agent how “the enmity between the great houses of Lannister and Stark

[will play] out in a cycle of plot, counter plot, ambition, murder, and revenge, with the iron throne of the Seven Kingdoms as the ultimate prize”.

Overseas, meanwhile, he writes that a “second and greater threat” is taking shape, “where the Dothraki horse lords mass their barbarian hordes for a great invasion of the Seven Kingdoms, led by the fierce and beautiful Daenerys Stormborn”. And in the north, “the greatest danger of all” awaits, “where half-forgotten demons out of legend, the inhuman others, raise cold legions of the undead and the neverborn”.

So far, so similar to how his series is currently playing out, and Martin also names his “five key players” as Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, and three of the children of Winterfell, – Arya, Bran, and the bastard Jon Snow.

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