If seeing Arya and Gendry’s love scene in the most recent episode of Game of Thrones made you uncomfortable, you won’t be able to handle hearing what the original plan for the badass Stark was when the books were originally pitched. It turns out, Arya and Jon’s relationship could have been very different if author George R.R. Martin had executed his original vision for the story. According to Buzzfeed, the author’s original pitch for the Song of Ice and Fire series featured a love triangle between Arya, Jon and Tyrion, among other mind-blowing details.
The pitch is currently making the rounds on the Internet again, now that the final season of the HBO series is airing, and it reveals that there are some pretty wild differences between Martin’s original ideas and the story that fans know and love. One thing that remained the same is that Tyrion, Daenerys, Arya, Bran, and Jon Snow were named as “five key players” in the story, and all of them were said to survive the entire book series, though their current fate is less concrete.
However, the most jarring difference between Martin’s original pitch and the final Song of Ice and Fire series is that Jon and Arya were supposed to be in love with each other, despite believing that they were half-brother and sister. While the pair wouldn’t actually act on their feelings for one another, Martin reportedly envisioned plenty of romantic tension between the two characters until the final installment of the series, when Jon’s real parents would be revealed, and they would learn that he’s actually a Targaryen. Of course, in the series, Jon’s inappropriate romantic relationship is with Dany, and he recently discovered that the Dothraki queen is actually is aunt.
In this original pitch, Tyrion would eventually be betrayed by his brother, Jaime, be exiled, and switch sides, supporting the Starks in their attempt to remove the Lannisters from the Iron Throne. And he would be “falling helplessly in love” with Arya in the process. “His passion is, alas, unreciprocated, but no less intense for that, and it will lead to a deadly rivalry between Tyrion and Jon Snow,” the pitch letter reads. Suddenly, Arya and Gendry falling in love doesn’t seem so absurd, now does it?
Of course, Arya and Jon aren’t the only characters whose stories are completely different onscreen than what Martin originally conceived. In the letter, the author pitched that Sansa would marry King Joffrey, bear him a son and betray the Stark family in favor of supporting the Lannisters in their quest for the Throne. Dany, meanwhile, would have murdered Khal Drogo as revenge for him killing her brother, Viserys, and found the dragon eggs in the forest, rather than being gifted them.
Perhaps the biggest difference between Martin’s original pitch and the ongoing series is that A Song Of Ice and Fire was intended to just be a trilogy of books, rather than the epic saga it currently is. The first book would just be about the fight between the Starks and Lannisters, the second, a chronicle of Dany and the Dothraki, and the third would center on the White Walkers marching towards the Wall. (It should be noted that the books haven’t reached the fight against the Army of the Dead yet.)
There are obviously many major differences between Martin’s book series and the events of Game of Thrones. Hopefully the fact that Arya and Jon aren’t in love on the show won’t be one of them.
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