Spoilers Ahead, obviously.
"Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go not write."
Somehow or other, somebody got their hands on George R.R. Martin's original 22-year-old pitch letter (included at the bottom of this post) to his agent for a "high fantasy" trilogy that he was planning to write. As we all know, those three novels exploded into a planned seven (possibly eight) novels, with five already on bookstore shelves, one currently transitioning from Martin's brain to his word processor and one (possibly two) floating in the ether of possibility.
In the letter, Martin writes "I find that if I know exactly where a book is going, I lose all interest in writing it." So, unsurprisingly, the story as laid out here has morphed somewhat in the two decades since this was sent. In honor of the Seven, are seven interesting elements of Martin's original concept along with a few potentially devastating spoilers:
1. Robb Stark is not killed at the Red Wedding.
In fact, there is no Red Wedding. Tywin Lannister never needs to set it up with Walder Frey because Robb Stark, King in the North, is killed in battle with Jaime Lannister.
2. Catelyn Stark is not killed at the Red Wedding either.
In fact, she's not killed at all! Instead, she and Arya are smuggled out of King's Landing by Ned. They eventually hook up with Bran and head to the Wall to chill with Jon Snow and the Night's Watch before heading farther north. Catelyn ultimately gets killed by a White Walker.
3. Sansa has a baby with Joffrey.
Let that sink in for a moment: Ned's daughter Sansa marries the man who had him beheaded, and then has a child with him. Ugh!!! This is the very worst thing I can possibly imagine. And I've read all five books so far. So, that's saying something.
4. Tyrion burns Winterfell to the ground.
Apparently, Tyrion Lannister was actually supposed to become somewhat of a military leader early on, because he leads a group of his father's men to lay siege upon the seat of House Stark and then he destroys it. And I thought I knew him.
5. Jaime assumes the Iron Throne after Tyrion removes Joffrey from it.
It doesn't say exactly how Tyrion pulls this off, but it's safe to assume that Joffrey has a fateful meeting with the Stranger. It's likely that the current subplot involving Tyrion being blamed for poisoning Joffrey had their seed here. Afterward, Jaime kills everyone in the line of succession between himself and the throne. Typical Kingslayer, huh?
6. Jon Snow and Arya Stark fall in love, which is weird, but also not that weird.
So glad this didn't happen! But even if it does pop up in one of the next books (please don't let it happen!), it won't matter terribly because "the secret of Jon's parentage [will be] revealed in the last book." So, they're probably not brother and sister. Though, this subplot would probably mean Ygritte was never going to show up.
7. Daenerys Targaryen kills Khal Drogo but still never actually goes to Westeros.
Faithful book readers know that Daenerys is not known for her sensible behavior, so it should come as no surprise that she was originally supposed to kill her husband Khal Drogo after he kills her awful abusive brother Viserys. Then she runs off into the Dothraki sea and thinks about invading Westeros without ever doing it. At least as far as this pitch explains.
It probably took George R.R. Martin about...
...four months to finish...
...these three pages.