“You know, the thing is, you can already piece together what might happen next just by reading what’s already been available. And everyone’s interpretation is valid.  So, do you really need Winds of Winter or A Dream of Spring?”

– what George R.R. Martin really wants to tell everyone

Apparently, FromSoftware’s distinctive, “puzzle piece” form of storytelling is inspired by Hidetaka Miyazaki’s childhood experiences of reading English-language fantasy books that were beyond his level of understanding – so he would end up piecing together whatever lore he could understand and effectively invent his own interpretation of the story, whether it was true to the actual story or not.

I’ve always enjoyed FromSoftware’s method of storytelling (if any FromSoft fans out there think this comic was a dig at them, feel free to lower the pitchforks), and learning about this background has only given me a greater appreciation for it. It’s similar to how I find studying history, mythology, and religions very fascinating – we don’t have every single piece of information available to us to tell us exactly how things were and what exactly happened to lead to what we know now; we have no choice but to speculate based on whatever evidence we can scrounge up. The only barrier to something being considered “right” or “wrong” is whether or not the evidence you present supports the argument.

And I find that sort of speculation fun, and the idea of “we don’t actually know for sure what the truth is,” feels very freeing to me. That is, as long as everyone involved in the discussion can agree on which parts are up for debate (or that the existence of debate is valid at all).

It’s also why I don’t really care which parts of Elden Ring were George R.R. Martin’s invention, and which were Miyazaki’s – it’s just one more puzzle to solve that doesn’t really need a definitive answer. Also, I don’t think it’s worth fretting over since we’ll probably never get one anyway (like an ending for A Song of Ice and Fire, am I right)?

– James