Warning: Possible spoilers for the future of Game of Thrones follow.
George RR Martin has revealed that many Game of Thrones fans have figured out a huge plot twist to come in his A Song of Ice and Fire book series – but that he won't be changing it.
Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Martin addressed the many rumours and fan theories that appear on internet forums, and whether they influence his work.
"I want to surprise and delight my reader and take them in directions they didn't see coming," he said. "But I can't change the plans... So many readers were reading the books with so much attention that they were throwing up some theories and while some of those theories were amusing bullis**t and creative, some of the theories are right. At least one or two readers had put together the extremely subtle and obscure clues that I'd planted in the books and came to the right solution."
So, what solution have the fans come to? Well, it's possible that Martin is alluding to a very popular Game of Thrones fan-theory referred to as 'R+L=J.' For the sake of RadioTimes.com's safety, we won't be explaining in detail what the theory is, but will say that it does refer to the parentage of bastard Jon Snow; namely, the real identity of his mother, and whether Ned Stark is actually his real father. If correct, the theory would have major implications for the power structure of Westeros.
Martin has admitted that his grand twist being rumbled – if, of course, that's what it is – has put him in a bit of a pickle.
"So what do I do then? Do I change it?! I wrestled with that issue and I came to the conclusion that changing it would be a disaster, because the clues were there. You can't do that, so I'm just going to go ahead. Some of my readers who don't read the [online fan] boards, which thankfully there are hundreds of thousands of them, will still be surprised and other readers will say: 'See, I said that four years ago, I'm smarter than you guys'."
In a Reddit AMA last week, actor Sean Bean, who portrayed Jon Snow's on-screen father Ned Stark, seemed to give weight to the rumours.
Watch highlights from George RR Martin's interview on Edinburgh Extra, airing Sunday at 9pm on BBC4.