After nearly three years and lots of nail-biting and hype from the Elden Ring subreddit, the collaborative work of George R.R. Martin’s carefully crafted world building and mythology and Hidetaka Miyazaki’s experience in writing and directing video games is finally prepped and ready to be released to the general public. After so much time of waiting, we still don’t know all that much about the game’s world and lore.
The involvement of Martin seems quite extensive, but how much of his work is reflected in the finished product? Further more, what else can we expect to see from Martin in the future? Now that his focus is off of working on FromSoftware’s latest game, will there be new novels anytime soon? Given that Martin’s last full length novel released in 2011, perhaps this means more will soon come from the author.
Even Before Elden Ring
The intense excitement and anxiety over Elden Ring has come no doubt from fans of the “soulsborne” style of games, popularized by Miyazaki’s Dark Souls franchise. But for those who Elden Ring is their first “souls-like” game, a bit of an introduction may be due.
One of the biggest selling points for Miyazaki’s creations are their intense difficulty, an aspect that Elden Ring claims to have as well. The advanced difficulty of its predecessors may cause some players to be more wary of the game; however, according to Miyazaki himself, he expects that “more players will finish it this time” in comparison to previous games.
It is also to be expected that much of the story and lore of the game, while created by Martin, will be experienced through exploration of the world, dialogue, and item descriptions, rather than being plainly said. This fits right in home with past FromSoftware games, all of which follow a similar style. This style of world building has become a beloved aspect of past games like Elden Ring, and it should be expected that with Martin’s writing and world building, the storytelling and lore will certainly shine through even in the smallest of details.
Martin May Be “Shocked” By Changes to His Characters
Despite all the work that Martin put into the creation and worldbuilding of Elden Ring based on what Miyazaki described in a interview with Game Informer the acclaimed author seems to have mostly created the world before the events of the game take place. The lore created by Martin tells of the world of Elden Ring before a brutal war called the Shattering, which left “The Lands Between” in ruin. Naturally, in classic “soul-like” style, the game features numerous inhuman creatures and bosses, which have been warped into what they are from Martin’s creation.
In the interview Miyazaki states, “When Martin wrote these characters, and when he provided that origin story, that mythos for the world of Elden Ring, these demigods were much closer to their original form, and maybe closer to human form back then, before the Shattering, before it all started.” Later in the article he continues that “And I think if we get a chance to show Martin and if he gets a chance to see the game and see these characters, I think he might be a bit shocked. When he wrote them, he was really envisioning something a little bit more human, a little bit more traditional human drama and fantasy characters. So I hope he gets a kick out of that.”
Based on this short interview it should be expected that whatever mostly human characters created by Martin have more likely than not been warped into twisted images of their former selves. Given Miyazaki himself thinks his changes will shock the author, we can only imagine what monstrous figures await that haven’t been revealed in the trailers.
What’s Next for George R. R. Martin?
With Elden Ring now wrapping to a close, fans are left wondering what exactly is next on the agenda for Martin. One of the most highly anticipated projects expected from Martin is his sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter, that has supposedly been in the works since 2011. The highly anticipated novel has had little to no information revealed about it in the past decade, and despite there being rumors of a November 2023 release date there are no official statements about the novels release.
House of the Dragon
With continual delays leaving fans to wonder if The Winds of Winter will ever be released, there are still numerous other projects being undertaken by Martin currently. The most tangible one of the bunch is without a doubt the upcoming HBO Max series, House of the Dragon, which will serve as a prequel to Game of Thrones. The series is said to take a majority of inspiration from Martin’s novel Fire and Blood, and takes place two hundred years before the events of Game of Thrones. The series is also without an exact release date, but is expected to arrive on HBO Max in 2022, giving fans something close to look forward to.
Outside of the universe of A Song of Ice and Fire Martin has a number of completely original projects lined up as well. One such project is an adaptation of the Wild Cards universe created by Martin which, since his original creation, has had more than forty authors contribute to it. The series revolves around an alternate history shared superhero universe in the U.S. after the events of WWII. After coming in contact with an alien virus, dubbed the “Wild Card virus” for its unpredictable effects, some of those infected are gifted with incredible superpowers while others are cursed with terrible consequences. The series is set to appear on Peacock, though no specified date or year has been announced for the exact arrival of the series.
With Elden Ring now out in the world, there’s one small piece of Martin’s work that finally is available to the general public. Until the release of these new projects, those looking for more works created by George R.R. Martin can find five older books by the author here. Elden Ring can be ordered for PC, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS5, and PS4.