British bookseller Waterstone has somehow gotten its hands on the original story outline that George R.R. Martin submitted to Harper Collins along with the first 170 pages of what would become A Game of Thrones. It proves GRRM had a very different story in mind when he first set out to write A Song of Ice and Fire.

As WinterIsComing.net points out, Martin begins the outline with "As you know, I don't outline my novels. I find that if I know exactly where a book is going, I lose all interest in writing it." Certainly, even though he thought he knew some of what was going to happen in his beloved fantasy series, he ended up writing something quite different.

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Don't worry — this outline doesn't contain the ending of the books, or any spoilers at all — at least thanks to one conveniently blacked out paragraph. Mainly, it's just a fascinating look at what might have been.

For those who don't want to go through the trouble of actually reading the thing, here's some highlights:

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• The series seemed a like a much more straight-forward fantasy retelling of the Wars of the Roses, with the Starks and the Lannisters standing in for the Lancasters and the Yorks. The only other House even mentioned is Baratheon, and only in terms of Joffrey.

• Jaime is way more evil here, killing his way through his family until he becomes the king .

• Sansa marries Joffrey and betrays her family, and it doesn't go well for her. This is obviously something Martin was originally building up to in the first book, but then changed his mind, and Sansa's been getting shit for it ever since.

• There was going to be a love triangle between Jon Snow, Arya and Tyrion. I am totally fine with this not ending up in the finished product.

Neat stuff! But I think we can all agree that what GRRM actually ended up with is a far superior story.

[Via Winter Is Coming]