George R. R. Martin Reveals the Game of Thrones Books Will Have a Different Ending from the Show
The author's most recent novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series was released in 2011
Warning: Spoilers ahead for the finale of Game of Thrones.
George R. R. Martin, the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series that inspired HBO’s award-winning drama Game of Thrones, has some good news for fans who were dissatisfied with the show’s finale.
“How will it all end? I hear people asking,” Martin, 70, wrote on his website, Not a Blog, on Monday. “The same ending as the show? Different?”
Martin answered his own question with, “Well… yes.”
However, after his answer, the author also backpedaled a bit, adding, “And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes.”
The season 8 finale on HBO saw Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) descend into madness, only to be killed by her lover Jon Snow (Kit Harington). The Stark children each went their separate ways: Sansa (Sophie Turner) became Queen in the North, newly liberated from the rest of the Seven Kingdoms; Arya (Maisie Williams) boarded a boat to discover what is west of Westeros; and Bran the Broken (Isaac Hempstead Wright) was crowned king of the (now) Six Kingdoms.
Martin did promise that all of the characters in the books that didn’t make it on to the show will receive attention in the upcoming novels Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.
“There are characters who never made it onto the screen at all, and others who died in the show but still live in the books,” Martin wrote. “So if nothing else, the readers will learn what happened to Jeyne Poole, Lady Stoneheart, Penny and her pig, Skahaz Shavepate, Arianne Martell, Darkstar, Victarion Greyjoy, Ser Garlan the Gallant, Aegon VI, and a myriad of other characters both great and small that viewers of the show never had the chance to meet.”
Martin also reminded fans that he works “in a very different medium than [showrunners] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss],” hinting that he has more time to flesh out every character’s ending.
Martin added, “They had six hours for this final season. I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3000 manuscript pages between them before I’m done… and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I’ll add them.”
The most recent book in the ASOIAF series, A Dance with Dragons, was released in 2011. The book series debuted with A Game of Thrones in 1996. Martin acknowledged that fans have been waiting for a long time to see where the story goes next.
“And I’m writing. Winter is coming, I told you, long ago… and so it is,” he said on his site. “THE WINDS OF WINTER is very late, I know, I know, but it will be done. I won’t say when, I’ve tried that before, only to burn you all and jinx myself… but I will finish it, and then will come A DREAM OF SPRING.”
Earlier this month, Martin debunked a rumor that he had finished the novels and was waiting to release them until the HBO show had reached its conclusion.
“All of a sudden this crazy story about my finishing THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING years ago is popping up everywhere,” Martin said in a post titled “Idiocy on the Internet.” “I will, however, say for the record — no, THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING are not finished. DREAM is not even begun; I am not going to start writing volume seven until I finish volume six.”
Nonetheless, Martin knows that fans are anxious to compare the show’s ending to that of the books.
“Book or show, which will be the ‘real’ ending? It’s a silly question. How many children did Scarlett O’Hara have?” he said. “How about this? I’ll write it. You read it. Then everyone can make up their own mind, and argue about it on the internet.”