george rr martin game of thrones ending

The fires are out and the ashes have fallen, and Game of Thrones is over. But the story continues, in the form of HBO prequels, and of course, the book series that started it all: George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. The author of the novels upon which Game of Thrones is based offered his emotional reaction to the ending of the show in a new blog post, which closed out an important chapter in Martin’s life — but may be teasing a new chapter from the books. And of course, Martin answers that big question: is his ending for A Song of Ice and Fire going to be different from the divisive Game of Thrones ending?

Martin bid goodbye to Game of Thrones in a lengthy blog post on his Not a Blog website, recounting the journey that his story has taken since his fateful lunch meeting with Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. “It has been a wild ride, to say the least,” Martin wrote, musing how in the 10 years since Benioff and Weiss first started working on bringing his vision to the small screen, the show became a cultural phenomenon and Martin became a celebrity in his own right. But with that celebrity, and with the polarizing ending that many fans of the show are deriding as disappointing, comes the burden of expectation. The expectation: When will Martin publish his final two books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring?

It’s a question that’s been hounding the author ever since the show caught up with his books in its fifth season, but Martin now provides an answer. Kind of.

“And I’m writing. Winter is coming, I told you, long ago… and so it is.   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.”

In summation, Martin gives the same answer that he has been giving for decades: He’s working on them, guys! But Martin is a famous procrastinator and I, along with many other book devotees, have become convinced that we will never see either The Winds of Winter or A Dream of Spring. But if Martin should ever finish writing those books, and if they do get published before we’re all in our graves, that then leads to the biggest question that show and book fans share: Will Martin’s ending be different from the show’s? Martin says yes, and no:

How will it all end? I hear people asking.   The same ending as the show?  Different?

Well… yes.  And no.  And yes.   And no.   And yes.   And no.   And yes.

I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget.   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.   And of course the butterfly effect will be at work as well; those of you who follow this Not A Blog will know that I’ve been talking about that since season one.   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… 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.   And yes, there will be unicorns… of a sort…

Benioff and Weiss have stated that they learned of the broad strokes of Martin’s plans for his story, which they played out in Game of Thrones — to the detriment of some of the character arcs that they built up in the series. But some fans are convinced that with Martin’s meandering, sprawling writing style, his books could come to a very different conclusion. At this point in the novels, Jon and Daenerys haven’t even heard of each other, Tyrion is moping around Essos, Bran is still a tree, and long-dead characters in the show like Roose and Ramsay Bolton, Margaery Tyrell, and Stannis Baratheon are still alive and kicking. Not to mention the plethora of major book characters who never even made it onto the show, like Arianne Martell, Lady Stoneheart, and Young Griff.

So will the book’s ending play out differently? Probably. But will it be that different from the show? Probably not. But Martin isn’t here to mediate any debates about book vs. show endings, he writes. “Book or show, which will be the ‘real’ ending? It’s a silly question. How many children did Scarlett O’Hara have?” he concludes.

Meanwhile, we’ll all be dreaming of this fabled ending while Martin goes consults for video games in Japan.

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