Game of Thrones mastermind George R.R. Martin teased that the last novels in the A Song of Ice and Fire series could have a different ending than the one seen in the final season of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss' HBO adaptation. The series notably went far beyond the novels after Season 5, leading Benioff and Weiss to make controversial decisions as the show reached a conclusion with Season 8 last year. Martin has been working on the last two Ice and Fire books for years, and is also busy developing a Game of Thrones prequel series for HBO.
"People know an ending - but not the ending, Martin teased in an interview with Germany's Welt newspaper, published on Jan. 19. In that same interview Martin said Benioff and Weiss debated ending the series with three traditionally-released movies.
"We actually considered [the movie] option," Martin explained, via TV Guide. "David Benioff and D.B. Weiss... wanted to finish the saga with three big movies after Season 7. HBO didn't want that. The executives said, 'We produce TV shows. We are not in the cinema business. And if HBO does make a movie, like the movie based on Deadwood, they only produce it to show it on TV, not on the big screen."
This was not the first time Martin avoided giving a direct answer when questioned about the ending to the A Song of Ice and Fire books. Back in May 2019, Martin published an update on The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited next book, and teased a new ending.
"How will it all end? I hear people asking," Martin wrote. "The same ending as the show? Different? Well... yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes."
In the same post, Martin reminded his fans that television is a very different medium than novels.
"They had six hours for this final season," Martin explained. "I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3,000 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," Martin continued.
The final season of Game of Thrones was divisive for fans, many of whom felt things were rushed in the final six episodes. It reached a point where a petition to have the whole season remade reached more than a million signatures. Despite that, the season still won Outstanding Drama Series at the Emmys last year. It won 11 other Emmys, including Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama for Peter Dinklage.
All eight seasons of Game of Thrones are available to stream on HBO Now and HBO Go.
Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images