'Game of Thrones' Author Teases Different Ending in Books

Author George R.R. Martin's latest comments on the ending of Game of Thrones sound promising for fans who were disappointed in the Season 8 ending. The HBO series is based on Martin's novels A Song of Ice and Fire, which are not yet finished. In an interview with local PBS affiliate WTTW Chicago this week, Martin said his books will take a "somewhat different direction" to the finish line.

Martin looked back on his illustrious career in Thursday's interview, noting how Game of Thrones changed his entire life. He recalled that he had never feared the TV adaptation would catch up to him before he finished his books. "They caught up with me, and passed me, and that made it a little strange because now the show was ahead of me, and the show was going in somewhat different directions," he recalled. "So, I'm still working on the book, and you'll see my ending when that comes out."

These are promising words for the many fans counting on Martin's books to depict the ending differently than the TV show. While Martin has been candid about writer's block and the pressure of global fame, he managed a chuckled while discussing the topic this time.

"Looking back, I wish I had stayed ahead in the books," he said. "My biggest issue there was, when they began that series, I had four books already in print and the fifth one came out just was starting in 2011. I mean, I had I a five-book head start — and these are gigantic books, as you know, if you've seen them — I never thought they'd catch up with me. But they did," he finished with a laugh.

Martin has previously indicated that he would have preferred the TV show to go on longer so that it could flesh out the last few parts of his story more, and so that it could include some of the characters and plotlines dropped in the adaptation. He also addressed the possibility of a different ending in the books.

"How will it all end? I hear people asking," Martin wrote on his blog after the Game of Thrones series finale in 2019. "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 [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss], 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," he continued. "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... Book or show, which will be the 'real' ending? It's a silly question. How many children did Scarlett O'Hara have? 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."


Huge swaths of the A Song of Ice and Fire fandom are dedicated to decoding which parts of the show's ending will be similar in Martin's books, and how they will play out. You can check out the books for yourself here on Amazon in print, digital and audiobook formats. Game of Thrones is still streaming on HBO Max. For now, there is no release date in place for Martin's next book, The Winds of Winter.

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