It has been over 20 years since Martin published A Game of Thrones, the first novel in his series A Song of Ice and Fire. In that time, the TV adaptation has become a global sensation, and has surpassed the storyline of his prose. Martin noted that the show has left out a lot of major plot points from his books, and he wishes it had a few more seasons to portray those plot points.
"You know, it's complex. I'm a little sad, actually," he admitted. "I wish we had a few more seasons. But I understand. [showrunners] Dave [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] are gonna go on to do other things, and I'm sure some of the actors were signed up for like seven or eight years, and they would like to go on and take other roles. All of that is fair. I'm not angry or anything like that, but there's a little wistfulness in me."
Martin also noted that he himself has some experience as a TV writer, and the limitations of the medium are part of what drove him back to novels in the first place.
"It's weird, in Hollywood, this way... I mean I've worked on other shows, you know?" he said. "And whenever a show ends, and the longer the show lasts the harder it is. You're really with a family."
As for the ending of the show, Martin kept things mysterious. He was also quiet when asked how different the ending of the show would be from the ending of his books.
"I can say that when my next two books come out they'll have to read them and then they can find out," he said.
In fact, Martin may not even know enough to speak with authority on the ending. While he knows the broad strokes from meetings with the showrunners, Martin admitted that he has not seen the entire final season, nor has he even read the scripts. The interviewer asked if he would be surprised by the ending.
"Well, to a degree. I mean, I think … the major points of the ending will be things that I told them, you know, five or six years ago," he said. "But there may also be changes, and there'll be a lot added."
Martin discussed other topics in the interview as well, including how he came up with certain characters like Arya and Sansa Stark, and how they have evolved over the years. He also talked about another upcoming adaptation of his series Wild Cards on Hulu.