'Game of Thrones' Author George R.R. Martin Discusses Whether Show or Books Will Have the ‘Real’ Ending

The author (kind of) addressed if the novel series' ending will be the same as the show's finale.

George R. R. Martin at the Emmys in 2016
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George R. R. Martin at the Emmys in 2016

**Series finale spoilers**

The conclusion to Game of Thrones not only broke an HBO ratings record, it also received a ton of criticism. As the showrunners were left to construct the final seasons with no source material, many were dissatisfied with the narrative direction and felt that six episodes were too few to wrap things up nicely. George R.R. Martin, who created the world of Westeros in his A Song of Ice and Fire novel series, previously stated that the show was capable of running for several more seasons.

For many, the biggest concern is whether Martin will conclude his (hopefully soon-to-be-finished) seven-book saga in the same fashion as the show. The 70-year-old scribe addressed the idea on his blog, saying, "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," he continued. "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."

Differences between the novels and the show are to be expected, though it is yet to be determined if Daenerys will be killed, Jon will get get sent to the Night's Watch, and Bran will take his place on the Iron Throne. In addition to the deaths of characters happening earlier on the show than in the books, several characters such as Lady Stoneheart (the undead Catelyn Stark) and Skahaz Shavepate never made onscreen appearances. GRRM promises on-the-page continuations of the stories of "Arianne Martell, Darkstar, Victarion Greyjoy, Ser Garlan the Gallant, Aegon VI," as well as Jeyne Pool and "Penny and her pig." 

"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."


Though the show has finally concluded, Martin's schedule is pretty stacked. "As a producer, I’ve got five shows in development at HBO (some having nothing whatsoever to do with the world of Westeros), two at Hulu, one on the History Channel," he wrote. But still, he went on to assure, "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."

A Song of Ice and Fire's fifth and most recent entry, A Dance With Dragons, arrived eight years ago.

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