“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.”
Update 05/21/2019: George R. R. Martin has again addressed how his final two books in the Song of Ice and Fire saga will differ from the ending of Game of Thrones.
In a post saying goodbye to the HBO show, Martin discussed his long-awaited conclusion to the written version of the series, and addressed the biggest question first: will the ending be the same? His answer is non-committal: “Well… yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes.”
His point is to say that, while he’s working towards a similar end goal to the makers of the show, they had six hours of TV to work with and he’ll likely have 3,000 pages of manuscript (and will add more if necessary). The media involved allow for different kinds of expression and explanation.
He also points out that having so many characters who either weren’t introduced or died in the show will make for major differences: “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”.
He concludes by pointing out that it’s folly to ask if the show or the books are the ‘real’ ending to the story: “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.”
Update 04/15/2019: Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin has offered further insight into the difference between his planned final books and the HBO TV series.
During an interview with 60 Minutes, he said that the show, created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, “would have to run another five seasons” for it to be completely faithful to the story he has lined up for the final books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.
The show will be very close, though, thanks to “several days of story conferences” that took place at Martin’s house in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “I don’t think Dan and Dave’s ending is gonna be that different from my ending because of the conversations we did have,” he said.
“But they may be on certain secondary characters, there may be big differences,” he explained, saying that “there’s no way to get in all the detail, all the minor characters, all the secondary characters.”
He joked that people will fight on the internet about which ending is better, which is certainly the inevitable outcome of all this.
Original story: George R. R. Martin confirmed there will be changes and additions to the ending of his A Song of Ice and Fire series when compared to HBO’s Game of Thrones.
In a piece by Rolling Stone that focuses on GoT actresses Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner, Martin spoke about how the show’s creators, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, had to make their own way with the story after the past couple of seasons began outpacing his writing.
“I’ve been so slow with these books,” said Martin. “The major points of the ending will be things I told them five or six years ago. But there may also be changes, and there’ll be a lot added.”
Martin’s words suggest that the general ending to Game of Thrones will be similar to what he has planned for his final novel in the series, A Dream of Spring. However, as has been the case throughout the show, there will be notable differences between the two.
Martin recently said the final season of Game of Thrones may have “important discrepancies” from his upcoming books. He specifically said there are “a lot of minor-character [arcs] they’ll be coming up with on their own.”
While some fans are upset with how long it’s taken Martin to complete the sixth book, he’s also mad he hasn’t finished Winds of Winter. To better focus on finishing this novel, Martin turned down the chance to cameo in Season 8.
Don’t forget to check out our guide on where and how to stream Game of Thrones season 8, so you don’t miss a single episode.
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Colin Stevens is a news writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.