Following the Game of Thrones series finale, George R.R. Martin has weighed in on David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ ending to his epic fantasy series. On his Not A Blog, the author and TV writer/producer waxed nostalgic on his first meeting with HBO and the showrunners over a decade ago, thanking the hundreds of people involved in bringing his vision from the page to the screen.
Reflecting on the bittersweet feeling of this life-changing journey wrapping up, he made the point that “last night was an ending, but it was also a beginning” for all involved.
Part of that beginning? Finishing A Song of Ice and Fire.
In addition to developing nearly a dozen different projects for television and film (adapting both his own work, including Wild Cards, and potentially others, such as Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death), Martin reaffirmed that he is committed to completing the book series, finishing the long-awaited novel The Winds of Winter and its follow-up, A Dream of Spring.
While he refrained from committing to specific dates, he did address one of the biggest questions to come out of the finale: Did Game of Thrones carry out the exact ending that Martin had planned? Will the books go in a different direction than the TV series?
Well… yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes.
The author went on to clarify that at minimum the books will continue to follow characters and plot threads that never even made it to the show. (Lady Stoneheart being one of the biggest.) In addition, the ending in the books will feel fundamentally different for one straightforward reason:
I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, 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. 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. And yes, there will be unicorns… of a sort…
(Unicorns? Does Martin just mean unique elements in the forthcoming books or is that a reference to a house or…ah, yeah unicorns don’t factor in to A Song of Ice and Fire. Just unique elements, then!)
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.
Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)