George RR Martin on whether his GoT ending will be the same: ‘Well… yes. And no’

'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere

I’ve already asked the book-readers this question, and I’ll ask it again: now that we know how A Song of Ice and Fire ends, are you more or less likely to keep reading the books, whenever they do come out? At the end of the day, I think there will be many people curious about George RR Martin’s conclusion to the series and how everything comes together in his mind. But I also imagine that there will be many people who never start reading the series because now we know how it ends and the ending sort of sucks. Anyway, George RR Martin wrote another blog post about the ending, wherein he talks around how he’s going to end the books. You can read the full piece here. He talks about how he had no idea that the series would become this phenomenon, and he thanks everyone in the GoT team. He talks about how everyone is moving on, but he’s still got a lot of stuff to do:

And me? I’m still here, and I’m still busy. 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. I’m involved with a number of feature projects, some based upon my own stories and books, some on material created by others. There are these short films I am hoping to make, adaptations of classic stories by one of the most brilliant, quirky, and original writers our genre has ever produced. I’ve consulted on a video game out of Japan. And then there’s Meow Wolf…

And I’m writing. Winter is coming, I told you, long ago… and so it is. 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. 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. 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…

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.

[From George RR Martin’s blog]

Good lord, did you know that Martin is 70 years old? So many side-projects for a guy who hasn’t even completed his signature fantasy series! I’ve read some theories that if Martin never gets to complete A Song of Ice and Fire, his estate will likely have ghostwriters finish it. Sure. But in the absence of his vision and his words, Benioff and Weiss’s ending is the one which will exist in the zeitgeist for years, if not decades. Which sucks, honestly.

'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere

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39 Responses to “George RR Martin on whether his GoT ending will be the same: ‘Well… yes. And no’”

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  1. Kate says:

    He’ll never finish them, regardless of what he says. The next one might eventually drop but the last one is almost certainly not going to happen imo.

    • rrabbit says:

      The way GRRM has been writing, there is no way he can finish up the series in two more books. I consider four books more likely than three. And there is no way that he’ll get three books completed.

    • Linn says:

      I agree, his list of non Winds of Winter/Dream of Spring related things is way to long and it doesn’t even mention all the interviews and conventions etc he is probably going to do.

      There is very little time left for writing and he is 70 already. He should concentrate on writing the books but I guess he is worried that the other opportunities will fade once the Game of Thrones Hype slows down.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I mean, he has to say that lol. He cant say its going to be the exact same. I think the basic differences (in terms of more characters in the books, etc) will mean that things play out a little differently, but I think the crux will be the same – Dany burns KL, Bran becomes king. Frankly I am amore interested to read the books now (I’ve read the first two) just so I can see how it is different.

    I did laugh at the “argue about it on the internet” line. WHO WOULD DO THAT.

    • Megan says:

      All he needs to say is, yes, but it will make sense!

    • Ellaus says:

      In the books there is a better claimant to the Iron throne, Aegon the son of Rhaegal and Elia of Dorne (older half brother of Jon Snow). If he doesn’t kill him it would be a better ending… This young Aegon as king, with Bran as Hand, and Jon free to go north, the only place in which he has been a happy adult.

    • Anni says:

      there are message boards dedicated to discuss book just as there are boards for celebrity gossip… reddit has tons of discussion threads, twitter even or here : asoiaf.westeros.org

  3. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I can’t imagine having to put up with us lol. I hope he’s able to finish, but the more he’s pressed, it’s more likely he won’t. I’d like to be a fly on his wall to watch him responding and reacting lmao.

  4. Laura says:

    At first I was like “Scarlett had three children.” Then I realized what he was saying; she only had the one in the movie…

    I was a huge fan of the show but had never read any of the books. I watched a lot of videos on YouTube so I know about a lot of these story lines in the book. More likely than not, I will read the last two books when they come out because I am curious about the characters that I love so much from the show, and will probably skip over all the stuff I don’t understand.

    • raindrop says:

      I highly recommend reading the whole series. If you love the show, I think you’ll also love the first three books. Books four and five are a bit different in terms of pacing, but still worth the read. The series is beautifully written and really fleshes out and expands on the characters and the world we saw onscreen.

      • phlyfiremama says:

        Plus, when you are reading the books you “hear” and “see” the characters in full life because of watching the series.

  5. MrsBanjo says:

    I’m interested in his ending because there’s so much more going on in the books. Even if the main characters get to the same place in the end of the books as the show, how they get there will be more detailed, involved, and likely a bit different. That detail is what I’m looking forward to.

  6. Erinn says:

    “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”

    Hahha, I actually love this. He knows it’s going to happen, and clearly has accepted it. No matter what not everyone will be satisfied. But at the same time, I’m sure he’s pleased that he’s managed to cultivate a world that people are SO deep into that they feel like fighting on the internet about it.

  7. Fallon says:

    I had read – and I didn’t do further research, so it could have just been internet dribble – that he had once said that his estate would destroy all outlines and work on his death. He doesn’t want anyone else to finish this.

    I have no hopes for the book series being finished and will more than likely resort to fanfiction. If anyone has good recommendations – please share!

    • Steph says:

      Lol I read the same thing. I think that’ll happen. He seems really involved with his work to let someone else write it for him

  8. Steph says:

    My mom is/was a huge fan of the series. She totally wants to read the books, and I’m buying them for her. She was really disappointed with the show apart from being a Emilia/ Dany stan from the start lol.
    Someone said the other day I think in this site that if he dies, his state has to destroy all the manuscripts.

    • Bryn says:

      If she was disappointed by the end of the show and how dany ended up..she should probably skip the books because its probably going the same way. Its pretty obvious during the books that thats how it will end

  9. aiobhan targaryen says:

    Yes, I think I will because I want to now what happens to fake Aegon. The show should have kept his storyline in instead of splicing it up between Daeny/Cersei/ Mopey Zombie.

    I refuse to accept the show’s death for Cersei. She is just not going to go out like that. She would be fighting til her very last breathe.

    I personally don’t think he is going to finish these books either. He wrote himself into a corner with all these stupid characters and just does not have the passion to continue the story. He seems to be enjoying these other opportunities that he has been given later in life.. and I honestly cannot fault him for that. I just wish he would stop lying that he is going to finish the books. You cannot keep saying I want to finish something but every time we see you you are doing something entirely different. It has been eight damn years and he still has not finished it. How long is this book supposed to be?

  10. Abby says:

    I read the first book two years ago. I don’t watch much TV, but I do read a lot, in this season. One of my friends is fully invested in the books and the shows and she convinced me to give it a try. I liked it all right. It was a lot to keep up with, and it’s not my favorite genre, but I love reading the books everyone is talking about, to form my own opinions.

    I thought about continuing to read them, even as long as they are, but I’m not sure I can hang with that many pages, that many characters, that many story arcs. Especially knowing how it all ends. I tried not to read spoilers, but then just said Eff it and read the post here about Emilia’s thoughts on the end. Maybe the books will be different, if he ever writes them? But I don’t want to read ALL OF THAT to get to such an ending.

    Now I just… I don’t think I will take the time to read the books. I know that is terrible. That is the point of avoiding spoilers, but I just couldnt avoid them to get through SO MANY BOOKS.

    Reading is my most favorite past time, and I’m a fast reader, but… just not the series for me. Especially now that I know everything gets burned to the ground, literally.

    ::ducking and hiding::

  11. Incredulous says:

    I started reading the books after the first season came out and blitzed through them rather quickly (I am a fast reader). It is obvious he stopped caring years ago, as the last book came out in 2011 and needed an editor who would do their job properly. Dude is rich with monies still pouring in and doesn’t have to do anything except mutter he’ll finish the books every so often.

    He only writes at home and not during football season. Those books will never be finished by him so I will never know what happens with Lady Stoneheart, Victarion “Darth Viking” Greyjoy or the glorious idiotic blitheness of book Cersei. I’ve known that for years and the best (only) ending Game of Thrones gets is a damp, noxious fart of a thing.

    On the other hand, a bunch of fantasy writers I like still write and have books coming out soon, cf, Steven Erikson, Scott Lynch.

  12. lobstah says:

    How about this? You actually write it so we can actually read it!!!

  13. Lizzie says:

    Yes the ending is the same but no, I won’t be phoning it in so it makes zero sense.

  14. Peanutbuttr says:

    I think the ending will be the same except it will do a better job of getting people to that point. There were a lot of nuances that can explain the ending better and there’s also already stuff there that helps understand the outcome.

    For example, the book makes a point that Tywin Lannister was a GOOD leader. Absolutely ruthless and brutal and lacking compassion, yes. But he when he was hand to the mad king, he was very effective and quite popular with the common folk. And the backstory of Tywins father also explains why he is merciless.

    The Targaryen book also explains why Dany saw Jon as a threat and also the unwillingness of many to accept a ruling queen if a male ruler was an option.

    • DS9 says:

      I only made it though book one but I find it easy to believe Tywin was a good leader. From what I know, Aerys’s crazy was somewhat contained while Tywin served as hand. He also served as an able hand for Joffrey when Joffrey wasn’t being a turd.

      Also, Varys did not bounce until Tywin was dead. I think his whispering was in anticipation of what would happen when Tywin died or was no longer able to control the king.

      And Tywin’s popularity would explain why Cersei’s children were able to inherit without total revolt even though the truth of their parentage was long suspected.

  15. CFY says:

    I love the ASOIAF books, am planning on doing a reread of the series plus some of his supplemental books. Do I think he’ll finish the series? I’m cynical. The stories/rumors about his struggles with TWOW aren’t encouraging. Not sure if this one is rumor or fact, since when pressed he’s pretty upfront about the times he’s written himself into a corner, but I’d heard that he’d nearly finished TWOW and then had to toss a lot of it because of structural problems. IMO I think he’s also just more fired up by world building and expansion vs tying up a story he started so long ago.

  16. Trillian says:

    Also GRRM on whether he will ever finish the books: Well yes … And no.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    I just don’t care right now. Maybe in a few months or a year or whenever the book(s) is/are published. But right at this moment, I won’t be reading the final two.

  18. Texas says:

    It’s not easy reading. The books are LONG and detailed. So not for the faint of heart. If you like The Hobbit, you will probably like these books.

  19. CK says:

    I think it will be more or less the same, but drawn out. I think Dany will probably have Drogon roast the stronger claimant to the throne, Young Griff, if he isn’t killed sooner by Cersei after a convenient marriage.

    The prophecies still won’t be fulfilled fully since magic/mysticism has always been a shaky thing.

  20. SJR says:

    He will never finish the books. I think he has writers block and combined with the changes made by the shows writers, will anyone care to keep following the story?

  21. The Recluse says:

    I would be very surprised if he finished these last two books. He needs an internal editor so that he can restrain his own tendency toward sprawl. If he hadn’t been lucky to get a publisher and had his books gain a following, I doubt his lack of discipline would have been tolerated – and I know this because I couldn’t even get a foot in the door due to the Publishing industries rules about fantasy genre novels and about how restrictive they are with newbies. If you’re established, you can get away with a lot of self-indulgence.
    In the end, I had to publish my own damn works via Lulu (paperback/hardback/electronic) and Kindle and I had to discipline myself as a writer.
    Must be nice to be Martin, but he has become his own worst enemy as an author.

  22. Andrea says:

    I hope he changes Jaime’s ending!

  23. TheMummy says:

    I don’t care how he ends it, even if it is the exact same as the show. I care about HOW he gets there. Give us all that D&D left out that made it so badly paced, so rushed, and that so glossed over the complexities of characters and character arcs, and that left out nuance and the small details that were always so fantastic and alive in both the show and the books. It is HOW he gets there that matters to me. That’s what was missing from the show. It needed two more seasons to get to where it ended. That was their mistake with the show.

  24. enike says:

    I think if he finishes the books, like in 1-2-3 years, it would be a super hit, all the fans who will miss and be nostalgic about the whole TV series, will read it without being outraged at the ending. The books will probably more explain the motivations and the feelings of the main characters.
    Lots of internet fans are the nerd types (not here), they watch a show, play the video game, and usually read a source material, if its comics, not 3000 pages books :)

    The ending made sense, once the extreme expectations and disappointment of some fans dies down. I predicted long ago that Bran would be the king, so I am okey. (Edit: I am not okey how they ended the winter is coming, winter is coming, the NK story thou!)

    I wonder if he even watched the TV show (the final screen versions, not the scripts) and how it transpired. Maybe binge watching :)