The ending of Game of Thrones still sticks in the craw of many fans of the series who just didn’t like either the ending or indeed the last few episodes building up to it. Whether it was the change of their favorite Daenerys, the ascension of Bran, the anticlimactic demise of the White Walkers…there really was something to annoy and disappoint everyone in some capacity. Just as unimpressed as the fans was the creator of Westeros, George R R Martin, whose novels ended up being overtaken by the TV series to the point Martin is still two books away from the story’s end. In a new interview, though, the author gave fans hope that – if he makes it to the end – his ending will differ to that of the show.
Speaking to PBS in Chicago, George RR Martin said, “Looking back, I wish I’d stayed ahead of the books. My biggest issue there was when they began the [TV] series, I had four books already in print and the fifth one came out just as the series was starting in 2011. I had a five-book head-start, and these are gigantic books, as you know; I never thought they would catch up with me, but they did. They caught up with me and passed me. That made it a little strange because now the show was ahead of me and the show was going in somewhat different directions. So, I’m still working on the book, but you’ll see my ending when that comes out.”
While these are comforting words for those who are still demanding a rerun of season 8 to right the wrongs of the finale, we need to remember exactly what led to the situation in the first place. When Game of Thrones aired its first episode back in 2011, Martin had just released the fifth book in the novel series, A Dance With Dragons. Prior to this, he had released, A Game of Thrones, the first book, in 1996, followed by, A Clash of Kings in 1998, A Storm of Swords in 2000, and A Feast for Crows in 2005. With the size of the books increasing – A Dance With Dragons came on just over 1000 pages, and the final two books are said to be around 3000 pages between them – the time Martin is taking to write each one is getting longer and longer.
It is now 10 years since the last book was released, almost double the gap between that and the previous book, which has led to many worrying that that Martin will not actually manage to finish the saga at all.
With, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring both promising much more for fans who did not appreciate the direction of the TV series, but months and potentially years from arriving, it is just as well that HBO’s first new Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon, is ready to debut next year and plug the gap in the lives of fans of the saga. It may not help relieve the pain of those awaiting Martin’s conclusion, but it may at least help pacify them while he edges ever closer to completing his final two books.