George R. R. Martin answers the pressing question: Will A Song of Ice and Fire end the same way as Game of Thrones?
The conclusion of Game of Thrones has fantasy fans around the world pondering an old and familiar question. Will George R.R. Martin every finish his A Song of Ice and Fire novels, on which Game of Thrones is based? And when he does, can we expect the endings to be the same?
Martin’s answers, according to a post on his Not A Blog-blog, are yes to the former and variations on “It’s complicated” for the latter.
“I’m writing,” he says “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.”
Martin demurs from providing a predicted publication date (“I’ve tried that before, only to burn you all and jinx myself,” he says.) But in no uncertain terms, he promises, “I will finish it, and then will come A Dream of Spring.”
“How will it all end? I hear people asking,” he continues. “The same ending as the show? Different?”
(Warning: Frustratingly George R. R. Martin-ish answer ahead.)
“Well… yes,” Martin offers. “And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes.”
(Okay, cool, so in other words, “Maybe”?)
“I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget,” he says of Game of Thrones creators Benioff and Weiss. “They had eight 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.”
In referencing the bountiful space he has in which to tell his story, Martin could be suggesting that The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring will present similar events to those of the Game of Thrones final season. But these events may be presented with vastly more depth, detail, and development than the show was able to provide.
Martin continues, turning his attention away from the tentpole moments and characters to smaller areas of the story that remain his own.
“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,” he writes.
“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,” he adds, likely referencing the feral Northern island of Skagos, “There will be unicorns… of a sort…”
“Book or show, which will be the “real” ending?” Martin wonders. To answer, he turns to a familiar response, citing the film and book versions of Gone With the Wind. “It’s a silly question. How many children did Scarlett O’Hara have?”
Two in the novel, one in the film. Translation: Facts are malleable when it comes to fiction and its adaptations.
“How about this?” Martin concludes. “I’ll write it. You read it. Then everyone can make up their own mind, and argue about it on the internet.”