George R.R. Martin Regrets ‘Game of Thrones’ Show Went Past Books, Says His Ending Will Be Different

"I'm still working on the book, but you'll see my ending when that comes out," Martin said.
Game of Thrones
"Game of Thrones"
Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Two years after the series finale, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” continues to generate controversy for where its characters and storylines headed in the final bow. Those bummed about the conclusion to the eight-season show include George R.R. Martin, author of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” source books. But while the show may be over, Martin is still churning away at the sixth and penultimate book, “The Winds of Winter.” There will then be one book after that which will tie up the whole saga.

In a recent interview with PBS in Chicago, Martin talked about his feelings on the series exceeding the books. (His last entry, “A Dance with Dragons,” published in 2011, just months after the show premiered on HBO.)

“Looking back, I wish I’d stayed ahead of the books,” Martin said. “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.” (Via Uproxx.)

Though Martin had a hand in the show’s writers’ room, enough changes were added over time that fans were up in arms with how the series concluded. Martin said that work on this next book will give him an opportunity to rewrite that ending.

“That made it a little strange because now the show was ahead of me and the show was going in somewhat different directions,” he said. “So, I’m still working on the book, but you’ll see my ending when that comes out.”

Martin hasn’t revealed even an approximate release date for “The Winds of Winter,” but last year he said in a blog post that quarantine provided a boost in terms of his progress. “I am spending long hours every day on ‘The Winds of Winter,’ and making steady progress,” Martin wrote back in June. “I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week. But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week. It’s going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go. I have bad days, which get me down, and good days, which lift me up, but all in all I am pleased with the way things are doing.”

The seventh and final book in the series will be “A Dream of Spring,” which, by all accounts, Martin has not even begun.

Next up on TV in the “Game of Thrones” world is the prequel series “House of the Dragon,” with 10 episodes set to air in 2022. Martin serves as a co-creator on the show.

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