George R.R. Martin Admits That the 'Game of Thrones' Books Might End Different Than the Show Did

George R.R. Martin revealed that the book series 'Game of Thrones' was based on will have a new ending, different than how the show played out.

Sara Belcher - Author

Jan. 27 2020, Updated 5:10 p.m. ET

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Anyone who watched Game of Thrones knows that the series finale was awful. Not only did it leave so many questions unanswered for fans, but the ending arguably made no sense — even to those that had been watching the show from the beginning.

The HBO hit was based on the A Song of Fire and Ice book series, written by George R.R. Martin. While George did not have a hand in writing the show, the way the show ended was supposed to be how the book series concluded.

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But George recently admitted that there might be a new ending on the way. Though nothing is confirmed yet, if you want to reach a potentially more satisfying ending, you'll have to read the books. (Warning: massive spoilers ahead.)

George hinted at the potential new ending to 'Game of Thrones' in an interview.

Watching King's Landing crumble under Daenerys' dragons was heartbreaking, especially for those who were rooting for her to take the Iron Throne (which, arguably, she didn't really have a right to, but that's beside the point). But putting Bran Stark on the throne just felt wrong — even more wrong than if Dany had ruled after all of that bloodshed.

This was the ending that George had told the writers he was eventually going to come to, but in an interview with Welt, he reveals that's not how the books will play out.

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“People know an ending — but not the ending,” George told Welt. “The makers of the TV show had overtaken me, which I didn’t expect.”

But while this sounds like George might be altering the ending to make it more satisfying for the fans, that's likely not the case. For years, George has admitted that while it was tempting, he never wanted to change the content of the books to match the fans' responses to the show.

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“There is a temptation to change it — ‘Oh my god, it’s screwed up, I have to come up with something different,’” he told Entertainment Weekly. "But that’s wrong. Because you’ve been planning for a certain ending and if you suddenly change direction just because somebody figured it out, or because they don’t like it, then it screws up the whole structure… I don’t read the fan sites. I want to write the book I’ve always intended to write all along. And when it comes out they can like it or they can not like it.”

The ending of the show was rushed, so it's possible this just means that there will be more events that play out — different than the ones that happened on screen, that will make the ending George had always intended much more fitting for the characters. When George has been asked if the ending is the same, he's given similarly vague responses.

“Well… yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes.”

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The series was originally supposed to end with three films.

Game of Thrones ended with a six-episode Season 8, but George revealed in his interview that the series was actually supposed to turn to movie territory after Season 7. Instead of three more seasons, the tale was supposed to end with three feature-length movies.

Game of Thrones was supposed to end in cinema,” George told Welt. “It was seriously discussed four to five years ago.”

But whatever happened to those discussions is unclear, but clearly, they didn't pan out.

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When will George release the next book in the series?

Currently, there are five published novels in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, with the most recent one having been published in 2011. There are two more expected books to complete the series, titled The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. 

George has been working on The Winds of Winter since 2011 but has yet to finalize it. He admits that once the creators of the show announced that the series would finish in April 2019, his publishers offered to rush-print the book if he finalized it by the December before.

“And the pressure I felt that fall was the greatest pressure I’ve ever felt," he told Entertainment Weekly. "And then at a certain point it became apparent I’m not going to finish it by then. I don’t only want to finish it, I want to make it as good as I possibly can.”

So when will we see the next book in the series?

“There’s no longer a race. The show is over. I’m writing the book," he said. "It will be done when it’s done.”

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