When Game of Thrones fans sat down and finally finished the Season 8 finale, marking the end of the show there were more than a few who felt a certain level of disappointment with how things wrapped up. After significant intrigue, twists, turns, backstabs, mysteries, dragons, family lineage questions and secrets it felt like we were gearing for something massive. But it ended with something of a confusing whimper and fans weren’t the only ones left scratching their proverbial heads. Series creator George R.R. Martin didn’t love what he saw either. And now, he’s vowing to do something about it.
In an interview with WTTW News, a PBS outlet in Chicago, the Game of Thrones author sat down to talk about his work and his thoughts about how the Game of Thrones HBO series went down. During it he promised to finally finish the actual printed books and change the ending from the HBO Series along the way. In the interview he says, “I’m still working on the book, but you’ll see my ending when that comes out.”
Fans of the books will know that the story in Game of Thrones the series began to differ significantly from what George R.R. Martin had going on when he released Dance with Dragons back in 2011. While the first couple of seasons of the series were nearly 1:1 retellings of the books, they did start to diverge along the way and by the time the series creators reached the end of the source material, it was obvious they were going their own direction. They had begun leaving out major characters Martin had introduced and had completely changed the timelines for certain other stories. It had become something quite different from the Martin version.
Now, when Martin says he’s going to change the Game of Thrones ending from what we saw in the show, he’s also quick to point out that the blame for things going maybe a little off the rails doesn’t lie directly at the feet of series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Martin was honest about his feelings about where he was in his Song of Ice and Fire writing process at the time the show actually started on HBO in 2011. Here’s what he had to say in the same interview:
…I wish I’d stayed ahead of the books. When they began that series, I had four books already in print, and the fifth one came out just as the series was starting… 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.
Game of Thrones fans will know this delay in the subsequent books is a point of moderate to severe consternation among the diehards. After first coming out in 1996, the subsequent books were released over the next 15 years with longer and longer gaps in between each one. And now we are a decade since A Dance With Dragons hit shelves. In fact, facing so much fan backlash over the delays, Martin had infamously promised he’d meet a July 2020 deadline for The Winds of Winter or allow himself to be jailed. Narrator: he didn’t make it.
It’s unclear exactly how George R.R. Martin plans to end his own version of the story. HBO’s series finale “The Iron Throne” was a massively popular, but critically disappointing finish to the show when it was all said and done. The finale story undid a number of the popular stories and through-lines and even retconned some stuff along the way with the final episodes. It got a little messy pretty quickly. There’s a chance Martin is able to right some of these wrongs, but it’s also unclear if he ever gets there himself.
As for the Game of Thrones brand. There are more stories coming in this franchise on HBO. House of the Dragon will detail the Targaryen dynasty at the end of their reign. It’s set for a 2022 release and is currently filming. The show will take place around two centuries prior to the events of the books.