George R. R. Martin at the Tolkien premiere.
Image: Amy Sussman (Getty)

Now that Game of Thrones’ series finale has come and gone, even more attention is being paid to author George R.R. Martin. He’s mostly been minding his own business and living his life while the rest of the world harangues him about the final two entries in the series of novels that started it all.

Writing, as everyone should know by now, takes time, but with the Westeros spotlight placed firmly back on him, Martin took to his personal blog to share a few congratulations and an update on his current progress. Martin explained The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring are still works in progress, and addressed questions about how much of the book’s events would be similar to Game of Thrones given that parts of the eighth season’s plot were inspired by ideas from Martin’s unfinished work:

How will it all end? I hear people asking. The same ending as the show? Different?

Well… yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes.

I am working in a very different medium than David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss], never forget. They had six 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. And of course 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. 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, there will be unicorns… of a sort…

Book or show, which will be the ‘real’ ending? It’s a silly question.

During all of season eight’s commotion, it became really, really easy to lose sight of just how far away from the source material the show had gotten because of how large and sprawling Game of Thrones became in its own right. It seems obvious to say now, but of course Martin’s novels are going to play out differently. They’ve got to, because a significant amount of important characters are so enmeshed in the story that it can’t really come to a close without their involvement.

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Interconnected as they are, Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire are their own separate, different things, and so it’s fitting that they’ll both close out in ways distinct and unique to them. Of course, Martin isn’t going to get into specifics—for instance, if the same person ends up “winning”—which is to be expected.

But in case you thought it was All Books, All the Time from here on out...sorry to break it to you:

I’m still busy. As a producer, I’ve got five shows in development at HBO (some having nothing whatsoever to do with the world of Westeros), two at Hulu, one on the History Channel. I’m involved with a number of feature projects, some based upon my own stories and books, some on material created by others. There are these short films I am hoping to make, adaptations of classic stories by one of the most brilliant, quirky, and original writers our genre has ever produced. I’ve consulted on a video game out of Japan. And then there’s Meow Wolf…

A dream of spring indeed.


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