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George R.R. Martin says Game of Thrones could have ended with films, hints books will have a different ending



When you anticipate and wait for something for a long time, it changes, just like you do. It has almost been a decade since the last novel (A Dance with Dragons) in the series A Song of Ice and Fire came out. Things have changed drastically since then: a giant of a show came and went, characters and plot-lines took different turns; and though the final destination might just be similar, people are still waiting for the next book, The Winds of Winter. As always, the man we look towards is George R.R. Martin. The author recently gave an interview to Welt, a German news outlet where he discussed Game of Thrones ending in films, the ending to his books, and his engagements at the moment. We thank Redditors u/mellycafe and u/Whitebread100 who translated the interview for all of us. Read on!

The author pointed at a rather interesting detail about the final fate of Game of Thrones being films.

“We had actually considered this option. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the two creators behind the TV series, actually wanted to end the saga with three big movies after season 7. Game of Thrones was supposed to end in cinema. It was seriously discussed four to five years ago.” George stated.

So, what happened? According to Martin, it wasn’t for him to decide. “HBO controls the film rights for Game of Thrones.” He further said, “HBO didn’t get involved. The executives said: We produce TV shows, we are not in the cinema business. And if HBO does make a movie, like the movie based on Deadwood, they only produce it to show on TV; not on the big screen.” It’s a fair point, we guess. But digital/streaming platforms have changed that. GRRM too says, “Everything is changing at the moment. What is cinema today? Is Netflix producing television or cinema? Everything is mixing up. We no longer know where the boundaries are between cinema, TV, and streaming services.”

Moreover, the biggest question in everyone’s mind right now would be: Will the ending in the books be different from what happened on the show? Well, GRRM answered in a cryptic yet reassuring manner. “People know an ending – but not The ending. The makers of the TV series overtook me which I didn’t expect. Nevertheless, I continue what I’ve been doing for years: I still try to finish the next book ‘The Winds of Winter’ and then the follow-up novel ‘A Dream of Spring’. These are the things I am concentrating on. After that, we will see.”

When Martin says “the ending,” he might be referring to the path that he takes to reach the end; and also, a complete conclusion with his own imagination. He has hinted at the possibility on his Not a Blog.

So, there’s no definite answer as to when those books will come out, but a firm take on a possibly different route. Despite all that, it seems difficult to alter the final points that the show arrived at, or does it?

“How many children did Scarlett O’Hara have? In Margaret Mitchell’s novel ‘Gone with the Wind’, she had three children. But in the cinema version of the novel, she only had one child. Which version is the only valid one? – the one with one child or the one with three? The answer is – neither. Because Scarlett O’Hara never existed. She is a fictional character, not a real person who would have had real children.

Or take The Little Mermaid. We know her from the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen and the Disney movie. Which one is the real mermaid? Well, mermaids don’t exist. So, you can choose the version you like the best. That goes for any story adapted for cinema or television. Changes are inevitable in this process. Even if the adaptation is as faithful to the literary source material as it was with Game of Thrones,”  Martin said.

It means there’s a good chance that the final story in the books will have its own changes. Before George is able to finish those eagerly-awaited novels, he has been quite busy with a lot of other things.

“I like doing many different things. What I don’t like is writing the same story over and over again. In the beginning of my career, I wrote science fiction, then fantasy, and later horror stories as well. For a while, I also wrote reviews. I taught journalism. Since the mid-80s, I have been writing screenplays; and today, I am also working as a movie producer. Since the completion of Game of Thrones, I am currently developing a prequel series for HBO. Furthermore, I have another deal with the network: I am supposed to produce more shows for them which do not originate from the universe of my stories.” he explained.

One of the projects with HBO includes working with writer Nnedi Okorafor for a film adaptation of her science fiction novel, Who Fears Death. The man even owns an art house cinema of his own in Santa Fe. At the moment, it seems the wizard has his hands full. Where does writing the pending novels fit?

“When it comes to writing novels, I can only take one step at a time. I have writer friends who can work on three or four different projects simultaneously. They start with a novel in the morning, continue with a short story in the afternoon, and write a screenplay at night. I am not able to do that. When I am writing a novel, I dive deeply into the fictional world. It demands my full imagination. I have to live through it, so to say. It is easier to edit a draft, to work as a producer for films, or simply be a cinema owner as compared to writing a novel.” GRRM noted.

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It’s true that he is long overdue and we can’t wait to get our hands on the remaining novels. But we can see that the man is human after all. May he finish the song soon! Meanwhile, we will keep feasting on whatever ice and fire comes our way. What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments section.


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Founder at Wiki of Thrones and a full-time Game of Thrones fan who does other work when he has finished reading and writing about Game of Thrones and also dreams about playing a role in the show.