To say that the ending of HBO's Game of Thrones is controversial is a bit of an understatement. Two years after the series finale, the ending of the popular series remains a hot topic of conversation for a wide variety of reasons, including how the storylines resolved and what the fates were for the series' characters with many fans disappointed in how things played out. Among those less than pleased is author George R.R. Martin. While Martin is the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire books the series was based on, the series ended up outpacing the books. Now Martin, who is still working on the fifth novel in the series, The Winds of Winter, says his ending will differ from the series.
"Looking back, I wish I'd stayed ahead of the books," Martin told PBS in Chicago (via Uproxx). "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."
That fifth book was A Dance with Dragons and there hasn't been a book in the series since, though Martin has been working on The Winds of Winter for some time and while he also was involved in the HBO series, there were just enough changes to the series that story ultimately went in a direction that has left fans with concerns - and a direction that is different than what Martin will take the story by the time it concludes in the seventh and final book, A Dream of Spring.
"That made it a little strange because now the show was ahead of me and the show was going in somewhat different directions," Martin said. "So, I'm still working on the book, but you'll see my ending when that comes out."
As for when The Winds of Winter and eventually A Dream of Spring will come out, that remains a pretty big question. At this point, there is no estimate for when fans can expect The Winds of Winter. Martin has offered somewhat regular updates on The Winds of Winter, but while work continues no end is in sight and work does not appear to have started on A Dream of Spring. It could be quite some time before Game of Thrones fans will actually get Martin's version of how things wrap up in Westeros, though they won't have to wait too much longer for more stories set in that general universe. The prequel series, House of the Dragon is set to debut on HBO and HBO Max in 2022.