'Game of Thrones' author George R.R. Martin says the books will have a very different ending from the show's controversial finale

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagicGeorge R.R. Martin at a special screening of Fox Searchlight Pictures’ ‘Tolkien.’
  • Warning: Spoilers ahead for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” season eight, episode six, “The Iron Throne.”
  • On Monday, George R.R. Martin posted a message on his website about the “Game of Thrones” series finale.
  • Martin, who wrote the “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels that the HBO series is based on, has yet to finish the last two books in the series.
  • He confirmed in his post that “A Song of Ice and Fire” would diverge significantly from the show’s controversial finale, partly because he’s working in a “very different medium.”
  • “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,” he wrote, adding, “And yes, there will be unicorns… of a sort…”
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

George R.R. Martin posted a message on his website to say goodbye to “Game of Thrones” on Monday, one day after the highly anticipated series finale aired.

“It is hard to believe it is over, if truth be told,” he wrote, adding, “It has been a wild ride, to say the least.”

Martin, who wrote the “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels that the HBO series is based on, also assured fans that “last night was an ending, but it was also a beginning.” Martin has yet to finish the last two books in the series, but he promised readers he would get them done.


Read more:
‘Game of Thrones’ author George R.R. Martin doesn’t know why the show is ending after 8 seasons: ‘I guess they wanted a life’

“How will it all end? I hear people asking,” he wrote. “The same ending as the show? Different? Well… yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes.”

Drogon burns iron throne game of thrones finaleHBOOn the ‘Game of Thrones’ series finale, the Iron Throne was destroyed by dragonfire.

“I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget,” he continued, referring to the showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

“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,” he said, adding, “And yes, there will be unicorns… of a sort…”

Martin’s blog post doesn’t negate that certain plot points could be the same in the HBO show and his books. Daenerys could go down a destructive path. Jon Snow could end up venturing beyond the Wall. And Bran could become King of the Six Kingdoms. But how we get there – and all the characters who help along the way – will likely be very, very different.

There are important characters in Martin’s series that the “Thrones” showrunners likely cut for simplicity, like Catelyn Stark’s undead alter ego, Lady Stoneheart, and another secret Targaryen named Young Griff. They also streamlined aspects of Martin’s story to create new characters, like the Night King.


Read more:
The final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ was doomed to be divisive, and the Night King twist shows why

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

He added: “How about this? I’ll write it. You read it. Then everyone can make up their own mind, and argue about it on the internet.”

Small council game of thrones finaleHBOTyrion Lannister survived the final season and went on to become Bran Stark’s Hand of the King.

The final season of “Thrones” has proved highly controversial, with fans even signing a petition to get it remade.

Fans who will read Martin’s upcoming books, “The Winds of Winter” and “A Dream of Spring,” can be certain of one thing: He will include far more detail and complex storylines than were shown onscreen.

“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,” Martin wrote, “and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I’ll add them.”

He also acknowledged that the books are “very late” but declined to specify when they’d be finished.

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