Martin promises thousands of pages of material in his final two books, including more on characters that never made it to the screen and even “unicorns … of a sort.”
George R.R. Martin took to his own blog with some thoughts on that controversial "Game of Thrones" finale, while also teasing his own finale coming sometime before winter takes us all … hopefully.
After heaping praise on the incredible cast and crew that brought Westeros to life over the past decade, Martin started qualifying David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ final season, pointing out, "I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget."
He went on to add, "They had six hours for this final season."
He continued differentiating their work from his own, which leaves plenty of room for fans to seek interpretation of his words between the lines.
"I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3000 manuscript pages between them before I’m done," he wrote. "And if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I’ll add them."
Is that a very diplomatic way of saying that Benioff and Weiss rushed their final season(s), rather than letting the story breathe and letting the characters reach these conclusions narratively rather than haphazardly as their plot and time constraints dictated.
He went on to point out how the shows had already strayed from his source material, with "characters who never made it onto the screen at all, and others who died in the show but still live in the books." He then listed off several names familiar to book readers that show fans have never heard.
"And yes, there will be unicorns… of a sort…" he added.
But will they end the same? "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."
and while he won’t commit to a firm date after all these years, Martin insists the books are on their way. "I’m writing," He insists. "Winter is coming, I told you, long ago… and so it is."
"The Winds of Winter’ is very late, I know, I know, but it will be done," he promised. "I won’t say when, I’ve tried that before, only to burn you all and jinx myself… but I will finish it, and then will come ‘A Dream of Spring.’"
As a way to plug his forthcoming books, he did a wondeful job in this blog post. As a way to try and defend the show as a different beast, his results may have varied as it’s easy to interpret his words as Martin agreeing with much of the fan criticism that the show felt rushed and sloppy.
"Book or show, which will be the ‘real’ ending? It’s a silly question," Martin concluded his thoughts. "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."
After all, it’s all just stories, so one is as real as the next. Adaptations have never been completely faithful to the source material, and sometimes they’ve even been better. With these reactions to the finale, and really every hour of "Game of Thrones" once it moved past Martin’s written material, it would be surprising if the books are received as poorly.
Even if Martin follows the major beats of the series with Arya killing the Night King (and his existence at all), Daenerys going mad with grief and rage, Jon being banished, the North gaining independence and Bran sitting on whatever’s left of the Iron Throne, he’ll more than likely use those 3,000 words to build to these moments, taking fans on a character-driven journey to justify and earn every betrayal and every heartbreak and every triumph.
And if "Game of Thrones" is ever again commissioned as a television series, it will probably be given more than 73 episodes to try and tell its story — or at least pace itself better so it has time to let his final two novels breathe properly and there is consistency in pacing and character and narrative throughout its run.
In the meantime, we can keep lobbying for "West of Westeros," the continuing adventures of Arya Stark. Maybe she’ll find more dragons … and unicorns?!
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