George R.R. Martin gave us a gift that will be long remembered in the annals of television history, “Game of Thrones”. Based on his book series that will hopefully one day be finished, it was adapted for TV by Dan Weiss and David Benioff. After eight epic seasons, the show comes to a close in a matter of weeks. But how will it all end? More importantly, how different will it be from the books, which at this point are lagging behind the TV show by a considerable amount as GRRM has yet to write them?
In an article from Rolling Stone that focused on the Stark Sisters, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams, GRRM offered some thoughts on the impending series finale:
I’ve been so slow with these books,” Martin says, with palpable pain. “The major points of the ending will be things I told them five or six years ago. But there may also be changes, and there’ll be a lot added.”
In an earlier interview with Entertainment Weekly, Martin admitted that the show has surpassed him and the book will differ from the show:
“I haven’t read the [final-season] scripts and haven’t been able to visit the set because I’ve been working on Winds,” Martin revealed. “I know some of the things. But there’s a lot of minor-character [arcs] they’ll be coming up with on their own. And, of course, they passed me several years ago. There may be important discrepancies.”
“Obviously, I wished I finished these books sooner so the show hadn’t gotten ahead of me. I never anticipated that.”
“It’s the end for a lot of people. It’s not the end for me. I’m still deeply in it. I better live a long time because I have a lot of work left to do.”
During an interview with 60 Minutes, Martin added that the show, “would have to run another five seasons” for it to be completely faithful to the story he has lined up for the final books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.
The show will be very close, though, thanks to “several days of story conferences” that took place at Martin’s house in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “I don’t think Dan and Dave’s ending is gonna be that different from my ending because of the conversations we did have,” he said.
“But they may be on certain secondary characters, there may be big differences,” he explained, saying that “there’s no way to get in all the detail, all the minor characters, all the secondary characters.”
Sophie Turner offered her own thoughts in the Rolling Stone piece, saying “I feel very satisfied with the ending of the entire show. Every story arc came to a really good close.” (Williams offers a cryptic hint: “After I read Season Eight, I watched Season One — there’s a lot of similarities.”)
Showrunners Benioff and Weiss mentioned two finales they admired that may or may not have some influence on how GoT concludes: “Breaking Bad stuck the landing. We always talk about the Sopranos ending — as controversial as it may have been at the time, it’s hard to imagine a better ending for that show, or any show.”
The “Game of Thrones” series finale will air on May 19 at 9 PM EST on HBO.