'Game of Thrones' Ending: Why You'll Still Want to Read the Final Book
The final season of Game of Thrones is almost upon us, but the original books that inspired HBO’s mega-hit are far from finished. Author George R.R. Martin has been working on, The Winds of Winter, his sixth book in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, for years, and after that he’s expected to wrap things up in A Dream of Spring. By the time the seventh (and likely last) ASoIaF book comes out, Game of Thrones Season 8 will be a distant memory, but fans of the show may still have one very good reason to return to Westeros again by reading the book.
In an interview with Rolling Stone — part of a bigger profile of GoT stars and on-screen sisters Maisie Williams and Arya Stark — Martin briefly discusses his struggles to complete the books before hinting that by letting HBO reach the finish line first, he’s set himself up to put a final cap on the story he first started back in 1996.
“I’ve been so slow with these books,” Martin said. “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.”
Martin seems to be suggested that the finale we see in Game of Thrones Season 8 won’t be the same one we get when A Song of Ice and Fire finally ends. That’s pretty much in line with that we’ve heard in previous interviews. So it’s no huge surprise that the show and books could diverge in the future, but Martin may also be hinting at something else even more exciting.
His statement that “there’ll be a lot added” suggests the final book could also fill in some key gaps in information that Game of Thrones Season 8 is forced to gloss over due to time constraints. This also lines up with recent quotes from GoT star Iain Glen, who told The Telegraph that the show wouldn’t necessarily answer every question audience members might have.
“They’ve pulled it off,’” he said, “that balance of satiating people’s desire for things to be complete, but leaving enough questions in the air for people to try to project forward what world will follow.”
It’s possible Glen could simply mean that the story can’t possibly answer every question and follow every character to their end of lives, but he might simply mean that Game of Thrones Season 8 leaves some key questions up for debate. Either way, Martin will have a chance to answer those questions when he finally finishes the last two books in his series.
Though we could be stuck waiting a very long time before that happens — assuming it ever happens at all.
Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres April 14 on HBO. We have no idea when The Winds of Winter will release.