Game of Thrones is based on the books by George R.R. Martin, as fans of the stories well know by now, and, as the creator of the source material for HBO’s Game of Thrones, Martin has some say in how the series will ultimately end. It may not surprise Game of Thrones fans to learn that Martin doesn’t envision a happy ending for the series. In fact, George says Game of Thrones should have a bittersweet ending, much like The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Game of Thrones Is Catching Up To George R.R. Martin’s Books Faster Than Expected
Like many television adaptions of literary works, Game of Thrones has always had a tenuous relationship with George R.R. Martin’s source material, sometimes following very closely to the books and other times straying wide, like a curious child. That’s to be expected, partly because what works well on the printed page won’t necessarily translate to suspenseful drama on the television screen.
Taking that into consideration, Martin expected Game of Thrones to really become its own entity, while adhering to the general plots of the books. What George didn’t expect is that Game of Thrones would catch up to his books, ever. Still, this is what is happening and the Game of Thrones is catching up fast, admits Martin.
Mr. Martin was speaking at Northwestern University, where he had appeared to accept the Hall of Achievement alumni award from the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.
“The show, of course, has caught up to me, which I didn’t actually think would ever happen,” George R.R. Martin said of the correlation between Game of Thrones and his A Song of Ice and Fire saga, according to Entertainment Weekly. “I had such a huge lead, but the truth is, I’m a very slow writer.”
George R.R. Martin Warns Game of Thrones Fans Not To Expect A Happy Ending
While speaking at Northwestern, Martin also touched upon how Game of Thrones, following his A Song of Fire and Ice books, would ultimately end, revealing that the topic is the most asked about, when George meets Game of Thrones fans. Even if Martin does have a specific ending in mind, he’s not spilling the beans to any Game of Thrones fans, but he does tell them not to expect a fairy tale ending. You’ll find no Happily Ever Afters here.
Martin says that most people yearn for happy endings, but, as for himself, the Game of Thrones creator prefers the bittersweet ending, something modeled after the stories of another author’s tales of fantasy and peril.
“I think [J.R.R. Tolkien] did this brilliantly,” Mr. Martin said, according to US Weekly. “I didn’t understand that when I was a kid, when I read Return of the King. You can’t just fulfill a quest and then pretend life is perfect. Life doesn’t work that way.”
In the meantime, bloodshed and death will continue to be Game of Thrones‘ signature, as the series, based on George R.R. Martin’s books, gets ready to head into its sixth season. Game of Thrones has become so infamous for character deaths that the question “Will someone die?” has been replaced with “Who will die?” and the instances in which those victims are female has become so prevalent as to label Game of Thrones showrunners and Martin himself as misogynistic by many Game of Thrones fans.
To date, Game of Thrones has killed off a total of 60 characters.
The season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones is scheduled to air in April 2016 on HBO.
[Featured image courtesy of Jason Kempin/Getty Images]