Game of Thrones Author Reveals How HBO’s Ending Differs From The Books

There are plenty of differences.

Game of Thrones Season 8

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin is shedding light some light on the mysterious end of HBO’s hit show and his long-running A Song of Ice and Fire saga. Known for his sluggish writing pace, the 70-year-old admits that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ hit series has long overtaken his ongoing book series and will have a different ending to books.

Martin first put pen to paper decades ago and published A Game of Thrones in 1996. Since then, there’s been four more books and another two still on the way. Considering A Dance with Dragons was released in 2011, it seems like we’ve been waiting an eternity for the next book, The Winds of Winter.

While Benioff and Weiss have put their own spin on the source material, it sounds like the differences are only going to get bigger in Season 8. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Martin confessed, “I’ve been so slow with these books.”

Explaining where the show and books go next, he continued, “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.”

Game of Thrones Daenerys Prophecy

Catching up on the books, A Dance with Dragons closed with the cliffhanger ending of Jon Snow being betrayed by the Night’s Watch and being left for dead. Fans of the show will remember that this happened way back in 2015 when Season 5’s “Mother Mercy” left us on the same nail-biting knife’s edge.

Since then, Benioff and Weiss have had major moments like Jon’s resurrection, Sansa Stark’s marriage to Ramsay Bolton, the Battle of the Bastards, the death of Littlefinger, and the devastating fall of the Wall. It seems like HBO is using Martin’s books as more of a framework while both worlds work toward the same goal.

Although a few things will be altered along the way, expect the main players left alive and the big events of A Dream of Spring to play out across Season 8.


Over the course of Thrones‘ impressive run, we’ve seen characters like Ser Barristan Selmy, Myrcella Baratheon, Margaery Tyrell, Stannis Baratheon, and Petyr Bealish bow out before their screen counterparts. However, with Martin’s crawling attitude when it comes to releasing the books, you can’t blame HBO for getting ahead of the game — Imagine having to wait eight years between seasons.

Benioff and Weiss reportedly got the job as showrunners because they impressed Martin so much when they figured out one of the saga’s big twists ahead of schedule. Ultimately, what will happen before the credits roll on Game of Thrones is anyone’s guess…even Martin’s.

[Featured Image: HBO]

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