George R.R. Martin Plans Bittersweet Ending for Game of Thrones

Posted on August 13, 2015

In an interview with The Observer, George R. R. Martin discusses the ending of the bestselling series A Song of Fire and Ice. He reveals that he hasn't written the ending yet. But he hints that it won't be the bloodbath that many are expecting.

Interviewer Sean T. Collins tells Martin that most people he knows are convinced the show will end "in some horrible apocalypse." (We certainly fall in that group. How could it end otherwise, given what's happened in the last season?) But Martin held out hope that at least someone will get a happy ending. Or at least a not miserable ending. He say he has not written the ending yet, but it's not his intent to end the story with a horrible apocalypse. He says he's going for a bittersweet ending that strikes the same tone as the end of Tolkien's Lord of the Ring trilogy.

He notes that it's no secret that he has been strongly influenced by by J.R.R. Tolkien, and that he loves how Tolkien ended the series, which has a victory at the end, but a bittersweet one. Martin explains, "Frodo is never whole again, and he goes away to the Undying Lands, and the other people live their lives. And the scouring of the Shire -- brilliant piece of work, which I didn't understand when I was 13 years old: "Why is this here? The story's over?" But every time I read it I understand the brilliance of that segment more and more. All I can say is that’s the kind of tone I will be aiming for."

He has said in previous interviews that he does know how the story ends, even if it isn't written yet. He has shared that information with the Game of Thrones showrunners, so it's likely TV viewers will know the ending before those who read the books and don't watch the HBO show.

Of course after this past season's ending, many fans of the show have sworn they are done with the series for good, and that only a confirmed sighting of Kit Harrison playing a resurrected Jon Snow on a set somewhere will entice them back. But we think they'll cave in and watch next season, no matter what happens.

Photo: Bantam

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