Martin promises thousands of pages of material in his final two books, including more on characters that never made it to the screen and even "unicorns ... of a sort."
George R.R. Martin took to his own blog with some thoughts on that controversial "Game of Thrones" finale, while also teasing how his long-anticipated books may differ from the HBO series.
After heaping praise on the incredible cast and crew that brought Westeros to life over the past decade, Martin started by describing the constraints David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were working under for the final season, pointing out, "I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget."
He went on to add, "They had six hours for this final season," which was not exactly true.
He continued differentiating their work from his own, which leaves plenty of room for fans to read between the lines and speculate about what exactly the books will contain.
"I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3000 manuscript pages between them before I'm done," he wrote. "And if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I'll add them."
Is that a very diplomatic way of saying that Benioff and Weiss rushed their final season(s), rather than allowing the characters to reach their own conclusions narratively rather than haphazardly as their plot and time constraints dictated?
He went on to point out how the show had already strayed from his source material, with "characters who never made it onto the screen at all, and others who died in the show but still live in the books." He then listed off several names familiar to book readers that show fans have never heard of.
"And yes, there will be unicorns... of a sort..." he added.
But will the books end the same as the show? "How will it all end? I hear people asking," he wrote. "The same ending as the show? Different? Well... yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes."
While he won't commit to a firm date after all these years, Martin insists the books are on their way. "I'm writing," he insists. "Winter is coming, I told you, long ago... and so it is."
"'The Winds of Winter' is very late, I know, I know, but it will be done," he promised. "I won't say when, I've tried that before, only to burn you all and jinx myself... but I will finish it, and then will come 'A Dream of Spring.'"
As a way to plug his forthcoming books, he did a wondeful job in this blog post. As a way to try and defend the show as a different beast, his results may have varied as it's easy to interpret his words as Martin agreeing with much of the fan criticism that the show felt rushed and sloppy.
"Book or show, which will be the 'real' ending? It's a silly question," Martin concluded. "How about this? I'll write it. You read it. Then everyone can make up their own mind, and argue about it on the internet."
After all, adaptations are never completely faithful to the source material, and sometimes they're even been better.
Even if Martin follows the major beats of the series with Arya killing the Night King, Daenerys going mad with grief and rage, Jon being banished, the North gaining independence and Bran sitting on whatever's left of the Iron Throne, he'll more than likely use those 3,000 pages to build to these moments; taking fans on a character-driven journey to justify and earn every betrayal and every heartbreak and every triumph.
And if "Game of Thrones" is ever again commissioned as a television series, it will probably be given more than 73 episodes to try and tell its story -- or at least pace itself better so it has time to let his final two novels breathe properly with consistency in pacing and character and narrative throughout its run.
In the meantime, we can keep lobbying for "West of Westeros," the continuing adventures of Arya Stark. Maybe she'll find more dragons ... and unicorns?!