George R.R. Martin Is Still Planning to Diverge From Game of Thrones Show With Winds of Winter

George R.R. Martin on red carpet for Tolkien.

Photo: Amy Sussman (Getty Images)

As the Game of Thrones television universe expands with the upcoming prequel show House of the Dragon, George R.R. Martin, creator and author of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series, has provided a sort-of update on his long-awaited Winds of Winter.

On his site, the writer confirmed that his upcoming book will indeed differentiate in many ways from the HBO series based on his Song of Ice and Fire as his epic conclusion is still being hammered out. “Another question that I get a lot, especially since the end of GAME OF THRONES on HBO, is whether A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, will end the same way. An architect would be able to give a short, concise, simple answer to that, but I am much more of a gardener. My stories grow and evolve and change as I write them. I generally know where I am going, sure… the final destinations, the big set pieces, they have been my head for years… for decades, in the case of A SONG OF ICE & FIRE. There are lots of devils in the details, though, and sometimes the ground changes under my feet as the words pour forth,” he wrote.

“Most of you know by now that I do not like to give detailed updates on WINDS. I am working on it, I have been working on it, I will continue to work on it,” he said of his progress, and linked a video where he talked about what kind of writer he is. No doubt to address the concerns with the HBO series going off the rails—possibly due to the lack of road map when the show caught up to the books—he added: “What I have noticed more and more of late, however, is my gardening is taking me further and further away from the television series. Yes, some of the things you saw on HBO in GAME OF THRONES you will also see in THE WINDS OF WINTER (though maybe not in quite the same ways)… but much of the rest will be quite different. And really, when you think about it, this was inevitable. The novels are much bigger and much much more complex than the series. Certain things that happened on HBO will not happen in the books. And vice versa.”

Becoming quite a figure in the public eye has no doubt added some expectations for Martin, who has always been transparent that writing takes him awhile and that he plans on including more than what was seen on the show. “I have viewpoint characters in the books never seen on the show: Victarion Greyjoy, Arianne Martell, Areo Hotah, Jon Connington, Aeron Damphair,” he said. “They will all have chapters, and the things they do and say will impact the story and the major characters who were on the show. And… well, the list is long. (And all this is part of why WINDS is taking so long. This is hard, guys).” He concluded by noting, “…not all of the characters who survived until the end of GAME OF THRONES will survive until the end of A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, and not all of the characters who died on GAME OF THRONES will die in A SONG OF ICE & FIRE. (Some will, sure. Of course. Maybe most. But definitely not all) (Of course, I could change my mind again next week…)”

That’s not exactly an update, but it does sound encouraging at least. We look forward to the end of A Song of Ice and Fire when it’s published eventually!

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