Winter is coming. The Winds of Winter, rather.
Following the series finale of Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin has now updated fans on his thoughts about the HBO epic coming to an end. He's also answered two of the most burning questions fans have about what's ahead with his book series.
First, Martin assured fans that his sixth installment, The Winds of Winter, is still coming -- although he still hasn't revealed a release date -- and that it will be followed by the final book in the series, A Dream of Spring.
"Winter is coming, I told you, long ago... and so it is," he wrote on his personal blog Monday. "The Winds of Winter is very late, I know, I know, but it will be done. 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."
He then addressed how those final books might echo the ending of Game of Thrones -- and on that front,Martin kept it cryptic.
"How will it all end? I hear people asking. The same ending as the show? Different?" he wrote. "Well... yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes."
Martin reportedly provided Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff a rough outline of his major characters' planned endings once they ran out of published source material to draw from ahead of Season 6. As a result, the series incorporated his so-called "holy sh--" moments, like the Shireen Baratheon barbecue scene, the heartbreaking reveal of Hodor's history, and one unspecified revelation from the finale. It's that last one that's got people wondering, of course.
However, no matter which portions of the final season will play out in his last two books, Martin insists his version will still be distinct from what fans saw onscreen. "I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget. They had six hours for this final season. I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3000 manuscript pages between them before I'm done... and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I'll add them," he wrote.
Martin also reminded readers that he's still got a slew of characters who never made it into the show but will still get their due in his stories. "The butterfly effect will be at work as well," he wrote. "There are characters who never made it onto the screen at all, and others who died in the show but still live in the books... so if nothing else, the readers will learn what happened to Jeyne Poole, Lady Stoneheart, Penny and her pig, Skahaz Shavepate, Arianne Martell, Darkstar, Victarion Greyjoy, Ser Garlan the Gallant, Aegon VI, and a myriad of other characters both great and small that viewers of the show never had the chance to meet. And yes, there will be unicorns... of a sort."
The author concluded by insisting that both depictions of the story's ending are equally valid, saying that it's "silly" to bicker over which will constitute the "real" ending to the world he designed. "How about this? I'll write it. You read it," Martin wrote. "Then everyone can make up their own mind, and argue about it on the internet."