The series finale of Game of Thrones has left some fans of the show feeling unsatisfied, so maybe they'll be happier to get an alternate take on it through the book series. Because we'll be talking about the episode below, be wary of incoming SPOILERS. Although Game of Thrones is based on the Song of Ice and Fire books, the showrunners have since had to develop original storylines after catching up to the source material, and some fans have been left unhappy with the new creative direction.
Author George R. R. Martin, who pens the book series the show is based on, recently wrote a blog post after the final episode aired to address the status of the next novels. Noting how he's been continuously asked if the books will match the storyline of the show, Martin vaguely admits there will be some similarities, but also many differences.
"How will it all end? I hear people asking. The same ending as the show? Different? Well... yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. 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.
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..."
One of the biggest criticisms Season 8 has been given is that the final episodes simply felt too rushed. That's probably a fair assessment to make, given that the showrunners were tasked with wrapping up a myriad of complex storylines in the span of just six episodes. Fans of Martin's work will know that no details are spared in the book series, and at the very least, the events of what's to come will be heavily expanded upon. There's certainly a portion of fans happy with what played out in Season 8, but still feeling like the story just needed some more time.
In contrast to that, other burnt fans are seemingly furious with what happened in the final season, and particularly the series finale. The King Bran reveal, Jon Snow's exile, and Drogon's strange behavior are among some of the many complaints viewers had with the final episode. It seems the backlash with the final season particularly amped up after the airing of the third episode of the season, making the final season of the show by far the worst-rated of the series on Rotten Tomatoes. It remains to be seen how this will affect viewership of upcoming spin-offs, which includes at least one prequel series already in the works.
Reception for the final season has actually been so bad, a petition was launched for HBO to remake Season 8 with new writers. While that's definitely not going to happen, despite the number of signatures the campaign may acquire, over a million people have already signed the petition. It would seem that their best hope to be given a different ending for the story is to stay tuned for Martin's next novels in the book series.
As for when we can expect to see Martin's next books in the series, the author admits he still has no idea. However, he assures fans he's definitely writing them, planning to release The Winds of Winter and its follow-up A Dream of Spring soon after. Perhaps these books can provide a way for fans unhappy with the TV series ending to experience something different in the literary version. This information comes to us from Martin's official website.