George R.R. Martin: Game of Thrones’ Ending will be “Bittersweet”


As we reported yesterday, George R.R. Martin, creator of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, will be honored by Northwestern University this weekend. As part of the lead up to this, Martin has traveled to the school, where he gave a talk at the Northwestern Medill School of Journalism. According to Time, in it, he talked extensively about writing the series, and that although he understands his fans want the books to come faster, it’s just not something he can force.

I’ve been hearing them come up behind me for years, and the question is, How can I make myself write faster? I think, by now, the answer is, I can’t. I write at the pace I write, and what the show is doing is not going to change what the books are.

As someone who writes for a living, I can sympathize. Having a gift for writing is a hard thing to explain to people, as well as hope each person’s gift is different. Asking someone whose pace is writing one tome every five years to suddenly start cranking out novels for every other Christmas isn’t practical, especially if you’re looking for something of quality.

Martin assures fans though that the wait will be worth it, and those who fear that the series will end in a Hamlet-like massacre of all the characters left on stage, or worse, some sort of giant cataclysm that swallows Westeros and everyone in it whole, should take heart.

“I think you need to have some hope…we all yearn for happy endings in a sense. Myself, I’m attracted to the bittersweet ending. People ask me how Game of Thrones is gonna end, and I’m not gonna tell them … but I always say to expect something bittersweet in the end. You can’t just fulfill a quest and then pretend life is perfect.”

And perhaps it will taste all the sweeter for the wait.

Next: Advance Review—The Noble Houses of Westeros: Seasons 1-5