Our watch has ended. The series finale of Game of Thrones has aired, disappointing some fans and winning others money in bets over who would take the Iron Throne. For those who don't want to say goodbye to Westeros just yet, there is good news: George R. R. Martin's final books in the Song of Ice and Fire series are still on their way. Will the upcoming Winds of Winter and Dreams of Spring, end the same way the show did?
Martin's books did mostly follow the plot of the HBO show. However, the TV series is now far past the events of the novels. The last book to be released, A Dance with Dragon, hit shelves in 2011 and ended with the death of Jon Snow (Kit Harrington), who, as fans know, was brought back to life in the show.
We don't know exactly how Martin wanted his Song of Ice and Fire series to end, but we do know that he told the Observer that he planned a "bittersweet" ending for his characters. In a blog post following the series finale, he was just as cryptic.
“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.”
However, he did tease that some characters who died in the show might still be alive in the books, as well as all the characters from the books that never made in it on screen.
"Book or show, which will be the ‘real’ ending? It’s a silly question," he concluded. "How many children did Scarlett O’Hara have? 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."
"One thing we’ve talked to George about is that we’re not going to tell people what the differences are, so when those books come out people can experience them fresh," Benioff told EW.
Basically, Martin wasn't giving the GoT writers an outline for what needs to happen in the show so that it matches up with the book series — which means there's a real chance we won't get the same ending onscreen as we do in the future novels. In fact, Benioff claimed that Martin's not even sure what his ending will be.
"George discovers a lot of stuff while he’s writing," Benioff explained to EW. "I don’t think that final book is written in stone yet — it’s not written on paper yet. As George says, he’s a gardener and he’s waiting to see how those seeds blossom."
Could Martin see the mixed fan reaction to the GoT ending and change up how the story of Westeros ends? It's possible — which may mean someone else nabs the Iron Throne this time around. Just don't bet on being any happier about it: Remember, Martin promises a dose of bitterness to our happy ending.