The final Game of Thrones books haven't been published (or even written) yet. But George RR Martin has consulted on the show since the beginning.

Did he ensure that the show ended the same way that the books are going to?

Or did the show writers come up with their own ending?

(There are obviously small plot differences - I'm asking about the ultimate, final ending that happened in S08E06 of the show.)

  • 8
    AFAIK, Martin doesn't actually know how his saga will end yet at least I recall a comment along those lines. - movies.stackexchange.com/questions/30909/…
    – Paulie_D
    May 20, 2019 at 11:21
  • @Paulie_D that was before that "meeting" ?
    – Ankit Sharma
    May 20, 2019 at 12:46
  • And what is this "ultimate, final ending"? Dany going mad? How easy for people to root for someone who ordered mass crucifixion of enemies... because they also did that! Somehow don't remember her having any nightmares because of burning Mirri alive, or slaughtering Astapor. But they were such bad people, right? Were they really?
    – Mithoron
    Feb 2 at 21:42

3 Answers 3


The last update we got from Martin was:

"I’ve been so slow with these books," Martin told Rolling Stone. "The major points of the ending will be things I told [Benioff and Weiss] five or six years ago. But there may also be changes, and there’ll be a lot added." - mentalfloss

Also, form notablog (official communication from George R.R. Martin)

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. And of course the butterfly effect will be at work as well; those of you who follow this Not A Blog will know that I’ve been talking about that since season one. 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…

So the answer is yes and no both as per Martin himself.


G.R.R.M gave them "the big idea".

In an interview with D.B. Weiss and David Benioff they told VanityFair that George had given them the big picture for the ending, but not all the specifics.

“The lucky part is that George works with us and he’s a producer on the show,” Benioff says. “Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with him and just talk through where things are going, because we don’t know if we are going to catch up and where exactly that would be. If you know the ending, then you can lay the groundwork for it. And so we want to know how everything ends. We want to be able to set things up. So we just sat down with him and literally went through every character.”

“I can give them the broad strokes of what I intend to write, but the details aren’t there yet,” Martin says. “I’m hopeful that I can not let them catch up with me. And it’s my hope that long before they catch up with me I’ll have published The Winds of Winter, which’ll give me another couple years. It might be tight on the last book, A Dream of Spring, as they juggernaut forward.”

The Gathering Storm - VanityFair

So, he has always know a general idea for the ending, but as @AnkitSharma pointed out, he might change it up a little due to the poor reception.

  • 27
    IMO the poor reception is due to poor execution, rather than what actually happens. Given the number of pieces in motion (in both show and books) it is literally impossible that everyone will be happy with the ending. The unhappy opinion will always be maginifed, because it's more fun and trendy to hate something.
    – OrangeDog
    May 20, 2019 at 13:58
  • @OrangeDog Even if he executes it well, the very fact readers will be expecting this storyline due to having watched the show will cause it to underwhelm a much larger proportion of readers than if the show had never existed. The ending will feel flat if there are no major surprises or broad novelty to it. A spoiled ending simply achieves comparatively less impact than an unspoiled one, no matter the writing underpinning it. Martin's motivation to change the ending has been vastly increased—albeit technically still not fully obligated—because the show delivered that ending first.
    – Blaise
    May 21, 2019 at 8:49

Since you are asking about the ultimate, final ending of Game of Thrones, which is Bran becoming the King of Westeros (except the North), then yes, this ending is George RR Martin's vision

In a recent interview with HBO itself, on their official website, makinggameofthrones, Issac Hempstead Wright (King Bran the Broken) said that Bran transforming & killing Hodor & Bran becoming King are GRRM's vision.

[Creators] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] told me there were two things [author] George R.R. Martin had planned for Bran, and that was the Hodor revelation, and that he would be king. So that’s pretty special to be directly involved in something that is part of George’s vision. It was a really nice way to wrap it up.

Source - http://www.makinggameofthrones.com/production-diary/season-8-episode-6-finale-isaac-hempstead-wright-bran-interview

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