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To say that the Game of Thrones series finale didn't go over well with fans is a bit of an understatement. But in terms of regrets tied to the series, perhaps no one has more than author George R. R. Martin, but not because of what showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss put on screen after they had run out of GRRM-provided source material.
The scribe of the book series A Song of Ice and Fire, which includes Book 1, Game of Thrones, appeared on Chicago's PBS station to discuss his writing, as well as being a recent recipient of a Northwestern University honorary doctorate. And Martin shared with the host, Brandis Friedman, that the HBO adaptation of his books did indeed change his life, in "mostly good ways."
"Looking back, I wish I’d stayed ahead of the books," Martin mused as he looked back on the series. "My biggest issue there was when they began that series, I had four books already in print, and the fifth one came out just as the series was starting in 2011. I had a five-book head start. And these are gigantic books, as you know. I never thought they would catch up with me but they did."
He continued, "They caught up with me and passed me and, you know, that made it a little strange because now, the show was ahead of me and the show was going in somewhat different directions. I'm still working on the book but you'll see my ending when it comes out."
Of course, as fans of the books are more than aware, the sixth book in Martin's series — titled The Winds of Winter — has yet to come out, with the author having been plugging away at it for years now. Though, as he shared recently, he has made some progress in the last year. Granted, there's still one more book to go after that: the planned seventh and final novel in the series, A Dream of Spring.
But that's not all that's on the horizon. Not only is there a GoT stageplay in the works, but HBO is also going full steam ahead on at least four different Game of Thrones tie-in series, one of which is House of the Dragon, a prequel series that is set 300 years before GoT and will focus on the dragon-riding ancestors of Danaerys herself: House Targaryen. It is currently in production and will star Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Eve Best (Fate: The Winx Saga), Rhys Ifans (Harry Potter), Sonoya Mizuno (Devs), Paddy Considine (The Outsider), Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One), Emma D’Arcy (Truth Seekers), and Steve Toussaint (Doctor Who).
No release date has been set for Winds of Winter, though Martin is still working on it... at his own pace. But House of the Dragon is expected to fly onto HBO sometime next year.