Next month, HBO will begin to air the final six episodes of Game of Thrones ever to be transmitted over the airwaves. As you might have guessed, George R.R. Martin finds it very bittersweet that the TV adaptation of his literary baby is coming to an end.
“[I have] mixed feelings about that," the 70-year-old fantasy writer told Entertainment Weekly. "It’s been an incredible ride. And almost all of it has been great. Obviously, I wished I finished these books sooner so the show hadn’t gotten ahead of me. I never anticipated that.”
It's common knowledge that the series surpassed the plot of the books a long time ago and that Martin is still clacking away on The Winds of Winter, a book that may or may not be the penultimate installment in his Song of Ice and Fire saga; Martin has said in the past that his publishers believe he has enough material to stretch The Winds of Winter into two books, but he's against the idea. In any case, A Dream of Spring will follow Winds whenever the latter is finally published.
“It’s the end for a lot of people,” Martin added, getting back to Season 8. “It’s not the end for me. I’m still deeply in it. I better live a long time, because I have a lot of work left to do.”
Back in September, Martin said that he thought that the show could've lasted beyond eight seasons:
“We could’ve gone 11, 12, 13 seasons, but I guess [showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] wanted a life. If you've read my novels, you know there was enough material for more seasons."
Luckily, Game of Thrones fans won't have to go cold turkey for the rest of their lives once the show is over in mid-May, because a prequel is already in the works. Starring Naomi Watts (King Kong), the show is set thousands of years before the current show. While it's only rumored that the title is "The Long Night," it is confirmed that production will begin this summer, with a premiere date in either 2020 or 2021.
The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones premieres on HBO Sunday, April 14. There's no word on when The Winds of Winter might be released to the public.