House Stark warns that Winter Is Coming, the Westerosi spin on the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared (because something terrible is about to happ—oh Seven Hells, I can’t believe another character is dead).” But when it comes to the ending of Game of Thrones, aka A Song of Ice and Fire, author George R.R. Martin hasn’t actually planned for disaster.
When asked by the Observer if every character will lose the game of thrones, GRRM said, “[N]o. That’s certainly not my intent.” Specifically, he is planning on a “bittersweet” tone for his finale. And it’s all a part of J.R.R. Tolkien’s influence on the writer:
“I love the way [Tolkien] ended Lord of the Rings. It ends with victory, but it’s a bittersweet victory. Frodo is never whole again, and he goes away to the Undying Lands, and the other people live their lives. And the scouring of the Shire—brilliant piece of work, which I didn’t understand when I was 13 years old: ‘Why is this here? The story’s over?’ ...
“But every time I read it I understand the brilliance of that segment more and more. All I can say is that’s the kind of tone I will be aiming for.”
For Lord of the Rings, there is great victory yet great suffering. I see plenty of potential for the same tone in A Song of Ice and Fire: Daenerys wins the Seven Kingdoms yet loses her dragons; Arya gets revenge yet loses her identity; Tyrion finds the young wife he lost yet suffers the same fate as Varys (a eunuch) (egads).
Do you think the ending to Game of Thrones will be as poignant as Lord of the Rings'? How do you think it will end … besides with ice and fire?