George R.R. Martin says Winds of Winter is “more different from the HBO series”

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Now that the Game of Thrones television universe is in full swing with the new prequel The House of the Dragon, George R.R. Martin, creator, and author of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series has provided a kind of update on his long-awaited book Winds of Winter.

On his website, the writer confirmed that his next book will differ in many ways from the HBO series based on his A Song of Ice and Fire saga, as its epic conclusion is still in the works. “Another question I get a lot of, especially since the Game of Thrones finale on HBO, is whether A Song of Ice and Fire will end the same way. An architect might give a short, concise, and simple answer to that, but I’m more into gardens. My stories grow, evolve, and change as I write them. I usually know where I’m going, of course… the final destination, the great pieces of history, all of that has been in my head for years in the case of A Song of Ice and Fire. However, the devil is in the details, and sometimes the ground changes under my feet as the words sprout,” he wrote.

“Most of you already know that I don’t like to give detailed updates on Winter Winds. I’m working on it, I’ve been working on it, and I’ll continue to work on it,” he said of his current progress. To calm fans unhappy about the HBO series, which began to falter when the chapters moved ahead of the book saga, Martin added: “However, what I’ve noticed lately is that I’m getting further and further away from the TV series. Yes, some of the things you saw in the HBO series you’ll also see in Winds of Winter (though maybe not in the same way)… but many things will be quite different. And really, when you think about it, you see that it was inevitable. The novels are much larger and much more complex than the series. Certain things that happened on HBO won’t happen in the books. And vice versa.”

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Admittedly, Martin has always tried to be transparent with the time it is taking him to conclude A Song of Ice and Fire and it is not the first time he claims that he will include more than what was seen in the series. “I have characters in the books that have never come out in the series: Victarion Greyjoy, Arianne Martell, Areo Hotah, Jon Connington, Aeron Damphair,” he said. “Everyone will have their chapters, and everything they say and do will have an impact on the story and the main characters who appeared in the series. And… well, the list is long. (And all of this helps explain why Winter Winds is carrying so much. This is being difficult, guys).” He concluded by noting: “… not all characters who survived to the end of Game of Thrones will survive the end of A Song of Ice and Fire, and not all characters who died in Game of Thrones will die in A Song of Ice and Fire. (Some will, of course. Maybe most. But definitely not all, although I could change my mind next week…)”

Not that it’s a great update, but at least it sounds encouraging to know that Martin is still working on it. We’ve been looking forward to the end of A Song of Ice and Fire and I can’t imagine what we’ll do the day it’s finally released!

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