And they all lived... we're not sure.
At least, George R R Martin isn't yet.
In an interview with The Observer, the author of the Song of Ice and Fire series promised that the ending wouldn't involve a grand finale in which all our beloved characters die. Which is a surprise.
"I haven’t written the ending yet, so I don’t know, but no," Martin assured. "That’s certainly not my intent. I’ve said before that the tone of the ending that I’m going for is bittersweet. I mean, it’s no secret that Tolkien has been a huge influence on me, and I love the way he ended Lord of the Rings. It ends with victory, but it’s a bittersweet victory."
When Martin's series was first picked up by publishers back in the early nineties, it was set to be a trilogy, much like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. However, given the depth of history and characters that Martin developed, he was encouraged to expand on the series, resulting in the vast saga of six-and-counting books.
The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in the series, is most likely set to arrive next year - with Martin having cancelled many tour events in order to finalise editing. The comments in The Observer interview reveal that the concluding work, A Dream of Spring, is far from a final draft.
Related: The Future of Jon Snow Revealed
Martin continued, "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. Whether I achieve it or not, that will be up to people like you and my readers to judge."
So - does Martin know who exactly who is going to win his Game of Thrones? Could the axe still fall on some undecided characters? Just what is Martin's definition of bittersweet (his weddings aren't much of a laugh)?
We'll find out in 2020.
[Via: The Observer]