‘Game of Thrones’ Author George R.R. Martin Wishes He ‘Stayed Ahead of the Books’

Game of Thrones - Season 8 - Kit Harington as Jon Snow and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen

George R.R. Martin is expressing some mild regret over his writing schedule following the run of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

The author of the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, upon which Thrones is based, sat down to speak with Chicago’s PBS affiliate WTTW to chat about his career and the insanely popular franchise. “Looking back, I wish I’d stayed ahead of the books,” Martin admitted.

As fans of the author know, only five books from A Song of Ice and Fire have been published with the fifth arriving shortly after Game of Thrones began airing. The sixth book The Winds of Winter has been in progress for a while, leaving fans waiting for the continuation of Martin’s intended tale.

“My biggest issue there was when they began the series, I had four books already in print, and the fifth one came out just as the series was starting in 2011,” Martin explained. “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. They caught up with me and passed me.”

George R. R. Martin

(Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

The TV series followed Martin’s books up until the fifth season at which point the showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss deviated from the source material. Despite working off-book in the seasons ahead, Martin still provided support and key plot points for the show to use, but it was still strange for the author.

“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,” shared Martin. “So, I’m still working on the book, but you’ll see my ending when that comes out.”

In other words, expect a different ending from the one seen in Season 8 of Game of Thrones, which left many viewers torn. Check out Martin’s full conversation, below, and stay tuned for other Thrones-related projects at HBO including House of the Dragon, on which Martin co-creates and executive-produces.

Game of Thrones, Streaming now, HBO Max