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George R. R. Martin Teases The Final Game Of Thrones Novels Will Be Quite Different From The HBO Series

It's hard to recall, now that the wave of "Game of Thrones" mania has crested, just how massive the hype around both the books and their HBO adaptation truly was. George R. R. Martin's sprawling world of Westeros captured the imaginations of readers, and the resulting HBO series revitalized the high fantasy genre for the 21st century.

However, after publishing five novels in the series, the last of which, "A Dance with Dragons," was released in 2011, Martin's prolific output seemed to halt. Though he sporadically updated fans about his work on the next installment, "The Winds of Winter," it has yet to materialize after more than a decade, the longest gap between novels in Martin's career. While it is common for novelists to spend many years on new work, "Game of Thrones" fans have been understandably disappointed by the long wait.

However, we finally have a new update from the reclusive author, who took to his WordPress blog (yes, Martin is the kind of writer who still has an independent blog) to give fans an update on his upcoming installment in the series, "The Winds of Winter."

"I have been at work in my winter garden," Martin wrote, referring to the metaphor he's often employed in which he compares writing to the process of gardening. "Things twist, things change, new ideas come to me (thank you, muse), old ideas prove unworkable, I write, I rewrite, I restructure, I rip everything apart and rewrite again, I go through doors that lead nowhere, and doors that open on marvels." 

That's quite a lyrical way to say you don't have a completed manuscript. However, Martin did provide some sense of what we can expect from "The Winds of Winter," most notably saying it will deviate substantially from the HBO series.

Martin says The Winds of Winter will have new characters and different deaths from the HBO series

According to George R. R. Martin, "The Winds of Winter" will deviate substantially from the HBO series. Continuing his blog post, the author wrote, "My gardening is taking me further and further away from the television series. Yes, some of the things you saw on HBO in GAME OF THRONES you will also see in THE WINDS OF WINTER (though maybe not in quite the same ways)... but much of the rest will be quite different." The revelation is likely a big relief for some fans. Notably, after running out of material in Martin's existing books, the HBO series took its own creative license, culminating in a final season that left many "Game of Thrones" fans deeply dissatisfied.

Martin said that the deviation is the result of the books being a different beast from the TV show. "The novels are much bigger and much much more complex than the series. Certain things that happened on HBO will not happen in the books. And vice versa." Additionally, Martin teased that there will be new characters and unexpected character deaths. "Not all of the characters who survived until the end of GAME OF THRONES will survive until the end of A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, and not all of the characters who died on GAME OF THRONES will die in A SONG OF ICE & FIRE. (Some will, sure. Of course. Maybe most. But definitely not all) ((Of course, I could change my mind again next week, with the next chapter I write. That's gardening))."

The author ended his missive by saying he knows some people will be upset about how long the book has taken to write. "That saddens me, but there [sic] nothing I can do about it, but write the best book that I can," he concluded.