With the final season of Game of Thrones ready to premiere on HBO, fans are dying to know how the epic series will come to an end. If they’re expecting to find out from George RR Martin, author of the A Song of Fire and Ice novels, though, they’re out of luck.
“I haven’t read the [final-season] scripts and haven’t been able to visit the set because I’ve been working on [The Winds of Winter],” he told Entertainment Weekly. “I know some of the things. But there’s a lot of minor-character [arcs] they’ll be coming up with on their own. And, of course, they passed me several years ago. There may be important discrepancies.”
As for the show ending as a whole, Martin explained that he has “mixed feelings about that.” While the adaptation of his novels has become one of the biggest TV shows of all time, the screen version of the story has gone further than the events of the novels. “Obviously, I wished I finished these books sooner so the show hadn’t gotten ahead of me,” he said. “I never anticipated that.”
That said, though, Game of Thrones isn’t necessarily ending. As Martin explained, “It’s not the end for me. I’m still deeply in it. I better live a long time because I have a lot of work left to do.” In addition to The Winds of Winter, a seventh novel–A Promise of Spring–was previously announced. Beyond that, there’s also a prequel in the works.
And if you’re worried that the final season will spoil how the books will end, that shouldn’t be much of a concern. “Now that the show is ahead of the books, it seems the show could ruin the books for people,” co-showrunner David Benioff said. “So one thing we’ve talked to George about is that we’re not going to tell people what the differences are, so when those books come out people can experience them fresh,”
The final season of Game of Thrones premieres Sunday, April 14 on HBO. Make sure to check out the trailer for the new season and our deep dive breakdown into all of the secrets it holds.