George RR Martin gave an interview with The Observer recently in which he was asked whether the Game of Thrones story will end in a way in which “everyone will lose — whether it will end in some horrible apocalypse”.
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Here’s how GRRM responded:
I haven’t written the ending yet, so I don’t know, but no. 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. 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.
Obviously “bittersweet” could mean a bunch of things, but it’s a relief to know that it’s not just going to end with everyone dying or fading to black like The Sopranos did. Endings like that work in movies where you’ve only spent a couple hours enjoying it but when you’ve been following something for years and years and anticipating it every week you NEED a proper ending and not some cop out. So good to know that’s what George is planning on giving us.
What’s the most likely scenario though? Surely Khaleesi, Tyrion and (the returning?) Jon Snow join forces at some point, and it seems a sure thing that Khaleesi’s dragons are going to clash with the Whitewalkers in some big fuck off battle.
Whatever the case, we can’t wait. Also need way more Natalie Dormer on screen next season – make it happen HBO.