Game of Thrones Author George R.R. Martin: Expect a “Bittersweet” Ending, “Life Doesn’t Work That Way”

Game of Thrones Author George R. R. Martin: Expect a "Bittersweet" End
Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin teased the ending of his wildly popular book series, telling fans to gear up for a "bittersweet ending" -- get the details. Macall B. Polay/courtesy of HBO

Arya prepared?! Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin teased the ending of his wildly successful book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, telling his legions of fans on Wednesday, Nov. 4, to gear up for a "bittersweet ending."

"We all yearn for happy endings in a sense," Martin, 67, told students at Northwestern's journalism school (via The Wrap). "Myself, I’m attracted to the bittersweet ending. People ask me how Game of Thrones is gonna end, and I’m not gonna tell them, but I always say to expect something bittersweet in the end."

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey on Game of Thrones

In fact, Martin believes one particular scribe mastered that particular type of ending. "I think [J.R.R. Tolkien] did this brilliantly," he continued. "I didn’t understand that when I was a kid, when I read Return of the King. You can’t just fulfill a quest and then pretend life is perfect. Life doesn’t work that way."

Maisie Williams on Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones, HBO's adaptation of his wildly successful fantasy novels, debuted in April 2011. So far in the books and TV series, which the author also helps pen, Martin has killed off countless lead characters, including Ned Stark, Robb Stark, Catelyn Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, Tywin Lannister, and countless others. A tally at the end of Season 5, which ended in June, revealed that more than 60 characters have been killed off.

The (oftentimes catastrophic) plot line has caught up to — and in some cases, passed — the events in the already published books. However, the final two books of the seven-novel series have not yet been released.

George R.R. Martin

"I’ve been hearing them come up behind me for years, and the question is, ‘How can I make myself write faster?’" Martin joked. "I think by now the answer is, ‘I can’t.' I write at the pace I write and what the show is doing is not going to change what the books are."

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!