Warning: The following post contains spoilers for the latest episode of Game of Thrones, "The Bells". If you haven't seen the episode yet, or otherwise don't want to know what happens, stop reading!
• A Reddit user sharply recalled that George R. R. Martin shared his idea for an ending with HBO Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
• Martin reaffirmed in April that he shared the “major points” of the ending.
• With Sunday’s penultimate episode, have we already begun to see how Martin always planned for things to end?
In light of the events of Sunday's penultimate Game of Thrones episode, "The Bells," fans everywhere are trying to make sense of what we've already seen, and what could still be to come in next week's grand series finale.
Ahead of that finale, everyone seems to be working their way through the archives, thinking of any clues or hints that may have come away. And while not a prediction of any sort, one fan mad an astute observation that crawled its way to the top of Reddit's homepage.
As that user, u/sam1405, sharply recalled, George R. R. Martin-the writer of the original A Song of Ice and Fire series-shared his key ending points with Game of Thrones' HBO showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, years ago. While the road taken may not be the same road that Martin takes in his (eventually released) books, these key points are by and large the ones that he's always planned on.
As u/sam1405 put in a post:
That was it. That was the scouring of the shire that GRRM intended to end with. Some of it didn't make complete sense because the way we got there was very different to how the books will get there, but that was GRRM's ending for sure. Although he will likely change it now (that's assuming he ever finishes the books).
The Northmen who we assumed as the good guys are rapists. The unsullied who we assumed are the liberators kill unarmed people. Danerys who we assumed would be free of the curse of Targaryen genes is a mad queen. Cleganebowl results in Sandor dying by (a fall into) fire, his worst fear. GRRM wasn't subverting our expectations like D&D tried to in the rest of season 8, but he did want to twist a knife into our guts with a cruel reminder that in the world of ice and fire, there are no good guys and bad guys.
Episode 5 may be inconsistent with the rest of season 8, but that's because the show writers didn't follow all the steps in getting there. But as a book reader I'm convinced that generally speaking that was how George wanted this story to end. GRRM himself stated the show's ending will be pretty damn similar to his own based on everything he told D&D.
As soon as it became clear that the show was going to pass the books Martin shared his intended ending with Benioff and Weiss.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Martin said that while he didn't read any scripts, or see any advance screenings of Thrones episodes, he did have meetings with the showrunner pair where they had "discussed stuff."
He said that he expected to be surprised by the ending-somewhat.
"Well, to a degree. I mean, I think … the major points of the ending will be things that I told them, you know, five or six years ago," he said. "But there may also be changes, and there’ll be a lot added."
As far as "major points" of the ending go, you'd have to imagine that Daenerys going full 'Mad Queen' and torching all of King's Landing would fall under that umbrella, and whatever comes down next week is probably safe to put in the same camp as well.
While Martin, in this case, obviously has little-to-nothing to do with the execution of those "major points," everything that we've been told makes it clear that structurally, this is the story that he's always intended to tell.
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