Game of Thrones ended some 18 months ago, but A Song of Ice and Fire fans are still waiting for George RR Martin to finish the penultimate book The Winds of Winter. During the show’s run, Entertainment Weekly’s James Hibberd famously had excellent access, culminating in his official book on the making of Game of Thrones, Fire Cannot Kill A Dragon. Now Hibberd has given a new interview, sharing that, from what he knows, ASOIAF’s book ending will be “very different” to the TV show.
Speaking with Spanish ASOIAF fan website Los Siete Reinos, Hibberd spoke of how Martin finds discussing Game of Thrones beyond his book narrative a struggle.
The writer said: “His emotional journey with the show is a complicated one, and he’s candid about expressing that, as well.
“It’s particularly difficult for him to discuss the show’s latter seasons because he has his own very different versions of certain events coming in the books.
“He surprised me by giving one example on the record that I included in the book [on how Hodor’s death will be different].”
READ MORE: Winds of Winter release date: ‘George RR Martin looking close to end’
Martin had said of Hodor’s death: “I thought they executed it very well, but there are going to be differences in the book.”
The author explained to Hibberd how Game of Thrones portrayed the scene in a very physical way with Hodor literally holding the door thanks to his great strength.
But on his intentions for the scene in the books, the 72-year old said: “In the book, Hodor has stolen one of the old swords from the crypt.
“Bran has been warging into Hodor and practising with his body, because Bran had been trained in swordplay. So telling Hodor to ‘hold the door’ is more like ‘hold this pass’ — defend it when enemies are coming — and Hodor is fighting and killing them. A little different, but same idea.”
Martin shared on his blog last year that he hopes to publish The Winds of Winter in 2021.
While respected ASOIAF expert BryndenBFish believes the 72-year-old really is close to finally finishing the book.
In an extensive analysis posted on the ASOIAF Reddit, BryndenBFish concluded: “George is reordering the book and moving things around. What this indicates is that George has a better sense of the narrative thrust of the book, and that he’s ordering chapters to fall in the best thematic, plot or character order.
“That also again underlines the point that George has enough finalized material that he feels like he can do this now and may also be closer to completion than previously thought.”
The ASOIAF expert, whose full blog post can be read here, feels that Martin’s progress with A Dance with Dragons is a reliable benchmark for just how fast he’s writing The Winds of Winter.
BryndenBFish wrote: “What I discovered was that as George got closer to finishing ADWD, he began to write faster, writing some seven hundred-plus manuscript pages between January 2010 and April 2011.
“GRRM’s steady and picking up steam progress may be data points which show that George is truly, and I know you’ll sigh and accuse me of not being the hypeslayer anymore (No, I will not change my flair) inching towards the finish line.”
To read James Hibberd’s full interview in English click here or in Spanish click here.