George R.R. Martin has long said that he knows how “Game of Thrones” will end. In fact, he’s already told showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss on the off chance that something happens to him and he can’t finish writing.
But while fans anxiously await the next “A Song of Ice and Fire” book “The Winds of Winter,” they can rest easy knowing Martin has a backup ending for the series in case he writes himself into a corner. As he explains on Empire Magazine’s webcast, he’s already written himself an easy exit even though there’s a lot more he has left to write.
“Two BIG books. 1500 manuscript pages each — that’s 3000 pages. I think I have a good shot. And you know, if I really get pressed, I’ve already established that red comet. I can just have it hit Westeros and wipe out all life,” he writes. Knowing his track record with red things, it’s unlikely that he’s joking.
Martin also gives an answer to when “Winds of Winter” will be finished — “When it’s done!” — and whether he knows where “A Song of Ice and Fire” is going. Short answer: he does.
“I hate outlines. I have a broad sense of where the story is going; I know the end, I know the end of the principal characters, and I know the major turning points and events from the books, the climaxes for each book, but I don’t necessarily know each twist and turn along the way,” he explains. “That’s something I discover in the course of writing and that’s what makes writing enjoyable. I think if I outlined comprehensively and stuck to the outline the actual writing would be boring.”
Would you be okay if Martin used his backup ending?