George R.R. Martin has dropped his biggest hint to date that the final two A Song of Ice and Fire books might be different to the way in which writers concluded the successful H.B.O. series earlier this week.
The 73rd and final episode of Game of Thrones went out across the world on Sunday at 2:00am G.M.T.
The series finale has polarised opinion amongst fans with more than one million of them signing an online petition demanding H.B.O. to shoot the entire eighth season again.
"Winter is coming, I told you, long ago… and so it is," wrote Martin in a blog published on his website georgerrmartin.com/notablog on Monday.
"The Winds of Winter [the next book] is very late, I know, I know, but it will be done.
"I won’t say when, I’ve tried that before, only to burn you all and jinx myself… but I will finish it, and then will come A Dream of Spring [the final book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series]."
Martin, who turns 71 in September, went on to say the final two books are likely to be told in 3,000 pages or more.
"How will it all end? I hear people asking. The same ending as the show? Different?
"Well… yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes.
"I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget.
"They had six hours for this final season.
"I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3,000 manuscript pages between them before I’m done… and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I’ll add them. And of course the butterfly effect will be at work as well; those of you who follow this Not A Blog will know that I’ve been talking about that since season one.
"There are characters who never made it onto the screen at all, and others who died in the show but still live in the books… so if nothing else, the readers will learn what happened to Jeyne Poole, Lady Stoneheart, Penny and her pig, Skahaz Shavepate, Arianne Martell, Darkstar, Victarion Greyjoy, Ser Garlan the Gallant, Aegon VI, and a myriad of other characters both great and small that viewers of the show never had the chance to meet. And yes, there will be unicorns… of a sort…
"Book or show, which will be the “real” ending? It’s a silly question. How many children did Scarlett O’Hara have?
"How about this? I’ll write it. You read it. Then everyone can make up their own mind, and argue about it on the internet," concluded Martin.