Game of Thrones deaths won't match books, George R.R. Martin says

The author says he's "working on" Winds of Winter, and the print books won't always align with the HBO series.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
2 min read

If you're still mourning some of the deaths from HBO's Game of Thrones (MARGAERY!), take heart. Author George R.R. Martin spoke at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City, California on Tuesday night, and he flat-out said that some of those who died onscreen will "never" die in his books. (Naturally, he didn't say which ones.)

Martin has said before that his book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, will not slavishly follow the HBO show's plotlines. But it was good news to some fans that at least a few of the show deaths will not occur on the page. 

According to a Reddit summary of the talk, Martin said that HBO is "killing a lot more people" than he has plans for, and that he does not see the show as a draft for future books. The author also said that HBO made some content decisions that moved the show along quicker than he expected, and he had thought he would have two additional years to publish Winds of Winter before the show passed the books by.

Martin and artist John Picacio appeared onstage in an event benefitting the Locus Science Fiction Foundation and leading up to the Worldon science-fiction convention.

And Picacio wasn't afraid to pose the one question the author can't escape, asking Martin "Where you at with (long-awaited sixth book in the series) Winds of Winter, how's it coming?" 

Martin's response was a loud and definite, "Working on it." He went on to add, "Working on it, believe me, you'll know when it's done. It'll be the shout that is heard 'round the world."

Winds of Winter has no announced release date, but Martin's first volume in his history of the Targaryen family, Fire & Blood Vol. 1, will be published Nov. 20. The HBO show is expected to return in 2019.

Inside the workshop where Game of Thrones swords are made

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