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George R.R. Martin: 'Game of Thrones' ending will be bittersweet

It could have come straight from the mouth of Captain Obvious himself, but the author reinforces that the ending of his epic adventure won't be all snuggles and rainbows.

George R.R. Martin, author of the epic fantasy books that were adapted for the hit HBO series "Game of Thrones."
James Martin/CNET

If you think "Game of Thrones" may have a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention.

George R.R. Martin, author of the "Song of Ice and Fire" heptalogy on which the TV show "Game of Thrones" is based, visited his alma mater Northwestern University on Wednesday for induction into the Medill School of Journalism's Hall of Achievement. As part of the event, Martin did a Q&A session with a sold-out crowd, where he talked about his career, Justin Bieber and, of course, "Game of Thrones."

Talking particularly about the ending of the epic saga, Martin said, "I think you need to have some hope." But he added that things won't be all sunshine and roses.

"We all yearn for happy endings in a sense. Myself, I'm attracted to the bittersweet ending. People ask me how 'Game of Thrones' is gonna end, and I'm not gonna tell them...but I always say to expect something bittersweet in the end, like [J.R.R. Tolkien]...You can't just fulfill a quest and then pretend life is perfect. Life doesn't work that way."

So while Daenerys Targaryen may very well ride on the back of Drogon alongside her maybe Targaryen kin Tyrion Lannister and maybe dead/maybe alive/maybe undead/maybe kin Jon Snow (or his maybe-twin-sister Meera Reed) into King's Landing to reclaim the Iron Throne for the Dragonborn, you shouldn't expect everything to be happily ever after in the Seven Kingdoms.

You can read a bit more about Martin's appreciation for Tolkien's masterful ending to "Return of The King," his comments on Bieber and how today's sci-fi stories are more depressing than the 1950s and '60s in Vulture's excellent recap of Wednesday's event.

"Game of Thrones" will return to HBO for season 6 sometime in spring 2016. The sixth book in the "Song of Ice and Fire" series, entitled " The Winds of Winter," is also expected to be released sometime next year.