Game of Thrones actor says ending came directly from George R.R. Martin

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

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For years GAME OF THRONES fans debated about who would end up on the Iron Throne come the story’s end, and everyone had their own theories as to who would be the new King or Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Fingers were pointed at characters like Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister or even Sansa Stark, with a few Night King stans out there for good measure. But then, come the series’ finale, the rug was pulled out from everyone when it was decided during the Dragonpit scene that Brandon Stark would be the new King of the Six Kingdoms (now minus the North). Many fans took to the internet to express their frustration or confusion because, seriously, who on Earth would’ve thought the crown would go to the guy who spent most of this final season merging into the bodies of ravens and dishing out sassy lines?


According to actor Isaac Hempstead Wright (via Making of Game of Thrones), that ending was hardly plucked out of thin air by series creators/finale writers David Benioff and D.B. Wiess, and came straight from the mind of book series author George R.R. Martin.

[Creators] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] told me there were two things [author] George R.R. Martin had planned for Bran, and that was the Hodor revelation, and that he would be king. So that’s pretty special to be directly involved in something that is part of George’s vision. It was a really nice way to wrap it up.

While the first season of the show debuted in 2011, the same year the fifth and most recent book in Martin’s series was published, the entire run of the show has come and gone without the final two books being published. Martin has teased the releases of “The Winds of Winter” and “A Dream of Spring” for years, but as of the sixth season, the show had raced ahead of the books. From then on the writers have been working based on notes the author has given them, working from several plot points and conclusions but perhaps getting to them in different ways.

When the series ended, Martin commented on how much he enjoyed it, but when it came to confirming how much of it was the same as in the book, he said, “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.”


When it comes to Bran, the book series has always had more to do with him than the series. While Bran has been a constant figure in the five books so far, the fifth season of the show didn’t include him at all. The fourth season concluded with him making it to the home of the Three-Eyed Raven, with the sixth season picking up his story from there. As a result, fans of the show feel his crowning as king at the end felt unearned and even random, especially compared to characters who had been there the whole run.

So, for anyone who hates the idea of Bran being King, well, turns out Martin's books won't have the fix you so crave. However, while the writing and pacing of the final season did make some conclusions feel unearned and rushed, the books will have more time to dig into certain character arcs and have certain major moments make more sense when they happen. Perhaps in the books, Bran's ascension is incredibly logical and poignant, and if Martin gets to releasing the books in this lifetime we may be able to find that out.

Source: Making of Game of Thrones

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