George R.R. Martin says fans have guessed his secret ending

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From the Game of Thrones showrunners, we already know that George R.R. Martin’s top-secret planned ending to his book saga is “absolutely” satisfying. But now we’ve learned that a few fans already know what the ending is as well. They just don’t know that they know. You know?

Here’s what happened: Martin was speaking at the Edinburgh International Literary Festival where he was reportedly asked about fan theories regarding the rest of his saga—which will likely consist of two more novels, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, neither of which have release dates yet. Martin knows which major characters will live and die in the next two books, he said, while the fates of minor characters remain undecided.

“I’ve wrestled with [the issue of fan speculation online], because I do want to surprise my readers,” he said, according to The Telegraph. “I hate predictable fiction as a reader, I don’t want to write predictable fiction. I want to surprise and delight my reader and take them in directions they didn’t see coming … At least one or two readers had put together the extremely subtle and obscure clues that I’d planted in the books and came to the right solution. So what do I do then? Do I change it? I wrestled with that issue, and I came to the conclusion that changing it would be a disaster, because the clues were there. You can’t do that, so I’m just going to go ahead. Some of my readers who don’t read the boards, which thankfully there are hundreds of thousands of them, will still be surprised and other readers will say: ‘see, I said that four years ago, I’m smarter than you guys.’”

Martin plans to devote a bit more time to finishing Winds of Winter this next year as he’s not writing an episode of HBO’s Thrones in season 5.

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