For George R.R. Martin, the fame of Game of Thrones has been a wild ride. He’ll be the first to admit that he’s not coasting – there’s been immense pressure from the entire world to not only finish the books, but finish them right.

Good thing he’s not really the type of guy who bends to anyone’s will. When faced with the pressure of the plot of the show surpassing the books, he decided to hell with it. The show’s made several major deviations from the storyline of the books anyhow. We have no idea when he’ll be done with the books, but we do know the ending of the books and the show will likely be the same.

So, how will it all end?

At a talk given at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism this past Wednesday, Martin said that he’s not one for happy endings – shocking, right? He’d like us to have “some hope,” but he alluded to a preference for endings like Tokien’s.

“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…I think Tolkien did this brilliantly. I didn’t understand that when I was a kid — when I read Return of the King.” -George R.R. Martin

He appreciates how Tolkien uses allegory to convey messages about the ups and downs of real life. As Martin explains, “You can’t just fulfill a quest and then pretend life is perfect. Life just doesn’t work that way.”

What’s your theory on how the series will end? Does the R + L fan theory still hold up? Tell us in the comments!

Image via h0an of DeviantArt