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Martin revels in Thrones fun

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin has celebrated the end of the TV drama his books inspired by recalling the first time he met the show's creators for a long lunch.

The TV series concluded with a finale on Sunday night, and now Martin is looking back fondly at how the fantasy epic came to be.

"It is hard to believe it is over, if truth be told," he writes on his Not a Blog website. "The years have gone past in the blink of an eye. Can it really have been more than a decade since my manager Vince Gerardis set up a meeting at the Palm in LA, and I sat down for the first time with David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for a lunch that lasted well past dinner?

"I asked them if they knew who (character) Jon Snow's mother was. Fortunately, they did. That was how it started.

"I had no clue, that afternoon at the Palm, that I was about to embark on a journey that would change my life."

Martin explains he had had a little success with TV projects, but "there was no way to know that this one was going to be different... would go on to become the most successful show in the history of HBO, win a record number of Emmy Awards, become the most popular (and most pirated) show in the world, and transform a group of talented but largely unknown actors into major celebrities and stars."

He adds, "It has been a wild ride, to say the least. I want to thank people, but there are so many. There were forty-two cast members at the season eight premiere in New York City, and that wasn't even all of them. And the crew, though less visible than the cast, were no less important. We had some amazing people working on this show, as all those Emmys bear witness. David & Dan assembled a championship team."

Martin is now preparing to release the Game of Thrones books The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, which will offer a different ending to the one which hit TV screens on Sunday.

"Winter is coming, I told you, long ago, and so it is," the author writes. "THE WINDS OF WINTER is very late, I know, I know, but it will be done. I won't say when, I've tried that before, only to burn you all and jinx myself" but I will finish it, and then will come A DREAM OF SPRING. How will it all end? I hear people asking. The same ending as the show? Different? 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. They had six hours (sic) for this final season. I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3000 manuscript pages between them before I'm done... and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I'll add them...

"There are characters who never made it onto the screen at all, and others who died in the show but still live in the books... so if nothing else, the readers will learn what happened to Jeyne Poole, Lady Stoneheart, Penny and her pig, Skahaz Shavepate, Arianne Martell, Darkstar, Victarion Greyjoy, Ser Garlan the Gallant, Aegon VI, and a myriad of other characters both great and small that viewers of the show never had the chance to meet. And yes, there will be unicorns... of a sort."

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