Now that we're in the "dark" part of the year, i.e., the nine months or so when Game of Thrones isn't on the air, all we can do is wait for Season 6 to arrive sometime next spring. While fans of the show have to wait less than a year for new episodes, fans of George R.R. Martin's books have been waiting for over four years for the next installment, entitled The Winds of Winter. We still don't know when the sixth and seventh books will be released, but the Game of Thrones author recently told The Observer that he hasn't written the ending. But the tone he has envisioned may surprise you. Here's what he had to say, comparing his ideas for the ending to The Lord of the Rings, while debunking theories that the books will end in a bloody apocalypse.

"I haven't written the ending yet, so I don't know, but no. That's certainly not my intent. I've said before that the tone of the ending that I'm going for is bittersweet. I mean, it's no secret that (J.R.R.) Tolkien has been a huge influence on me, and I love the way he ended Lord of the Rings. It ends with victory, but it's a bittersweet victory. Frodo is never whole again, and he goes away to the Undying Lands, and the other people live their lives. And the scouring of the Shire-brilliant piece of work, which I didn't understand when I was 13 years old: 'Why is this here? The story's over?' But every time I read it I understand the brilliance of that segment more and more. All I can say is that's the kind of tone I will be aiming for. Whether I achieve it or not, that will be up to people like you and my readers to judge."
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Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy left out the actual ending of J.R.R. Tolkien's books, where Frodo and his travelling companions return home to the Shire, only to find their home has been decimated and overtaken by dark forces. With that being said, it isn't known how that tone will be portrayed in Game of Thrones, or which characters will achieve this "bittersweet victory," so to speak. Our money is on Tyrion, but who he will prevail over, and what he will lose in the process, remains to be unseen.

George R.R. Martin said that he was cancelling appearances at several conventions this year, including Comic-Con, so he could focus on writing these long-awaited novels. The author also ended the tradition of writing one Game of Thrones episode per season in Season 5, and the author has already stated that he won't write a Season 6 episode either. Hopefully, without all of these distractions, the author can finally deliver the book fans have been waiting four years for.

Production is currently under way on Game of Thrones Season 6, and we know that this season will feature the return of Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), along with a young Ned Stark, reportedly portrayed by Sebastian Croft in a flashback scene. We'll be sure to keep you posted with any other details from Season 6 of Game of Thrones, so stay tuned.