WARNING: Spoilers for Game of Thrones ahead. The TV show concluded its run last night with the sixth episode of its eighth season. It ended with Bran Stark being selected as king - in a move that has somewhat puzzled fans, who argued the moment was not earned in the story leading up to it. But was there a sign in A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin?
That book was the second novel in A Song of Ice and Fire, after Game of Thrones itself.
Though the final two books in that series are not yet finished, Martin is believed to have told showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss of his plans.
Is there a sign in A Clash of Kings that final book A Dream Of Spring will end the same way?
User cumulonimbus7021 posted to Reddit a quote from that tome, that is particularly striking giving how things have panned out.
Isaac Hempstead Wright plays Bran Stark in Game of Thrones
It reads: “The stone is strong, Bran told himself, the roots of the trees go deep, and under the ground the Kings of Winter sit their thrones. So long as those remained, Winterfell remained.
“It was not dead, just broken. Like me, he thought. I'm not dead either.”
It’s that use of the word “broken” that has made it stand out - with Bran the Broken ruling.
The Redditor added: “I don't know if GRRM also intends to end with Bran the Broken, but if so, what a wonderfully layered ending in A Clash of Kings.
“Mixing in the metaphor of the trees, the history underneath him, and affirming that being broken is not a death sentence.
“King Bran the Broken is a badge of honor, like the Blackfish.
“I’m of the opinion this is GRRM's planned king, although who knows? I think we can disagree over the approach but I think they might be aiming for the same runway.”
The post has been 77% Upvoted on the A Song of Ice and Fire board of Reddit, with one user responding: “If Bran being king is book endgame too, just shows how horribly D&D dropped the ball.
“They should have done so much more with Bran leading up to this moment.”
Another wrote: “Nice find! The only things I'm convinced of in this last season that came from GRRM himself are Daenerys burning King's Landing and Bran being elected as king at the very end of A Dream of Spring.”
Martin told fans on his website over the weekend that he is still working on book six of seven, The Winds of Winter.
“I am back home again now, and back once more in Westeros, working on WINDS,” he wrote.
“Which, let me add once more, has NOT been finished and hidden away for years. (sigh).”
It had been claimed by a former star of the TV programme that The Winds of Winter and its follow-up A Dream Of Spring were finished, but Martin was waiting for the show to end before publishing them.
Last week the author fiercely denied the claim.
After The Winds of Winter, he will move on to A Dream of Spring.