Although HBO's hit fantasy epic Game of Thrones may be nearing its end, the same cannot be said for its source material: George R.R. Martin's series of novels, A Song of Fire and Ice. To date, only five of the seven planned books have been released and there's still no word on when the last two books can be expected to hit shelves.
It's safe to assume that Martin is currently hard at work as he concludes the tales of Westeros, and it's because of this that he ironically doesn't have the time to watch the popular live-action adaptation of his most well-known works.
Martin Explains The Long Wait For The Winds of Winter
While talking to Metro, Martin admitted that he simply doesn't have the time to watch the immensely popular #HBO drama, despite it being his own brainchild. This is due to his incredibly busy schedule, which includs completing the sixth book The Winds of Winter, touring and scripting a potential spin-off series.
It's been six years since the release of his fifth installment, A Dance with Dragons, making this the longest gap between any two books in the series. #GeorgeRRMartin also explained why his writing process takes so long, and how it differs from most other fantasy novelists.
"I did not start to write slower over the years. I was working on the first book for six year and four years on the second one. Fantasists who release their novels every year, do not offer books of large volume. These are not 1.5k pages like mine, but, for example, 500. In addition, I have not become younger. Age does not add enthusiasm.
The author also admitted that his writing style was partly to blame for the delays. In the same interview, he categorized writers into two kinds: the architects and the gardeners: 'architects' were those who planned everything out before writing a single word, while 'gardeners' were those who improvised and wrote whatever they wanted. The mastermind of Westeros's history considered himself a gardener, and openly discussed the drawbacks of writing in this particular manner.
"This approach, of course, has its side effects. Several times the plot has led me to a dead end, from where there is no way out. I had to go back and rewrite everything again.”
However, Martin remains optimistic about the future of the final verses of his epic song of ice and fire.
"I do think you will have a Westeros book from me in 2018… and who knows, maybe two. A boy can dream."
George R.R. Martin, Please Write At Your Own Pace!
Given how long it's been since Martin's dedicated readers were able to follow their favorite characters in the worsening landscapes of Westeros, their impatience is understandable. Adding to their gripes is the fact that A Dance with Dragons ended with one hell of a cliffhanger, and their need to know what happens has tested fans' patience. In fact, the long hiatuses between each new #GameOfThrones book has become so infamous that it inspired fans to vent out their frustrations in humorous ways - it even has an unofficial music video.
However, pestering the now 68-year old writer to finish his epic as soon as possible will not make the books come out any faster. As Martin's fellow-author Neil Gaiman of American Gods fame said so eloquently in his online journal:
"George R.R. Martin is not your bitch ... This is a useful thing to know, perhaps a useful thing to point out when you find yourself thinking that possibly George is, indeed, your bitch, and should be out there typing what you want to read right now ... People are not machines. Writers and artists aren't machines."
Though the painful wait is something anyone familiar with popular long-running shows can relate to, fans of Game of Thrones should always remember the value of patience. We can also rest easy in the fact that Martin always delivers, and his work has been consistently brilliant. Each entry of A Song of Fire and Ice has been well-received, and this level of quality can also be expected from the penultimate chapter, The Winds of Winter, and the series finale, A Dream of Spring.
And besides, the last time someone bugged Martin to finish his books already didn't end well.
Are you willing to wait for The Winds of Winter, or are you content with the HBO show? Share your thoughts in the comments below.