Who knew it would take a pandemic-induced quarantine to get George R.R. Martin to finally finish his long-awaited sixth novel in his ongoing A Song of Ice and Fire series? Honestly, we wouldn’t expect anything less from the notorious procrastinator.
Martin, whose A Song of Ice and Fire novels served as the inspiration for HBO’s flagship fantasy series Game of Thrones, has long been dithering on his sixth novel in the seven-part series, The Winds of Winter. First it was supposed to be done in 2014. Then 2015. Then 2017. The book, which Martin has predicted could total 1,500 pages at least, has seen so many delays that fans had long given up ever seeing the series finished. But now Martin is holed up in his home with his many side projects put on hold, and the author says that he is returning to Westeros.
On Martin’s Not A Blog website, the author somberly reflected on how quickly the world has changed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, which has now spread into a global pandemic. The author announced the temporary closures of his several organizations, including the interactive art experience Meow Wolf, the Jean Cocteau Cinema theater, and his non-profit, the Stagecoach Foundation.
As his side projects shut down, and the HBO productions for Game of Thrones spin-offs likely come to a halt amidst other coronavirus postponements, that leaves Martin at home with only his typewriter and Westeros to keep him company. And yes, the author confirmed, he is “spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day”:
For those of you who may be concerned for me personally… yes, I am aware that I am very much in the most vulnerable population, given my age and physical condition. But I feel fine at the moment, and we are taking all sensible precautions. I am off by myself in a remote isolated location, attended by one of my staff, and I’m not going in to town or seeing anyone. Truth be told, I am spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day. Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms… but maybe not as grim as they may become here.
Now, this isn’t confirmation that Martin is anywhere near done with The Winds of Winter. But for a book that’s been in the works for 9 years, and for which Martin has already released 11 sample chapters, it has to mean we’re close right? Could A Song of Ice and Fire fans get the ending that will satisfy them unlike the polarizing Game of Thrones ending? Are we putting too much stock into this because we have nothing else to think about during quarantine? Probably.
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