George R.R. Martin on The Winds of Winter, Buckling Down … and Straying

George R.R. MartinHow glad am I that I didn’t start reading author George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” books (aka the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series) until HBO started airing the TV show adaptation? It meant I could pick up all five books and read them in quick succession. Though honestly, “quick” is not really the right word, because these books are not child’s play. The first book was the smallest volume at around 800 pages, but the previous four have all either scraped or surpassed the 1,000 pages mark. Yup, definitely not in-one-weekend reading material here, folks.

So what’s Martin going to do now that the show is already plowing on ahead to Season 3 with an adaptation of “A Clash of Swords”, the third book in the 7-book series? After all, Martin may have planned out the series for 7 books to tell the entire story, but he’s only completed 5 books so far since “A Game of Thrones” was published in 1996. The last volume, “A Dance of Dragons”, came out just last year, a whopping 6 years after the last book.

As we speak, Martin is in the process of writing the sixth book, “The Winds of Winter”, and is very much aware of the show’s success, as well as the possibility of it catching up to him. He tells HBO in an interview:

I am aware of the TV series moving along behind me like a giant locomotive, and I know I need to lay the track more quickly, perhaps, because the locomotive is soon going to be bearing down on me. The last thing I want is for the TV series to catch up with me. I’ve got a considerable head start, but production is moving faster than I can write. I’m hoping that we’ll finish the story at about the same time … we’ll see. Sometimes I make the decisions wrongly. My process as a writer is not one of thoroughly outlining ahead of time, which can result in my muse leading me down blind alleys and dead ends. … So then I have to double back and rewrite and so forth. It’s almost a subconscious thing — when it’s right, it feels right, and when it doesn’t feel right, I keep niggling at it until it does.

You know, “The Winds of Winter” would come along much faster if Martin would just ignore all his other side projects. What side projects, you ask?

I’m working on that, and a number of ‘Ice and Fire’ related things at the same time. Not only ‘The Winds of Winter,’ which is Book 6, but we’re also coming out with a big concordance called ‘The World of Ice and Fire,’ which is about the whole history of Westeros and will be lavishly illustrated. … We’ve also been doing a map book, and I’m working on a new novella about Dunk and Egg, the prequel series I have.

Come on, George, can’t we just knock out “The Winds of Winter” first and worry about all these other ancillary stuff later? Probably not. In the meantime, it would be nice if George took better care of himself. I mean, he’s getting a bit big, there, and he’s not a kid anymore. Selfishly, we don’t want anything to happen to him before he finishes Book 7…

“Game of Thrones” Season 3 commences shooting this Summer.

Game of Thrones Sigils - House Stark

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