GRRM clearing his con schedule to finish The Winds of Winter

“Why does George R.R. Martin have time for [insert typical activity here] and yet he hasn’t finished the book yet?” is a frequent refrain heard from fans of the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

And while it’s unreasonable to expect the author to set aside enjoying the occasional football game, people have brought up his convention schedule as an impediment to his writing- and that is a more reasonable complaint as Martin has famously said that he does not write when he travels.

Today, in a new blog entry, Martin confirmed that he’ll be skipping some of the conventions he had planned on attending this year, including San Diego Comic Con. For a lifelong bona fide comic nerd like Martin, that’s a sacrifice indeed.

Martin expresses his regrets at not being able to be able the cons this year as an enthusiastic fan, and that his reasons have nothing “to do with the con itself,” and that “it’s just a matter of time.”

The author says, “I have too much to do. Too many things on my plate. Son of Kong [His nickname for The Winds of Winter- Editor’s note.] foremost amongst them.  My apologies to anyone who saw Saratoga on my Appearances page and planned to go in order to see me.”

Martin concludes with the sentence that really has fans buzzing tonight:

(Should I complete and deliver WINDS OF WINTER before these cons roll round, I reserve the right to change my mind).

San Diego Comic Con runs July 9-12 this year and the World Fantasy Convention falls in November. Martin’s remark is playful, but could there be a real chance of him completing The Winds of Winter by the time either convention rolls around?

Sue the Fury: Martin is ever the optimist, in my opinion, and if he does complete the draft, I would rather the editing process not be rushed as it was with A Dance with Dragons. I think a 2015 release for TWOW is still very unlikely and I would rather a quality book be released than a rushed one. What do you all think of his remarks?

170 responses

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    1. Well… I will get excited when it’s finally released. In the meantime I hope everything goes as GRRM is planning it. *fingers crossed*

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    2. Re-posting my comment from /r/asoiaf just so that the hype train doesn’t go off the rails here either:

      I hate to be “the hypeslayer” for my own post, but cancelling convention appearances is something that GRRM has done previously for A Dance with Dragons in 2007. If memory serves, this was done “in order to ‘finish ADWD.'” But I think it’s decent enough news all the same — at least he hasn’t fully abandoned TWOW with the juggernaut of the show bearing down on him.

      Yesterday for fun, I went through GRRM’s writing speed for ADWD, and came out thinking that his fastest pace was 2009-2010 was about 400 pages/year (though probably more). If GRRM was writing TWOW at 400pg/year pace, he’d be done by mid-2015 or so.

      However, between JAN 2012 and MAR 2013, GRRM only wrote about 225 MS pages of TWOW. Here’s the known-knows, some factoids to give context and the math:
      Book expected to be 1500pgs.

      – ~150pgs cut from ADWD to TWOW
      – GRRM began writing new TWOW material in JAN ’12
      – GRRM stated he was 1/4 way done TWOW at GoT S03 premier IN MAR ’13.
      1500x.25=375-150=225.

      So, maybe GRRM has massively picked up the pace, but he has been mentioning lately that he’s grown slower, not faster. But now I’m wondering if GRRM thinking that he might be able to go to the cons if he can turn in TWOW is just undue optimism on George’s part. It’s happened before (c.f. AFFC, ADWD)

      Also, “complete and deliver” does not mean that the book will be published by November or this year. ADWD took 4 months to edit after it was completed and delivered. We can expect at least as long for TWOW if not longer since GRRM has not been sending manuscript partials to his editor every few months or so like he did with ADWD.

      On the bright-side, Wildcards is not his foremost priority!

      I have too much to do. Too many things on my plate. Son of Kong foremost amongst them.

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    3. Lauren:
      If we see this before 2017, I will be shocked.

      I won’t be. I think he’ll deliver it by the end of the year. The more you write, the easier it gets. So once he gets on a roll, he’ll write faster… though, the faster you write the more likely it is that you’ll need to fix it later.

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    4. I predict it will be out before Season 6 of the show.
      Glad he’s on it mainly because I’m fed up of all the whinging from people about him not writing fast enough.

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    5. We can only hope. Write like the wind, grand maester! Is it too greedy to ask for a sneak Sansa chapter before all hell breaks loose this season?

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    6. I’m not sure if this is because he’s really in the home stretch, or if this is just a desperate and futile attempt to beat season 6. Let’s hope.

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    7. Nightflayer,

      It’s not unreasonable per se, but we’re totally in the dark on George’s actual progress. He’s been known to be overly optimistic about his progress and how quickly he can finish something. I’d be skeptical that he’ll submit a complete manuscript by November 2015 as well. If he was averaging 225 MS pages/year, AND he’s grown slower AND he had a ton of work to put in for Lands of Ice and Fire & The World of Ice and Fire, (Which he all-the-way finished in April 2014) I’d be extremely skeptical.

      Best advice: stay pessimistic and if pessimism is subverted, it’s a pleasant surprise.

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    8. People sure seem to be reading a lot into that last line. To me it sounds more like a joke.

      I would paraphrase it as “”When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves, only then will I change my schedule.”

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    9. Durrandon’s Fool:
      People sure seem to be reading a lot into that last line. To me it sounds more like a joke.

      I would paraphrase it as “”When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves, only then will I change my schedule.”

      This.

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    10. I bet he secretly finished Winds years ago and will release it and Dream of Spring at the same time, as a special surprise. Hehe!

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    11. Laura: It’s pretty much a given they will end the show before A Dream of Spring is out but I can’t see him letting the show finish before both books are out.

      We have seen GRRM let many other self-suggested deadlines come and go. He might not want to let it happen, but give what a glacially slow writer he is, it probably will.

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    12. Correcting a bit for GRRM’s optimism, and knowing how publishing works, I feel relatively safe with a 2016 release date, but I think early 2016 might be overly optimistic.

      2015 is just a fantasy and is definitely not happening as a release date. It just isn’t.

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    13. I’m slightly more optimistic than some. He not only cancelled some convention appearances, he isn’t writing an episode for Season 5 either. His mentality is different than it was last year or the year before when he wrote for the show. That to me indicates that how much of a bind he’s in is finally dawning on him, and he’s reacting appropriately.

      I’m going to try to be more skeptical, but I can’t help but hope…

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    14. Rygritte:
      I notice the things he cancels tend to be GoT related. SDCC panel :`( Writing an episode :`( :`(

      Good! Mr. Too-Fat-To-Finish-A-Book needs to stay away from all these GOT events. He’s been showing up every year and I’m sure he’s tired of the same questions, you know, the one about him and the books.

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    15. I just want the book to be properly edited and not shoved out the door in a draft-like state to meet some arbitrary deadline. *cough* Dance *cough*

      But who can make GRRM listen to his editor these days?

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    16. Hodor’s Bastard:
      We can only hope. Write like the wind, grand maester! Is it too greedy to ask for a sneak Sansa chapter before all hell breaks loose this season?

      It’s pretty clear this season won’t have anything much to do with her TWOW content, so I’d say the odds of that are pretty slim.

      Anyway, I wouldn’t read anything into his final line. He teases like that without any greater meaning.

      My personal prediction is that TWOW will be out in 2016, but not before season 6.

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    17. King Stannis: Good! Mr. Too-Fat-To-Finish-A-Book needs to stay away from all these GOT events. He’s been showing up every year and I’m sure he’s tired of the same questions, you know, the one about him and the books.

      The question is, do the majority of SDCC attendees flock the panel to see/ask questions to GRRM or to the producers/writers/actors?

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    18. Sean C.,

      Agreed. Also, I for one am more than a little dubious about whether the full series is ever finished-ESPECIALLY given the hints about extending the series to eight books. It just seems there are too many different threads and sub-plots now to finish it in just two books-especially if those books have ANY of the pacing issues of AFFC or ADWD.

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    19. Lauren:
      GeekFurious,

      Let’s hope you are right and I’m just a grumpy pessimist.

      I’m more of a pessimist than an optimist. But I’m also all about looking at his writing history and facts as he’s stated them over the years… and that puts the book being finished at the end of this year.

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    20. Honestly, at this point, I’m content to let him finish whenever he finishes. The show’s passing the books anyway, so he might as well take his time. Just so long as doesn’t just give up on the whole thing (which, despite some fans’ snarkiness, I certainly don’t believe would ever happen).

      I did get a chuckle out of his last comment, though. LOL

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    21. Sean C.: It’s pretty clear this season won’t have anything much to do with her TWOW content, so I’d say the odds of that are pretty slim.

      Yeah, but he is due for a preview chapter, like he did with Mercy at the end of March last year, before S4 kicked-off, with ep1’s subtle connection to the chapter. It would be a nice treat for all of us patient ones who haven’t heard from Sansa or Sam in 10 years.

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    22. I dont know GRRM has been very pessimistic about his release plans and has learned from giving any statements that can be misinterpreted as oh the book is coming out soon! I think he has gotten to the home stretch where the writing is coming a lot faster to him and he feels optimistic that he can finish for the first time. I also feel that the seventh book will be a lot easier to write. Hes always said he knew the beginning and end of the story its the middle that is hard. Hes had the last book in his head for decades so when he actually gets to it he should be writing at A Game of Thrones pace. Besides the things that really slow him down is creating prophecies, foreshadowing, symbolism. Every two pages of his books have some sort of foreshadowing for an event that will happen in the last book. If the show goes to 8 seasons there is still a chance. I mean its like a one percent chance but still.

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    23. BryndenBFish,

      Kill the hype Jon Snow! Kill the hype and let the man be born!

      Thanks for the update BFish. I’m hoping GRRM finishes in late December. I’m just worried about the editing. For ADWD he would turn in work on a regular basis. He hasn’t done this for TWOW. We might get a longer editing time even if he does miraculously complete it by December :/. I don’t see him completing it by season 6

      ADWD took 4 months to edit. TWOW will take atleast 5 months imo

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    24. I’d like to find out what happens to Jon in the books, including confirmation on who his parents are. So I’m really hoping for an early 2016 release.

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    25. Delta1212,

      Well, Rowling finished Deathly Hallows in January of 2007, and it was released (with some fanfare, if I recall) in July of 2007. Six months or so is pretty typical of ms -> proof -> publication for books in my world, too.

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    26. Crabber’s Son: Every two pages of his books have some sort of foreshadowing for an event that will happen in the last book.

      It’s like Family Guy. Every scene has a cutaway. Right now GRRM is probably writing a Damphair chapter & rubbing his forehead like “ssssssssssss… AWWWHHH… ssssssssssssss……. AWHHHHHHHHHHHH…”

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    27. Tyrion Pimpslap: I’d like to find out what happens to Jon in the books, including confirmation on who his parents are.

      I would hope that GRRM puts that in Winter. Of course, by now most of the Dayneists probably don’t even remember who Ashara Dayne was, so rubbing it in their noses will lose some of it’s puerile and ill-mannered fun.

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    28. I don’t think that Martin cancelling his Con appearances for the next few months is a veiled indication, teasing or otherwise, that he’s close finishing The Winds of Winter. The man genuinely enjoys attending conventions. He thinks that he’s too busy to attend any of them this year, and he’s expressing his disappointment about that unfortunate reality. I’m not really inclined to read any further meaning into his words – certainly not with respect to a timetable. The following statement, posted by Martin to his blog on December 9, is the only statement that I place any stock in with respect to any and all speculation about his progress on the next book.

      “When it’s done, I will announce it here. There won’t be any clues to decipher, any codes or hidden meanings, the announcement will be straightforward and to the point … I won’t time it to coincide with Xmas or Valentine’s Day or Lincoln’s Birthday, the book will not rise from the dead with Jesus on Easter Sunday. When it is done, I will say that’s it is done, on whatever day I happen to finish. I don’t know how I can make it any clearer.” http://grrm.livejournal.com/395189.html

      I truly don’t mind that approach. Martin can, and should, take as long as he needs to finish the novels and be satisfied that he’s created a great final product. He shouldn’t rush his process to meet some artificial deadline with respect to the show or readers’ expectations, and he definitely shouldn’t rush the editing process (can’t stress that enough). To his credit, we have no reason to expect that he will.

      In the meantime, I’m perfectly happy to continue watching Game of Thrones, which – honest to God – I prefer to the ASOIAF novels at this point, for a multitude of reasons. I have absolutely no issues with learning the end of this saga from the TV show. If anything, I’m rather excited for that inevitability! I’ll still be happy to read the books whenever they’re published, be that in 2016 or 2026. Knowing the major plot points and fates of the major characters won’t detract at all from my enjoyment of watching the journey unfold in either medium.

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    29. GRRM realized HBO is skipping all the nonsense side plots and going straight to the meaty parts of the story. The train isn’t slowing down Mr Martin write like the wind

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    30. I like connections. Next year seems more realistic than any time later this year for ‘Son of Kong’. This ties with an anniversary which I doubt GRRM wouldn’t know.

      The window I’m looking at is between late February and late April. Clearly, that looks like it ties in with Season 6 of the show. That’s coincidental.
      The connection is that Son of Kong is expected to have two significant battles within it’s opening chapters. The anniversary concerns two very specific battles, at different moments in time. Both of these battles had heavy prices paid on both sides. Both of the battles to come in ‘Son of Kong’ will see heavy prices paid by all sides.

      Maybe I ought to point out, where I live (not that it has any bearing). I live in the North-West of England, just south of Hadrian’s Wall. If I know of both historic battles, anyone should also, including GRRM.
      If you like numbers, to give perspective on casualties – there was around 500,000 casualties on either side, for one battle, with around 150,000 killed on either side. That’s almost parallel to the scale of what’s going on in Meereen. (Who thought GRRM needed to exaggerate all the time?)
      The other battle? Between 600 and 900 total casualties on both sides. Sizes of casualties do not make this one any less significant. In comparative scale, to Winterfell, how does that match up to expected fatalities from a 1st battle-sortie? (Freys & Manderleys versus Stannis.)

      BTW – It looks like a further battle will be necessary to conclude Winterfell, and that echoes with history too.

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    31. BryndenBFish,

      538’s math shows that if GRRM’s final WPD for TWOW is as slow as when he wrote AFFC, we’re looking at an approximately April 2018 publication. If he’s as “fast” (har!) as when he wrote ADWD, approximately November 2016. So yeah, I don’t have any hope for a release date soon.

      http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/predicting-when-game-of-thrones-author-george-r-r-martin-will-come-out-with-his-next-book/

      Good thing the show is better anyway.

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    32. Jared,

      Well said. While I want George to finish first I also want him to do his own thing. If the books need to be different than the show then so be it.

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    33. My little birds tell me he’s got a lot more words squirrelled away than most of us think. He’s currently dealing with a knotty plot problem in Book 13, The Wildling, The Innocent, and the Bear Island Shuffle.

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    34. BryndenBFish,

      Everything you said it’s accurate, except the 1/4 refers to actual writing, not including the stuff cut and moved from the other two books into winds. So, by March 2013 you it is fair to say he had about 400 new pages written plus the 150 moved for a total of roughly 550.

      I also think he has written more this fall and early in the year because he was expected to deliver a few chapters of the essential plots to be used for the script of s6.

      To sum up, it would be reasonable to expect a grad total of 1000 pages written so far. A pessimistic outlook would be 800 minimum, while an optimistic expectation would raise that to 1200. Still, a lot remaining to write, a publication in early or spring 2016 seems most likely.

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    35. As for these remarks, I don’t believe them for a second. I’m sure he’ll miss a few cons, but he’ll be back at them in a few months time. He’s forever saying things like this. “Oh, I’m not writing an episode this year so I can write more Winds”! That saved you at most two weeks to a month George, and during that time you went to several conventions. “I’m clearing myself of all side projects!” then he comes out with those history novellas.

      And fine, he can do whatever the hell he wants. That doesn’t mean anyone has to respect him for it

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    36. I think he gets a bit more grief than he deserves from some, to be honest. Quite a lot has been cut out of the TV series, let’s not forget. If they added even some of the flashbacks, characters and events that have been cut/streamlined, they’d probably be at the build-up for the Red Wedding by now, so he could well have thought he had plenty of time.

      I do wonder though if “Dream of Spring” could end up being the literary version of Chinese Democracy, though. Takes years in the writing only to be released to a rather muted response, as everyone will broadly know the outcome before reading it.

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    37. Patchface:
      BryndenBFish,
      Still, a lot remaining to write, a publication in early or spring 2016 seems most likely.

      I envy your optimism, people. I really do. I mean, actually I think there’s pretty much no way we’ll see the book before 2017 (ok, or december 2016) and that’s a very optimistic guess from my side.. still, i understand, a man can dream..

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    38. Good! Mr. Too-Fat-To-Finish-A-Book needs to stay away from all these GOT events. He’s been showing up every year and I’m sure he’s tired of the same questions, you know, the one about him and the books.

      Can we please not do the fat-shaming thing? It’s disrespectful and has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

      Yes, he writes slowly, and if you have a problem with that, you can criticize him for his work ethic or his bad decision-making. But criticizing him for his body because you are dissatisfied with his work is just low and mean.

      (And don’t bring out the health argument either. You implied that his girth prevented him from writing now, not a health risk for later.)

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    39. Many of us remember this day, Apr. 27th, 2011, when G.R.R.M. posted his announcement that A Dance With Dragons was completed:
      http://grrm.livejournal.com/212603.html

      Maybe we’ll see a similar “Son of Kong” post by the end of the year. Fingers crossed. If The Winds of Winter sees publication prior to the airing of Season 6, all well and good, but the scripts would have been completed nearly a year before that. Hopefully well informed by TWOW but I expect the show and the book will continue to diverge further from each other…

      Bright side if the book’s delayed further: unsullied show watchers can’t be spoiled by the book readers. We’ll all be on the edge of our seats. Cold comfort.

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    40. Fall_Of_Byzantium,

      That was never an option. 4 seasons to get to the Red Wedding? The pacing would be abysmal.

      Not to mention that he had 4 years before the show even began. George is getting the grief he deserves.

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    41. Mescalinic,

      I agree with you, but there is an added pressure from HBO to deliver. No one expects him to finish both books (although they did at some point), but there was a requirement that he provide drafts for some important story lines, not necessarily for s7 or beyond, but certainly for s6. So, one can hope…

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    42. I would rather the editing process not be rushed as it was with A Dance with Dragons.

      I would rather the editing process wasn’t rushed either, but was that the case with A Dance with Dragons? I didn’t know that. I always thought GRRM simply stuck to his guns on every piece of his convoluted story. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fourth and the fifth books, especially when read intertwined, but they are markedly different from the first three —there’s much more wandering and wondering, and much less actually happening, which is surprising considering these two volumes make up a two thousand page ton of a tome.

      Anyway, great news! If TWOW is released before April 2016, it will mollify some of the book readers for a while in terms of the show spoiling the books. Now, there’s no hope for ADOS, since it would have to be released within a year of TWOW to not be spoiled by the show, but we have known that for a while.

      Stranger,

      So this is a common thing people say then? What does it make ADWD look like a draft, more than, say, AFFC? It did feel a bit rough, that’s true, but I can’t say I can pinpoint anything specific.

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    43. Jared,

      I’m quite excited as well. For me the show overtaking the books it’s not so much a catastrophe as an opportunity. I’d love to finish the story watching it instead of reading it. After all, that’s how it started for me. And watching without knowing what happens, like in Season 1! It will be glorious.

      Patchface,

      I also think he has written more this fall and early in the year because he was expected to deliver a few chapters of the essential plots to be used for the script of s6.

      Is that something we know for a fact? I wasn’t aware of this. I thought GRRM helped D&D with the Season 6 outline, sure, but I didn’t think he was pressured into writing key chapters. That said, I do think D&D probably have access to the unfinished manuscripts and his annotations, or at least will have access to them when they start not only outlining but actually writing, which should be… right about now, if I’m not mistaken. Having details of the story is helpful, of course, but I’m sure D&D also want to actually see some of his writing. In my opinion, the show’s dialogue has been at its best when it has reformulated the book’s prose, not when it has sticked to it 100% or when it has invented completely new dialogue (though there are many wonderful examples of completely invented scenes, to be sure.)

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    44. Patchface:
      Maester of Ceremonies,

      The script for s6 had not been completed as of December 2015.

      I know I know I know…

      You meant 2014 🙂 Filming for Season 6 should start about ten weeks from now, so I hope the scripts are being polished up now, based upon Martin’s storyline drafts. We can only speculate.

      Further speculation: by April 19th-20th, we could have an announcement of a 7th season for the show. Maybe HBO will opt to split the 7th season and make it longer, as they’ve done with final seasons of other shows in the past. I’m beginning to favor a regular length 7th season, and a 10 episode 8th season to cap the series. That’s an expensive option for HBO, however, as they would need to negotiate a new contract.

      Whatever they decide, A Dream of Spring seems destined to see publication years after the show ceases production.

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    45. Maester of Ceremonies: You meant 2014 Filming for Season 6 should start about ten weeks from now, so I hope the scripts are being polished up now, based upon Martin’s storyline drafts. We can only speculate.

      Yeah, that’s what I meant. December 2014!

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    46. Maester of Ceremonies,

      Weird feeling, right? The adapted TWOW is being written now and will be finished in a matter of weeks, while the real TWOW keeps being written. A shorter, simpler version of TWOW’s story will be in the mouths of the cast and crew for months; that is, GRRM’s secret story revealed to hundreds of people, and then millions if the book is not released by April of 2016.

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    47. A small announcement: I will not be posting for a few months due to very busy schedule at work. I will be back in May, hopefully with some news. If you see someone posting with my name, just know it ain’t me. When I returned last week, I saw someone had (again) impersonated me. So beware! Thanks and see y’all in May.

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    48. Durrandon’s Fool:
      People sure seem to be reading a lot into that last line. To me it sounds more like a joke.

      I would paraphrase it as “”When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves, only then will I change my schedule.”

      I think you are right. I thought it was “tongue in cheek”. I’ve wondered from time to time if he is less enthusiastic in more recent times than when he first started writing the series. Ah well, it’ll be finished when it’s finished I guess.

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    49. Luka Nieto:
      Jared,

      Patchface,

      Is that something we know for a fact? I wasn’t aware of this. I thought GRRM helped D&D with the Season 6 outline, sure, but I didn’t think he was pressured into writing key chapters. That said, I do think D&D probably have access to the unfinished manuscripts and his annotations, or at least will have access to them when they start not only outlining but actually writing, which should be… right about now, if I’m not mistaken. Having details of the story is helpful, of course, but I’m sure D&D also want to actually see some of his writing. In my opinion, the show’s dialogue has been at its best when it has reformulated the book’s prose, not when it has sticked to it 100% or when it has invented completely new dialogue (though there are many wonderful examples of completely invented scenes, to be sure.)

      Sorry man, I saw your query after my announcement. Yeah, it kinda is. I hear this was part of the agreement between Martin and D&D when they met. Martin was relieved of his duties to write a script, but he was supposed to deliver more than general arcs. Apart from the major plots, D&D wanted to stay true in as much as possible to the more evocative moments in the story telling. (didn’t I report this last year?) This was also part of the reason Martin released the Mercy chapter for the public. Anyway, if last year is any indication, the script for s6 should be close to completion around this time, and they will soon begin exploring casting options. This was my last post. Signing out!

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    50. Yivo: George is getting the grief he deserves.

      “The grief he deserves.”

      This sums up the whiny, grasping, immediate-gratification seeking, life-owes-you-everything attitude that is prevalent in today’s age and I hate it.

      I don’t know you but I doubt you’re fit to even tie the laces of his shoes. Stop whining.

      Back on topic, I’m staying wildly optimistic with an end of 2015 release. You never know…

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    51. GRRM has been extremely chatty for the last days and weeks and mentioned TWOW more often than he did for many months. Whatever that means.

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    52. I too would be very surprised if it comes out this year.

      …But I will be just as surprised if it doesn’t come out next year.

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    53. Tatters,

      You are kidding, I hope?

      They aren’t going to shift the whole production by half a year just in the off chance that it gets a bit chillier in Croatia; a look which can be accomplished with set dressing and VFX, and thank God that’s the case, because they cannot even rely on the certainty that it will snow in Ireland, let alone Croatia.

      As always, they will film from July to December and make use of the Winter months in Iceland if they see fit. Even then, there will be plenty of scenes in which the heavy snows will be accomplished entirely with fake snow and CGI, especially if they need a snowed-in King’s Landing, or if they are planning for huge sets and/or set-pieces in the snow (e.g., the Battle of Ice), which would be a logistical nightmare to build in Iceland and in real snow. I may be understating it: maybe it’s not just a nightmare but an impossibility! Let us consider that they aren’t even allowed to bring in “real” horses to Iceland (they were forced to use the local ponies instead, and place them far away from Arya and the Hound so that it’s not noticeable on-screen), so I don’t think we can expect them to make use of Iceland for anything half-way grandiose, let alone any huge set-piece.

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    54. Ross: This sums up the whiny, grasping, immediate-gratification seeking, life-owes-you-everything attitude that is prevalent in today’s age and I hate it.

      Nowhere did I say I wanted the books now dumbass. I’m talking about him selling the rights to the tv show before he was even close to finishing the books. He doesn’t owe me shit, just as I don’t owe him shit. Surprised you didn’t put in a “GRRM is not your bitch” to make your argument even more cliched.

      Ross: I don’t know you but I doubt you’re fit to even tie the laces of his shoes. Stop whining.

      What a stupid thing to say. Just because you worship at his altar doesn’t mean I have to. I think this sums up the blind, childish celebrity

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    55. I can only wonder how crazy the boards will be a year from now, after fans have exhaustively parsed the Season 5 dialogue for any clues to the path of Season 6, & harassed Bryan Cogman on Twitter for clues. Poor guy.

      Maybe TWOW will be out by then. We can only hope by April 2016.

      I hate seeing the Unsullied get spoiled by YouTube commenters that take a perverse delight in being asshats. I’d prefer that everyone read the books to become relatively spoiler proof.

      Failing that, people can install Herp Derp for YouTube, to convert comments to gibberish. I’d prefer an addon to “Hodor” them instead.

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    56. I’m a cautious semi-optimist that TWoW may indeed be finished ahead of Season 6. I know we’ve been burned before–hello Feast and Dance–but it seems Martin can at least see the light at the end of tunnel if he speculates the book may even be finished in six months.

      So yeah, maybe it comes out sooner rather than later… Whatever happens, I think Martin is really trying to publish it before rampant spoilerage courtesy of HBO occurs.

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    57. “Clearing his con schedule”? Really, Sue. C’mon. He goes to about half a dozen cons every year. Even with the one cancellation and a confirmation of no ComiCon appearance, he is still going to about half a dozen cons this year. Hardly clearing his con schedule.

      And it’s much too little far too late. If Martin had taken this approach years ago, maybe it would have an impact. If memory serves, he skipped a con in Japan in 2007 to focus on writing ADWD. Yeah, that helped. Either this is a GURM snowjob to curry some goodwill among his fans or he is truly delusional. He may as well go to those cons; a few weeks off signing bewbs and creeping on cosplayers is going to have minimal impact on a book that is four years in the making.

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    58. OT: apologies if already covered, haven’t had a chance to read any comments since yesterday. The story so far programme was on Sky Atlantic last night (repeated tonight at 10pm and a few other times no doubt). No link to watch it on their website at the moment but I’ll keep an eye out for one and post when it appears.

      It was very similar in style to the 20 greatest moments programme with lots of GoT clips and mini-interviews talking about them. Basically an introduction to S5 for anyone who hasn’t seen the show before, briefly covering some of the main story lines so far. The interviews would be the only bit of real interest to anyone on here; people you would know were GRRM, Bryan Cogman and the actors who play Barristan, Cat, Grey Worm, Hodor, Loras, Lysa, Melisandre, Ros and the main White Walker (not the NK). Probably forgotten someone, I’ve only skim watched it so far. The few brief clips from S5 we’ve seen before. The only thing I can remember anyone saying about S5 (apart from Hodor’s “I can’t wait to see what happens”) was Bryan C who, when talking about Stannis, said

      Seeing him [Stannis] paired with Jon Snow. That storyline is going to have huge ramifications in season 5.”

      Not sure if that really counts as a spoiler but covering it just in case.

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    59. I used to get annoyed at book-readers who ripped every change the show made no matter how small.

      Now I get annoyed at people who insist that Martin write faster to finish a book series they apparently don’t like anyway.

      Thank goodness for milk of the poppy.

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    60. Martin will push himself to get Winds out before season 6. Think of all the people who will buy tWoW in hardcover just to stay ahead of the show, or all the Unsullied who finally cave and buy the book because they need to know whether character X fucks character Y or character Z dies or character A takes revenge on character B, etc.

      Just to much money to be had for all parties involved.

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    61. Yivo:
      worship so many book readers seem to have. You can piss right off with your ad-hominem bullshit.

      Cumsprite:
      Ross,

      Hey, Ross … suck it.

      Nice! And I’m the one that’s accused of using ad hominen.

      FYI there’s a difference between ‘worshipping at his alter’ and sticking up for basic human decency and manners for someone you (presumably) at least have an element of respect for considering he developed the story we are all here to discuss. I always find the random attacks on the man completely baffling.

      This is real lowest common denominator stuff.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Well, I have to agree with some of the skeptics that cancelling one con appearance of 6 or 7 this year doesn’t change that much, but I’m still cautiously optimistic.
      GRRM hardly ever mentioned TWOW on his blog in the last years, so this new willingness to talk about it has to mean he’s made some progress. And for me a 2016 release date always seemed like the most likely, compared to the time he spent writing AFFC/ADWD

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    63. Personally not too bothered when it gets released

      What’s important is that it is rich in quality with all this in-depth stuff that only people on the ASOIF forums will point out to me

      If I remember right I think he said he can only write one character at a time, so that character has to be written, then another, then he has to do that trick where he ensures the detail matches up and they integrate well with timelines etc

      Would rather it be written while he’s got his mojo, rather than something forced out while he has some kind of writers block just so the show doesen’t get too far ahead or whatever and then the books aren’t as good as they could have been or do his series justice

      WoW should be epic, ASOIF was big before the show, has probably got a LOT more fans since the show, ADwD came out just after season 1 impressions and bookstores notice the impact I think so can only imagine now what the WoW release will be like now that the show has really ingrained itself in popular culture

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    64. Jesterr223457:
      Ross,

      Take your head out of Martin’s ass and see for once how the world really works you ignorant buffoon !

      Is this acceptable? Honestly? Would you say this to someone in the street?

      As for being how the world really works – that might be how yours works, but it isn’t mine thank you. I’d rather try and think the best of people and be respectful of them, particularly those who have produced something I admire. If that puts me in the minority then that’s absolutely fine with me, but I’d be surprised if it did.

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    65. “I don’t write a S5-episode for GoT in order to finish the book”
      “Who would not want to go on a free trip to Dubai?”
      “Sometimes I just want to sit down and play a video game. Poor me, this book is so huge…”
      “I don’t go to CC in order to finish the book.”

      Words are wind, George, words are wind. The most reasonable statement was, that you will announce it, when it is done. And until then, there won’t be any need for further volontary explanations or comments. and even more general: “Don’t explain yourself! Your friends won’t need it and your enemies won’t believe you.”

      This discussion really is completely useless. There is no point in fans rushing him. We simply can’t! The writung pace is his thing. If he wants to rush things, then it’s his bloody decision, and not because the bad fans told him, to do so. It is GRRM on the trigger, not the fans.

      Furthermore, it is a very positive thing to have fans. It is the fans who pay his brekkie afterall.

      This does not enhance us, to demand things. (and as mentioned above: demanding would be completely useless.) This does not give us the right to speculate on his BMI risks. However, one could interprete this as a positive thing.
      Did you ever hear the Beatles complaining: “Oh, the girls’ screams are too loud… Just let us play our music and listen, won’t you?”

      Hence, GRRM and fans… in the words of mighty mighty Laid Back

      “You’ve got to cool down – RELAX! – Take it easy…”

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    66. Red Carpet premiere tomorrow.

      Finally we are going to learn what happens in episode 1 regarding Sansa.

      There are redditors attending the event so hopefully they’ll post some spoilers 🙂

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    67. Tatters,

      They do that every year… why not now? There was snow and rain and almost every type of weather since Season 1 (true, though some of it was natural, most of it was artificial).
      Remember, not everything happens in snowy weather. Most of it actually happens in much warmer climate, so shooting in summer will work just fine.
      They can always shoot exterior scenes much later in the year, in Iceland (or why not go to Greenland or some other place that has snow by then, like some northern parts of mainland Europe).

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    68. Nero Martell,

      Actually the Beatles stopped touring because the girls’ screaming was drowning out their music. So, yes, they too got tired of fans interfering with their art. However, I do agree with you that it does us no good to speculate on a timeline. The book will be done when it’s done. And I don’t want it rushed – would rather have a good read (not a JKR ending fiasco)

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    69. Ross:
      Nice!And I’m the one that’s accused of using ad hominen.

      …becuqse you did? You said you didn’t know me, but that I probably wasn’t fit to lick GRRMs boots. That is Ad Hominem. THAT is lowest common denominator stuff.

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    70. BryndenBFish:
      Re-posting my comment from /r/asoiaf just so that the hype train doesn’t go off the rails here either:

      I hate to be “the hypeslayer” for my own post, but cancelling convention appearances is something that GRRM has done previously for A Dance with Dragons in 2007. If memory serves, this was done “in order to ‘finish ADWD.’” But I think it’s decent enough news all the same — at least he hasn’t fully abandoned TWOW with the juggernaut of the show bearing down on him.

      Yesterday for fun, I went through GRRM’s writing speed for ADWD, and came out thinking that his fastest pace was 2009-2010 was about 400 pages/year (though probably more). If GRRM was writing TWOW at 400pg/year pace, he’d be done by mid-2015 or so.

      However, between JAN 2012 and MAR 2013, GRRM only wrote about 225 MS pages of TWOW. Here’s the known-knows, some factoids to give context and the math:
      Book expected to be 1500pgs.

      – ~150pgs cut from ADWD to TWOW
      – GRRM began writing new TWOW material in JAN ’12
      – GRRM stated he was 1/4 way done TWOW at GoT S03 premier IN MAR ’13.
      1500x.25=375-150=225.

      So, maybe GRRM has massively picked up the pace, but he has been mentioning lately that he’s grown slower, not faster. But now I’m wondering if GRRM thinking that he might be able to go to the cons if he can turn in TWOW is just undue optimism on George’s part. It’s happened before (c.f. AFFC, ADWD)

      Also, “complete and deliver” does not mean that the book will be published by November or this year. ADWD took 4 months to edit after it was completed and delivered. We can expect at least as long for TWOW if not longer since GRRM has not been sending manuscript partials to his editor every few months or so like he did with ADWD.

      On the bright-side, Wildcards is not his foremost priority!

      It’s more likely that “halfway done” simply meant “It’s a work in progress”, not literally “1/2 done”.

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    71. Cumsprite,

      If he doesn’t want to write, he doesn’t want to write. But that’s not the case. On top of all his other projects, a 1,500-page manuscript in five years is NOT SLOW. I know he says himself he’s a slow writer, but if he had written five 300-page books in that time everyone would gush about how prolific he is.

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    72. I feel very strongly that Winds will come out before season 6, or at the same time. The producers and Martin just seem much more relaxed concerning the show overtaking the books, than we are, and I think it’s because that is not a concern right now. He’s going full on writing mode now, because he’s in the very last fase and he’s going to finish within the year. Seaon 6 will be Winds, additionally with the Oldtown plot and Euron pushed back from Dance, along with remaining plotthreads. Jon might or might not have something left from dance. Arya too perhaps.

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    73. yivo: …becuqse you did? You said you didn’t know me, but that I probably wasn’t fit to lick GRRMs boots. That is Ad Hominem. THAT is lowest common denominator stuff.

      The actual quote was not fit to tie his shoes. As in, you probably don’t have a fraction of his talent, so who are you to be derogatory about him? Admittedly it probably was a bit harsh, but your comment was just one of many and I’m afraid I vented on you.

      Yivo:
      Ross,

      Also, telling someone to piss off Ad Hominem. You may want to look it up.

      Editing my original reply to this as I realise it would be hypocritical and sink to the lowest common denominator I am complaining about!

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    74. Ross:

      FYI there’s a difference between ‘worshipping at his alter’ and sticking up for basic human decency and manners for someone you (presumably) at least have an element of respect for considering he developed the story we are all here to discuss.I always find the random attacks on the man completely baffling.

      Expressing dismay about Martin’s writing progress is not an attack. It’s an observation. Over the last several years he has quite simply been away from the phone when the Muse calls. On the few occasions when he has been available, it was usually not the ASOIAF Muse, but a side project.

      Martin forgets that most of us are not his friends. When he gives his fans the finger (literally) because a subject makes him uncomfortable, he demonstrates his disdain for the average reader. When he punts a project (like his contribution to the Poul Anderson tribute) he shows his lack of commitment as a professional writer (and hangs his colleagues out to dry).

      GURM doesn’t owe his readers another book. We are not entitled to one. We are, however, entitled to some effort on his part. Cancelling a con or two doesn’t cut it and it’s too late anyway. The show is going to spoil the books. Unless, as his publisher brusquely put it, we should stop watching if we don’t want to be spoiled.

      Respect? Gotta give some to get some.

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    75. Cersei’s Brain,

      UH, did not know that… All right: Let’s change that fabulous example to… “The Beach Boys…!” 😉

      Never mind, you got the point. GRRM should not complain about fans being crazy… That is our nature! 🙂

      And fans should not complain about GRRM. Imagine a world without his work. Would you have less problems?

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    76. <blockquote cite="comment-2Wimsey: I would hope that GRRM puts that in Winter.Of course, by now most of the Dayneists probably don’t even remember who Ashara Dayne was, so rubbing it in their noses will lose some of it’s puerile and ill-mannered fun.

      I do! I do! Though I do not subscribe to the theory that I think you are referencing. I just like the thought of a young Ned falling in love, and the mystery surrounding the Dayne family.

      Yikes! Something weird happened there. Sorry!

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    77. Problembear:
      Cumsprite,

      If he doesn’t want to write, he doesn’t want to write. But that’s not the case. On top of all his other projects, a 1,500-page manuscript in five years is NOT SLOW. I know he says himself he’s a slow writer, but if he had written five 300-page books in that time everyone would gush about how prolific he is.

      I was using hyperbole. And, your math is hinky. Manuscript pages =/= published pages. So your 300-page books would be more like 200-page ones to compare properly.

      Fuck a duck. I got caremad and pedantic.

      Point taken.

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    78. I wonder, if Game of Thrones the TV show never existed, would Martin have Winds of Winter out already. Heck, maybe he would have finished the entire saga by now!

      I think the pressure from the series’ popularity is a factor in this slow pace. How to end this story with so many plot threads? Writer’s block, and all that.

      Winds of Winter could be published in summer/fall 2016 to fill the gap between seasons 6 and 7. No idea about Spring; as some suggested, there could be an eighth book needed to finish the story. This is a unique situation in entertainment, in any case.

      I’m pretty much Zen about this now. If the books are published, wonderful. If not, well, I’ll always have the TV show.

      🙂

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    79. I think you will all feel much better if you accept like I have that there may be no more asoiaf books, or there may be, but either way its out of our hands. We have no control over what GRRM does – it’s his life. We also have no control over what D&D do – it’s their life. If you want to speculate, past actions are the best predictors of future actions.

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    80. His recent postings seem to have a melancholy flavor attached to them. It makes me wonder if he really enjoys writing ASOIAF anymore, or if he is begrudgingly plodding through it just to get people off his back and put it in his rear-view mirror.

      I’m probably reading too much into it, and I certainly don’t know the man. It just comes off to me like his last post is really saying–I’m cancelling something I really want to do so I can work.

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    81. Cumsprite,

      Thank you for the reasoned response, appreciate it.

      I personally feel like he is very respectful to his fans – at least, those who are respectful to him. The only time I have seen him vent is to comments which are either disrespectful or plain stupid – he is completely within his rights to do that.

      I’m sure he isn’t perfect as a person and I’m sure his social skills aren’t perfect either, but that really has nothing to do with anything. He writes brilliant books – as and when he does that is entirely up to him. What he does in the meantime is entirely up to him, including working on other projects. That the show will reach the finish before the books is not ideal, but it is what it is – it’s nothing to get angry with Martin about.

      Just because we buy his books doesn’t put him in our pocket or give us a right to complain about timings. Of course we can be unhappy about it, but when it veers into personal attacks on the guy, I just don’t get it. People seem to think because he is now a multi-millionaire and our collective purchase of his books made him that way, we somehow have a say in what he does and when, as though he has entered some kind of contract with us. We don’t and he hasn’t, and it is a very odd way of thinking. We haven’t made him what he is today – HE has.

      Can you imagine if JRR Tolkien was born in the social media age…

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    82. Flora Linden,

      I don’t think the added expectations were meaningful. I think the show absolutely did negatively impact the production of the books, but for a completely different reason: it enormously expanded GRRM’s opportunities to do anything other than write TWOW. He wrote four scripts, each of which I believe he’s said took up the better part of a month, and how many of the conventions, TV appearances, media tours, would never have happened without it?

      This isn’t, in any sense, the show’s fault. It’s up to GRRM to manage his time.

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    83. Bran The Baker:
      His recent postings seem to have a melancholy flavor attached to them.It makes me wonder if he really enjoys writing ASOIAF anymore, or if he is begrudgingly plodding through it just to get people off his back and put it in his rear-view mirror.

      I’m probably reading too much into it, and I certainly don’t know the man.It just comes off to me like his last post is really saying–I’m cancelling something I really want to do so I can work.

      My (overly optimistic) read on his recent engagement with people on his blog and willingness to talk abut WoW, is that he has broken the back of it, can see the end in sight, and is now more at peace with the timeline. But it’s probably wishful thinking.

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    84. Turncloak:
      Red Carpet premiere tomorrow.

      Finally we are going to learn what happens in episode 1 regarding Sansa.

      There are redditors attending the event so hopefully they’ll post some spoilers

      Any news of S5E1 screenings here in the States like they did last year? Anyone?

        Quote  Reply

    85. Ross,

      Ross:
      Cumsprite,

      Just because we buy his books doesn’t put him in our pocket or give us a right to complain about timings … we haven’t made him what he is today – HE has.

      Bull. Many people began reading the books before the TV show was even being considered. We recommended them to friends, who in turn recommended them to others. Their success was largely through word of mouth and that success led to a TV show. His fans made him what he is today and we have every right to complain about timing. I noodled out R+L=J a long ass time ago. If it does turn out to be true, I would have liked to have read it on the page instead of hearing about it secondhand.

      In a way, it’s the fault of readers such as myself. No worries, won’t happen again. No more unfinished series for me and many others. Congrats, GURM, you may very well have screwed the next generation of fantasy writers.

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    86. Sean C.,

      Yeah, you’re right. Martin’s involvement with show – writing and producing and the PR associated with it – took a chunk of time that would have been for writing the books.

      Still, the popularity of the show also generated a lot more scrutiny on his work than usual. That’s got to be unnerving. And with such a dense, complicated story, it takes awhile to account for all the moving parts anyway. It’s not easier with people breathing down your neck in the social media, keeping track of your progress or lack of it.

      Ross:

      Can you imagine if JRR Tolkien was born in the social media age…

      Same thing with Martin – his work would be in a fishbowl and picked apart in real time. Maybe that classic series, too, might have been adapted into a popular TV/movie series with the book saga still unfinished.

      🙂

        Quote  Reply

    87. I don’t think the editing issue with ADWD is because it was rushed. I think GRRM just has no respect for his editor. It’s pretty clear from interviews and the actual manuscript that he ignores her suggestions, so why waste more time on editing?

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    88. Ashara D,

      There are several US universities screening the season 5 premiere a week in advance. No other special screening like last year’s Barclays Center however.

      Either way tomorrow at around 5PM Eastern time we should get some Ep 1 spoilers thanks to the 4 hour time zone difference (the screening starts at 8pm London time which is 4pm Eastern time).

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    89. Cumsprite: His fans made him what he is today and we have every right to complain about timing.

      Sorry, but no. The reason you bought his books and recommended them to friends is because he wrote bloody good books. That is his achievement. Not yours. You are merely the consumer of his product. What you get back in return for purchasing his novels is the enjoyment you get out of them. That’s it – nothing else. You get no say in future books and certainly no say in how he should live his life. You DO have the power not to buy any books going forward of course, and that is your prerogative.

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    90. People always forget that the WPD stuff doesn’t measure how much of those books he re-wrote. Re-writing is why the 4th and 5th books took so long, and infamous passages like the Meereenese knot were particularly re-worked again and again. Even though there is a lot of complicated stuff to resolve in the next book, since he has the ending in mind it should be easier to work through. So while I’m not optimistic that we’ll see the 6th book this year, I also don’t count him out. We all think the show will end before the books, so we might as well be philosophical about when the 6th one lands, it shouldn’t matter.

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    91. Ross: Sorry, but no.The reason you bought his books and recommended them to friends is because he wrote bloody good books.That is his achievement.Not yours.You are merely the consumer of his product.What you get back in return for purchasing his novels is the enjoyment you get out of them. That’s it – nothing else. You get no say in future books and certainly no say in how he should live his life.You DO have the power not to buy any books going forward of course, and that is your prerogative.

      The fact that people are badgering him about writing is a compliment isn’t it? I mean if no-one gave two shits if he never wrote another word of any book and sank into obscurity, then he should have cause for concern.

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    92. Ross,

      You’re absolutely right. I think people show a ridiculous lack of understanding with this line of criticism – it’s frankly ungrateful and moronic.

      I’m happy ASOIAF ever happened. Maybe I’m just not fanatical enough to stamp my feet and burn my books because GRRM is taking a while to deliver MY story to ME. In which case I’m happy to be a casual fan, rather than a psycho one.

      We all want the stories. Try simply being supportive of the human being who created the series you profess to love. They’ll arrive, eventually.

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    93. Ross: Sorry, but no.The reason you bought his books and recommended them to friends is because he wrote bloody good books.That is his achievement.Not yours.You are merely the consumer of his product.What you get back in return for purchasing his novels is the enjoyment you get out of them. That’s it – nothing else. You get no say in future books and certainly no say in how he should live his life.You DO have the power not to buy any books going forward of course, and that is your prerogative.

      More bull. Piled high even deeper. If he was writing stand-alone works, some of your points are solid; he’s writing a serial though. At no point in this thread did I say how he should live his life. He can do what he wants and has. As a CONSUMER I have every right to complain that the way he has chosen to live his life has impacted my enjoyment of the books. Considering that HBO is going to severely mar my reading experience going forward I am sometimes going to complain loudly. It is my right, after all, as a consumer.

      I have already exercised my consumer’s prerogative by not buying ADWD, though I read it the day it came out. Perhaps I will pay the iron price for TWOW as well. And lend it out repeatedly just like its predecessor.

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    94. Meh

      (Ivan Drago voice): If he finishes, he finishes.

      At this point I have enjoyed the show more than the books, which, IMO, have declined in quality since A Game of Thrones. Although I still find the show to slightly above average, I do feel that it has gotten better since S3 and, from what I’ve seen of the new trailer, appears to continue that upward trend.

      Choo Choo muthafucker

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    95. Maester of Ceremonies: You meant 2014 Further speculation: by April 19th-20th, we could have an announcement of a 7thseason for the show. Maybe HBO will opt to split the 7th season and make it longer, as they’ve done with final seasons of other shows in the past. I’m beginning to favor a regular length 7th season, and a 10 episode 8th season to cap the series. That’s an expensive option for HBO, however, as they would need to negotiate a new contract.

      Has HBO split the final season of any show besides The Sopranos? I don’t think they have. HBO undoubtedly would like to milk the cash cow as long as possible, but they’ve *also* indicated that they have already agreed to D&D’s plan, which has *always* been seven 10-episode seasons. I don’t see that changing.

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    96. Ross:

      People seem to think because he is now a multi-millionaire and our collective purchase of his books made him that way, we somehow have a say in what he does and when, as though he has entered some kind of contract with us. We don’t and he hasn’t, and it is a very odd way of thinking. We haven’t made him what he is today – HE has.

      While I agree on the paragraph about contracts and what not, the last sentence is literally an aberration of the basic laws of economics of offer and demand. No one is successful in a free market if there is no demand. By demand here you are talking about those pesky consumers that read and buy the books. Martin understands this. He has gone on record tens of times in interviews thanking his fans for sticking it out with him and buying his books (which made him financially successful BEFORE HBO even thought of buying ASOIAF).

      You may proceed to duke it out with the non-believers here! I see they are out in force LOL

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    97. Question- How many people on this site live in Toronto?

      I’m just curious … it might be fun to get together now and then … we could form our own small council and discuss these things in person over some drinks!!

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    98. Nero Martell,

      When I go to a football or basketball game, I don’t sit there passively. I cheer and growl at the players. The same with my favorite authors on various blogs. I’ll cheer and growl at them with other passionate folk, all the while enjoying the worlds being built and imagined. These days, novel writing is a spectator sport. 🙂

      Monty Python did it best….their novel writing skit is classic.

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    99. Tormund’s Woman: While I agree on the paragraph about contracts and what not, the last sentence is literally an aberration of the basic laws of economics of offer and demand.

      You are right of course – but my point is that his skills as a writer are the sole reason for that demand. It is his talent, determination, whatever, that has made these work and led to his success (and a little bit of luck of course). He should of course be respectful of his fans, but he owes them nothing. The transaction that has taken place is a fair one (enjoyment for money).

        Quote  Reply

    100. Cumsprite: More bull. Piled high even deeper. If he was writing stand-alone works, some of your points are solid; he’s writing a serial though. At no point in this thread did I say how he should live his life. He can do what he wants and has. As a CONSUMER I have every right to complain that the way he has chosen to live his life has impacted my enjoyment of the books. Considering that HBO is going to severely mar my reading experience going forward I am sometimes going to complain loudly. It is my right, after all, as a consumer.

      First you say you do not make any comments on how he should live his life. But then you go onto say that you have the right to complain about how he lives his life if it impacts your enjoyment of the books. No, you don’t. Not at all. Because it is precisely none of your business. And also because that viewpoint presupposes that your enjoyment of the books is more important than anything – including his own personal choices and lifestyle. Which is clearly ludicrous and so egocentric it’s off the scale.

      You do have the right to complain about his work. That’s fine. That is your right as a consumer. And for the record, I am not a massive Martin apologist – I don’t think they are perfect pieces of writing by any means. I think he is very strong at plotting and dialogue (no surprise considering his background in script writing) and ‘world creation’, but as a writer of prose there are certainly better writers out there. But I love the story and whenever it comes out, I’ll enjoy it. And probably so will you.

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    101. Ross,

      Complaining about how his choices impact the books is not the same thing as telling him how to live his life. What is so hard to understand about that?

      You say owes us nothing, yet his fans owe it to him to keep their mouths shut. Odd dynamic.

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    102. Cersei’s Brain: And I don’t want it rushed – would rather have a good read (not a JKR ending fiasco)

      The last Harry Potter book was far from a fiasco: it was probably the 2nd best book in the series! Oh, sure, there were small continuity errors all over which the fans jumped: but that was not going to be fixed with extended editing as neither authors nor editors pay anywhere near as much attention to small details as the fans do.

      Cumsprite: His fans made him what he is today and we have every right to complain about timing.

      This is very backwards hubris. However, it is a backwards hubris that is endemic to fandoms. Let’s use a planets as a model for series and their fans. Fans genuinely believe that they are the planetary core that is the basic foundation for the series’ success and which gravitationally draws both the work and an atmosphere of a general audience. The truth is that the planetary core is the author’s original works. The general audience is the planetary crust and surface. We are like the (sometimes somwhat toxic?) outgassings of the planetary crust formed around the planetary core: if you have a big enough audience, then some fraction of it goes up into the hardcore fandom.

      GRRM made us fans. His audience (most of which are not fans but just his audience) made him rich. We are just gas.

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    103. Ashara D: Though I do not subscribe to the theory that I think you are referencing. I just like the thought of a young Ned falling in love, and the mystery surrounding the Dayne family.

      It was very popular 15 years ago. I suspect the proponents died of old age.

      But what mystery surrounds the Dayne family? Oh, sure, fans speculate a lot about them: but I do not recall much discussion about them in the book. Really, the only mystery directly raised by the books is

      which Stark fathered Ashara Dayne’s dead daughter.

      (My money is on the Wild Wolf, not the Quiet Wolf, myself: although the Quiest Wolf would explain a dissemblance. )

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    104. The Family Name: Has HBO split the final season of any show besides The Sopranos? I don’t think they have.

      They also split the final season of Sex in the City, with 12 episodes aired in 2003 and 8 in 2004.

      If they split Season 7, I’d expect a 13-15 episode run. We’ll see. There’s precedent for a split final season, so that seems a likely outcome. A two season renewal announced in April, with a 10 episode final season, seems less likely to me.

      Benioff and Weiss want the seventh to be the last, marking 10 years that they’ve had the series under development and in production.

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    105. Cumsprite,

      Well, let’s just cut the usage of the word “owe” all together. We don’t owe him anything, we have the individual right to say whatever stupid shit we feel. But we have the ability to just not.

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    106. Ross,

      You will get absolutely no argument from me regarding the overall quality of his books, or his talent.

      But talent, determination and luck need business acumen, marketing and demand (in this case customers who like to read a certain genre and look for books like his) to gain financial success. No matter how much you would like it not to be so. It is a symbiosis. Talent does not work by itself. There are a multitude of talented writers or good books that never achieve Martin’s status. Some write better than him, yet they do not enjoy his financial success. The series (GoT) have brought him an audience base that had no knowledge of how talented a writer he was. He was shocked by this, and he is grateful.

      I understand your point of view. I am however a business woman and I understand how the financial success works. That sentence was ruining your argument.

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    107. OMFG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Did you see what he wrote???????????????????????

      The book will be out this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      #totally
      #IBELIVE!!!!!!!!!!
      #nowayheistrollingus

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    108. I hope he finishes soon and that TWOW is subject to a stronger editorial hand than AFFC and ADWD. The first three were lean, muscular books and the last two had too much flabbiness to them.

      I would love to see TWOW released for the holidays or prior to season 6 of GOT.

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    109. Not sure if this has been said but I think the predominant reason Martin isn’t going to comic on is that D&D and him are having a bit of a lovers quarrel and Georgie can’t face being on a comicon board with them as he watches them f**k over his Charakters. 🙂

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    110. Tormund’s Woman:
      Wimsey,

      NOT GAS! Damn it, Wimsey! I refuse to be compared with the fart of the Universe.

      I’m confused. GeekFurious hasn’t even posted in this thread. But there have been a lot of replies. Maybe I missed it.

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    111. What arcs do you think Cogman is talking about? Maybe Grey Worm/Missandei?

      Cogman: This is the riskiest season, from a storytelling perspective, and certainly the most difficult. We were faced with adapting two huge books and following up on arcs and themes that—while certainly inspired by the books—were a little more our own thing.

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    112. Yivo,

      I really don’t get how people come up with these “GRRM hates D&D” theories. The guy worked in TV for a long time, he knows that adaptations have to make changes and while he may not like those he certainly won’t throw fits over them.

      D&D even adressed in the interview Luka Nieto just linked:

      George didn’t write an episode this season, so some fans wonder if you’re still on good terms.
      Benioff: We don’t always agree on everything in the series, but we have a great relationship with him. George wants to finish the book, so when he decided not to write a script this year it wasn’t a contentious thing. It wasn’t a screaming match. He just felt like needed to prioritize the book, and that makes sense to us.

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    113. Dolorous Ned,

      Generally, I’d say people come up with these theories because the author hating D&D, the show and/or the changes from the books would validate their own feelings, in their mind.

      (Why, yes, I am a professional armchair psychologist, how did you know?)

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    114. Tormund’s Woman: NOT GAS! Damn it, Wimsey! I refuse to be compared with the fart of the Universe.

      Think of it as the flatulence of life if it makes you feel better. (Or as belching of life: that might make you feel much better!)

      Seriously, this is all fandoms, by the way: I’m not just picking on any one in particular.

        Quote  Reply

    115. Turncloak,

      They have a lot of original content they could touch on. Missandei+Grey Worm, Daario and Hizdahr’s mission to Yunkai, Yara pursued across the sea by dogs, Rickon at the Umbers, Cersei marrying Loras, etc.

        Quote  Reply

    116. Afeastfordances,

      Yeah, they’ve set up a lot of subplots of their own creation that will have to pay off this season.

      Rygritte,

      Well, they wouldn’t spoil that. I think he was talking about previous seasons, that till now we have only seen snow in the North.

      That said, I’m not so sure D&D will make it snow in the Riverlands and King’s Landing as GRRM did at the end of ADWD. We’ll see.

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    117. Luka Nieto, He was speaking in the present tense about Season 5. After Theon rescues Ramsey’s bride, and Brienne & Pod rescue them, BriPod will be sent to find Bran beyond the Wall! It is known, damnit!

        Quote  Reply

    118. Turncloak,
      Department of trying to be helpful but probably failing miserably here: There was a bit in the original EW article (the four covers one) that said something like they are going to make controversial changes to book cannon, but no-one seemed to notice, unless everyone thought that anyway and it was no surprise?

      Don’t know how much Jon and Stannis interact in the books but BC did say their part of S5 is a biggie (in the story so far programme yesterday) while pulling a “woah!” face.

      Probably no help at all, but at least it was fairly brief! ;O)

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    119. There’s a middle ground to this argument over what fans can expect. His writing pace is slow by all standards–most dedicated writers can hit a thousand words a day, even with a day job, and Martin doesn’t have to worry about paying his bills. He doesn’t write when he travels, and he’s spent the last few years choosing to travel a lot. Making remarks about someone’s body or health is rude, but he has made choices that have deliberately slowed his writing process, so it’s fair to say that finishing the books are not his top priority. I also say that when you sell a book as part of a series, you’re making a promise to do the best you can to finish–if you make “Part One” available, you imply “Part Two” will eventually exist. It’s not an unbreakable contract, but it is an implied promise.

      So no, legally, the fans aren’t owed anything, and people should stop talking about his health. But fans do have a right to be disappointed, especially since you know they’ll be spoiled a great deal on the upcoming material. Martin had a chance to finish his books on time and didn’t make them his priority.

        Quote  Reply

    120. BrightroarsBane,

      Why should people stop talking about his health? As I said before, we are not his friends. I, for one, genuinely want Mr. Martin to live a long and happy life even should he never write another word for ASOIAF. Honest and for true. But let’s face it, given his writing pace and … other considerations, it is a real concern for readers especially since he’s gone on record saying the series dies with him. It is absolutely a valid topic of conversation. It is not bullying, harassment, or even mean-spirited to discuss the subject. Or even to joke about it, even though that’s in bad taste. Something I have in abundance.

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    121. lol, book will be out at end of 2016 at the very earliest

      2015 is a total non-starter

      Ultimately he isn’t obliged to anyone but himself on this

      If you are in TV you have to write episodes and shoot episodes or if you are a journalist columnist you have an obligatory relationship to your newspaper or magazine to write articles by certain deadlines because you are an employee of that institution but being a novel writer is basically a glorified hobby in some respects and something people can or can’t do in their own time

      There’s some agreements with publishers but they area lot looser than the more structured employment relationships mentioned above

        Quote  Reply

    122. Cumsprite,

      Because all because someone is overweight does not make it okay to speculate about their health. If you choose to do so, you should know it’s rude and intrusive. Discussing details about his estate is one thing, since he’s made those a matter of public record. I personally wish he’d have a back-up plan in place–heck, he could get hit by a bus tomorrow.

        Quote  Reply

    123. BrightroarsBane: I also say that when you sell a book as part of a series, you’re making a promise to do the best you can to finish–if you make “Part One” available, you imply “Part Two” will eventually exist. It’s not an unbreakable contract, but it is an implied promise.

      So, basically, he will never work in this town again!

        Quote  Reply

    124. Wimsey:
      GRRM made us fans.His audience (most of which are not fans but just his audience) made him rich.We are just gas.

      Probably best to lay off the acid. *farts*

        Quote  Reply

    125. People don’t seem to realize that everything he has, this wonderful life he enjoys, with his dollhouse movie theater and world travel, is only his because we – the readers – have given it to him.

      He does owe us. He owes us everything.

        Quote  Reply

    126. KG,

      It’s not quite that black and white. GRRM performed a service, a labor, and he was well paid for that labor. He doesn’t owe us anything for the money because we received something- the books- in exchange.

      But he isn’t particularly guaranteed our loyalty and good faith, either. We gave him our money, and no more guarantee than that. As such, we are free to criticize his work, his slowness, etc. I think raging against him is a little futile though. He doesn’t actually “owe” us anything. It was our own choice to make him famous, to obsess over his books. He may enjoy it, but he never asked for that.

        Quote  Reply

    127. dee: Can we please not do the fat-shaming thing? It’s disrespectful and has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

      Yes, he writes slowly, and if you have a problem with that, you can criticize him for his work ethic or his bad decision-making. But criticizing him for his body because you are dissatisfied with his work is just low and mean.

      (And don’t bring out the health argument either. You implied that his girth prevented him from writing now, not a health risk for later.)

      Well said

        Quote  Reply

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