George R.R. Martin is going on his eighth year of writing the sixth book in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. But now that HBO’s Game of Thrones is over, fans may be pleasantly surprised at the newfound pace of the epic saga’s author.
In a new interview with The Guardian, Martin revealed that the ending written by HBO showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff “is freeing.” He also said the show wasn’t “good for me,” because it hindered his work.
“The very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down,” he said. “Every day I sat down to write and even if I had a good day ... I’d feel terrible because I’d be thinking: ‘My God, I have to finish the book. I’ve only written four pages when I should have written 40.’”
“You can’t please everybody, so you’ve got to please yourself,” the author told the paper. “There were a couple of years where, if I could have finished the book, I could have stayed ahead of the show for another couple of years, and the stress was enormous.”
Instead of still grappling with that stress, though, Martin’s focused on finishing the last two books of the A Song of Ice and Fire series: The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. He said he wants to give fans the book series they deserve.
“But having the show finish is freeing, because I’m at my own pace now,” Martin reveals. “I have good days and I have bad days and the stress is far less, although it’s still there... I’m sure that when I finish A Dream of Spring you’ll have to tether me to the Earth.”
The first book in the ASOIAF series was released 23 years ago, and the show began eight years ago. Martin hasn’t released another book in what’s planned to be a seven-title series since the HBO show began, when A Dance with Dragons (the fifth installment) came out in 2011. Needless to say, fans are ready for The Winds of Winter.
Fans of Martin should be glad to hear that the author hasn’t let the reception to the show’s ending change his outlook for the rest of the ASOIAF series. When asked if the show’s ending changes the books, Martin said, “No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t change anything at all...” Whether this means the TV show’s final season will differ from his own conclusion, though, is still up for debate.
Good news for fans who may have been disappointed at the epic tale’s on-screen ending?
In the words of Tywin Lannister, “A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.”