Now that the HBO series is over, George R.R. Martin is feeling good about the future of A Song of Ice and Fire.
The books that provided the narrative foundation for HBO’s Game of Thrones is still an ongoing and not-yet-finished series. In a new interview with The Observer, Martin admitted that he had a hard time working on his own vision of Westeros while the HBO take played out.
There’s apparently a good reason he only published one book during the show’s eight-season run, all the way back in 2011 (just a few months after HBO’s premiere): it wasn’t a great time for him.
“I don’t think [the TV series] was very good for me,” Martin said, in a frank admission. “The very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. 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.'”
True to form for the author, he doesn’t put a date on when the next book, The Winds of Winter, will be coming. But he admits that it’s been “freeing” to get back to work without the show hanging over his head.
Martin has done a lot of press around the show over the years and he’s often come across as a bit of an unwilling participant. He consulted with the HBO production, but he was never the one steering that ship.
Even Martin’s farewell blog post shared after the show ended struck a bit of an ambivalent tone. It felt less like a celebratory “we did it!” and more like a rumination on success and what it’s led to. It also made a clear statement: I’m not finished yet, folks.
Now, here Martin is, months removed from the final season and its controversial ending. He’s come to see going to parties and engaging with fans as “work.” He’s also removed himself entirely from the online conversation around the Game of Thrones story and what it might say about what’s still to come in A Song of Ice and Fire — but he knows it’s all happening out there.
“Some of [the theories] are right and some of [the theories] are wrong,” Martin said. “They’ll find out when I finish.”