George R R Martin has dismissed claims that he has secretly finished the final two books in his A Song of Ice and Fire series.
Speculation began spreading on the internet, according to the Guardian, after "Game of Thrones" actor Ian McElhinney, who played Ser Barristan Selmy in the HBO adaptation, made the assertion on 29th April at a fan convention in Russia. “George has already written books six and seven… but he struck an agreement with David and Dan, the showrunners, that he would not publish the final two books until the series has completed,” he told the audience at EPIC Con 2019.
However Martin said McElhinney’s statement was false. Writing on his website, the 70-year-old author stressed the final two books are not completed.
"Of late it seems there’s a new story about me somewhere on the net every day, or near enough to make no matter," he wrote on Monday (13th May) in a post entitled ‘Idiocy on the Internet, Three’. "That seems to be happening right now. All of a sudden this crazy story about my finishing The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring years ago is popping up everywhere.
George RR Martin
“No, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring are not finished. Dream is not even begun; I am not going to start writing volume seven until I finish volume six.
“It seems absurd to me that I need to state this… Why would I sit for years on completed novels? Why would my publishers—not just here in the US, but all around the world—ever consent to this? They make millions and millions of dollars every time a new Ice & Fire book comes out, as do I. Delaying makes no sense.”
Martin, who is published by HarperCollins imprint Voyager in the UK and Commonwealth and by Ballantine Bantam Dell in the US and Canada, also disputed the claim that HBO had asked him to delay publication. “Why would HBO want the books delayed? The books help create interest in the show, just as the show creates interest in the books.
“So… no, the books are not done. HBO did not ask me to delay them. Nor did David & Dan. There is no 'deal' to hold back on the books. I assure you, HBO and David & Dan would both have been thrilled and delighted if The Winds of Winter had been delivered and published four or five years ago… and NO ONE would have been more delighted than me.”
Martin's comments come as the HBO adaptation of the series draws to a conclusion. The season finale will air on Monday 20th May in the UK.