George R R Martin sets August 2020 'deadline' for Winds of Winter

George R R Martin sets August 2020 'deadline' for Winds of Winter

George R R Martin has set himself a deadline for the penultimate Game of Thrones book, The Winds of Winter, saying if he has not finished the novel by August 2020 then fans should “imprison” him in a small cabin until it is done.

In his personal blog, the author revealed that he is feeling the pressure to finish the sixth title in the A Song  of Ice and Fire series days after the HBO TV series ended. In a piece posted on Tuesday (21st May), the American writer discussed an offer from Air New Zealand to fly him to the country to help him finish the book in a #bringonwinter campaign.

“I cannot say I was not tempted,” he wrote in the blog post ‘Thanks, New Zealand’. He revealed that he already plans to visit the country to attend the World Science Fiction Convention, known as ‘Worldcon’ in August 2020 but he is keen to have finished the sixth title well before then.

“As for finishing my book… I fear that New Zealand would distract me entirely too much... But I tell you this — if I don’t have The Winds of Winter in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done. Just so long as the acrid fumes do not screw up my old DOS word processor, I’ll be fine.”

In an earlier post published on 20th May entitled ‘An Ending’, he discussed the final TV HBO show emphasised how he is trying hard to finish the series. “Winter is coming, I told you, long ago… and so it is. The Winds of Winter is very late, I know, I know, but it will be done.  I won’t say when, I’ve tried that before, only to burn you all and jinx myself… but I will finish it, and then will come A Dream of Spring.”

“How will it all end?,” he writes. “I hear people asking. The same ending as the show?  Different? Well… yes.”

Martin, who is published by HarperCollins imprint Voyager in the UK and Commonwealth and by Ballantine Bantam Dell in the US and Canada, discussed how his ending will be different in various ways to the television adaptation, with more follow-up for characters that were featured less in the show.

“I am working in a very different medium than [show producers] David and Dan, never forget,” he writes. “They had six hours for this final season.   I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3000 manuscript pages between them before I’m done… and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I’ll add them.

“And of course the butterfly effect will be at work as well… There are characters who never made it onto the screen at all, and others who died in the show but still live in the books… so if nothing else, the readers will learn what happened to Jeyne Poole, Lady Stoneheart, Penny and her pig, Skahaz Shavepate, Arianne Martell, Darkstar, Victarion Greyjoy, Ser Garlan the Gallant, Aegon VI, and a myriad of other characters both great and small that viewers of the show never had the chance to meet.”

Martin writes of his other projects: “I’m still here, and I’m still busy. As a producer, I’ve got five shows in development at HBO (some having nothing whatsoever to do with the world of Westeros), two at Hulu, one on the History Channel."

He is also considering adapting his own projects as well as other writers' for feature films. "I’m involved with a number of feature projects, some based upon my own stories and books, some on material created by others. 

"There are these short films I am hoping to make, adaptations of classic stories by one of the most brilliant, quirky, and original writers our genre has ever produced. I’ve consulted on a video game out of Japan. And then there’s Meow Wolf [Santa Fe-based art and entertainment company]…”

Martin’s comments follow a blog he wrote earlier this month when he dismissed claims that he finished the final two books in A Song of Ice and Fire