George R.R. Martin Has Bad News for ‘Game of Thrones’ Fans

Is George R.R. Martin crumbling under fan pressure?

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The prolific scribe behind A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin, is one of the most brilliant minds writing today. His meticulously detailed universe and absorbing plot points have inspired one of the best shows on modern television, Game of Thrones (GoT).

But Martin may finally be crumbling under fan pressure.

Much to the consternation of diehard fans, Martin has announced he isn’t finished with The Winds of Winter, the sixth installment in the already colossal Thrones saga. This means that he has missed an extended deadline for the installment and even worse, that it will not be finished in time for the sixth season of the hit HBO series, which begins in April. This also means the show has officially outpaced its source material. 

In a post to his personal blog, Martin offered a heartfelt apology: “My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed… but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me.”

He even offered some insight into his tricky writing process, where he must juggle both creative spontaneity and exacting deadlines:

Unfortunately, the writing did not go as fast or as well as I would have liked. You can blame my travels or my blog posts or the distractions of other projects and the Cocteau and whatever, but maybe all that had an impact… you can blame my age, and maybe that had an impact too…but if truth be told, sometimes the writing goes well and sometimes it doesn’t, and that was true for me even when I was in my 20s. And as spring turned to summer, I was having more bad days than good ones. Around about August, I had to face facts: I was not going to be done by Halloween. I cannot tell you how deeply that realization depressed me.

There is still some good news. Martin writes that he has made a bit of headway: “Yes, there’s a lot written. Hundreds of pages. Dozens of chapters. (Those ‘no pages done’ reports were insane, the usual garbage internet journalism that I have learned to despise).” But he has a long way to go before offering us a finished product. “I am months away still…” Martin writes, “and that’s if the writing goes well.”

Yes, this probably puts the popular GoT HBO show in a precarious position. But we may want to cut Martin some slack. Writers need breathing room, and badgering him with deadlines will not get his creative juices flowing.

So please put down your toy longclaw swords and give this poor dude a break.