George R.R. Martin, who wrote the books Game of Thrones is based on, has said fans can imprison him if the upcoming book The Winds of Winter still isn’t finished next year.
The A Song of Ice and Fire series has been in the works for a long time. It began years before the HBO TV series, with the first book, titled Game of Thrones, released in 1996, and the series is set to continue long after the TV show, which came to an end on Sunday (May 19).
As you’ve probably worked out, Martin hadn’t finished the series before HBO’s adaptation came to an end, meaning the finale of the show wasn’t guided by his writing.
But with two books still left to finish, the creators over at HBO would have had to wait quite some time to get Martin’s version of events.
Following the first book, Game of Thrones, Martin went on to release four more instalments, as well as several spin-off stories. The latest release from the franchise, A Dance with Dragons, hit bookshelves in 2011.
Fast forward eight years, and there’s still no sign of the forthcoming The Winds of Winter. However, the author has now set himself a deadline, and he’s even agreed to a punishment if he fails to meet it.
In his blog Not A Blog, the 70-year-old explained Air New Zealand had offered to fly Martin down under, where he could then finish his book.
But despite the generous offer, the writer admitted he could afford to make the trip himself, and that there were many other people who would jump at the chance to visit New Zealand.'
How wonderfully generous. As it happens, I do have enough money to make it to New Zealand on my own… but there are many American writers, fans, and artists who do not.
If you’d care to fly, say, twenty or thirty or fifty of them to Wellington in place of me, I have no doubt they would instantly accept, and fall in love with Middle Earth.. er, New Zealand… just as I have.
As well as being able to afford his own plane fare, Martin explained that he feared a trip to the beautiful country would distract him from his writing – though personally I think his blog might be more of a distraction than anything.
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Instead, the author opted to stay focused on Westeros, and attempt to get the book finished. He actually already has a trip to New Zealand planned in summer 2020, for the World Science Fiction Convention, and so he decided to make that his deadline.
He announced his plan, and added should he fail, fans could lock him up until he’d finished what he’s started.
The 70-year-old continued:
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.
Although it’s been eight years since the last book release, Martin’s first three instalments of A Song of Fire and Ice came in quick succession, with only a couple of years between releases.
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Hopefully he’ll be able to get back up to that speed and have The Winds of Winter released before the fans come for him!