Next year marks a decade since George RR Martin last published a novel in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. While The Winds of Winter may well finally be released this year, a popular new fan theory argues that Game of Thrones’ success may have contributed to the author’s delay – specifically, his sudden rise to fame and the new responsibilities he’s taken on thanks to the success of the show. The theorist makes the case that fans should give the “brilliant” 71-year-old some creative breathing space to go at his own pace.
ASOIAF theorist joshcd7474 argues: “I am seeing a lot of people saying that the only, or even the main reason GRRM is taking so long to write TWOW is because of his gardener writing style and many curse him for it.
“People don’t necessarily realise that GRRM rose to true fame after the release of ADWD (S1 of GOT premiered April 11 and ADWD released July 12, 2011, meaning he likely had finished / was really close when GOT premiered).
“Then GOT blew up. He isn’t dumb, he knows that a good show would bring more people to buy his books and interest in his world in general. Except he couldn’t have foreseen the sheer scale of the success GOT had.
“Now ASOIAF was hardly obscure when GOT premiered, but suddenly the amount of attention, and thus pressure, skyrocketed and I mean out the goddamn stratosphere.”
The fan theorist pointed out that the author, then in his sixties was suddenly an executive producer of a very successful TV show “that was a direct reflection of his Magnus Opus.”
They claimed he had to “handle orders of magnitude, more attention to his books, to his writing, his pace, etc.
“It’s likely he slowed down significantly in the first few years of the show to get it off the ground, making him a little more late on Winds.
“And as if all this fame wasn’t enough he has repeatedly said in interviews he doesn’t enjoy the attention and that it stresses him, and that he understands why people who get famous young become crazy; some really underestimate the effect that can have on creativity.”
They continued: “His writing style from the beginning was always based upon a lot of time of reflection, and questioning himself about ‘what would this character really do/think/say? How would he react? Does this fit in any way my story?’, which takes time and requires active creative thinking, which can be heavily stifled by stress, and/or pressure, both of which he feels a lot more now than while he was writing any other book.
“So where does this leave us? Well, nine years on from his last book, we have seen the show start, grow, blow up, implode and finish, and many have started to lose hope that we will ever see another book from him.”
The theorist then offered their prediction of Martin’s writing progress on the series in the near future.
They wrote: “Here’s my relatively optimistic, but I nevertheless hope, somewhat realistic answer.”
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The fan speculated: “I am sure that we will get Winds within the next two years.
“He has repeatedly said, for several years, that he was close to finishing, so surely it must be close right?”
After Winds, Martin has said how he intends to write a fourth Dunk and Egg short story before tackling A Song of Ice and Fire’s final book, A Dream of Spring.
The fan predicted: “D&E will come next, hopefully, that comes to fruit relatively quickly.”
They added: “And then I do think we will have to wait at least six years for ADOS… could be up to 10 in my opinion, as he really wants to finish strong (which I can understand).
“Meaning that he will undoubtedly take a long time to read himself over. The important bit though is that we do our best to just let him [be] in his creative freedom.
“So look, in the end, GRRM is just a particularly brilliant human being, and all we can do is cross our fingers and hold our breath.
“I’m already grateful for the five main storybooks he has written, as well as the D&E novellas, TWOIAF, and F&B. They’ve given me something to read and talk about for a long time.”