George R. R. Martin Needs To Hurry Up

The Game of Thrones TV series is named after the first book in the series A Song of Ice and Fire, written by George R. R. Martin. He still has two books to write before the series is completed, has been writing notoriously slowly lately, and doesn’t exactly look like a picture of health, so readers are anxious. Going by the average period of time between his books in the series, the sixth book should come out in 2014 and the last one in 2017. There are three problems with this scenario:

  1. That’s a really long time to wait for closure. For early fans of the books, 21 years total… enough for the first book to legally buy mead.
  2. GRRM (as he’s known) might have a heart attack by then.
  3. The TV series may overtake the books: assuming a new season every year, the seventh season will air in 2017. Which means production would start in 2016. The third season will only cover half of the third book, so everything gets pushed back a year: the seventh season will air in 2018, at the earliest, since they may split other books into two seasons.

The third point above could easily be addressed by HBO delaying each season a little and adding another year by the time the seventh season starts, something HBO has done in the past. But it still assumes GRRM will go back to writing faster, which is doubtful because the average of three years mostly reflects his writing a decade ago: while the first three books took about two years a piece, the fourth took five years and the fifth, six; hopefully the sixth won’t take seven.

George R. R. Martin


The second point has been addressed by GRRM himself, because he’s apparently told the show runners the big picture of how the series will pan out, in case something happens to him. He also said he won’t let the show overtake the books, so hopefully that means he’s writing faster. But just in case, a couple of comedians made a song which urges the “great bearded glacier” to write like the wind, because we “need our allotment of incest and injury and six-page descriptions of every last meal”. It also points out that The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings series were completed in five, ten and twelve years, respectively; A Song of Ice and Fire will probably take around twenty, and William Shakespeare wrote dozens of plays in a shorter time.

From YouTube, via Paul and Storm and Laughing Squid

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