Winter has come and gone for the hit HBO series Game of thrones, but — in a dilemma unique to the dynamics of adaptations — the literary source material on which it was based, George RR Martin’s A song of ice and fire novels, remains notoriously incomplete. The situation, now a decade old since the release of the fifth book in 2011, A dance with dragons, has become an inspiring legend, centered on what is now the most high-profile case of Writer’s Block in contemporary literary history. Yet while Martin has spent the last decade teasing the Sixth Book The Winds of Winter, he finally concedes the unideal character of the deployment.
Martin regrets his unfinished novels, now overshadowed by the television broadcast of Game of thrones, which aired its final episode on HBO on May 19, 2019. At the expense of franchise consistency, the decade-long delay has allowed the show to operate without the safety net of sources released since Season 6 of 2016 , and sporadic elements not yet covered in the books had already been introduced in previous seasons. Indeed, Martin managed to lose his grip on the successful literary mythology, which would be defined in the public eye by the controversial climax of the television series. The situation essentially deflated the giant wolf from Martin’s two unreleased novels; a notion that he seems to affirm in an interview with WTTW Chicago.
“Looking back, I would have liked to stay ahead of the books,” laments the author. “My biggest problem was when they started this series, I already had four books in print, and the fifth came out just as the series started in 2011. I was ahead of the game by five books, and that are gigantic books, as you know. I never thought they would catch up to me, but they did. They caught up to me and passed me.
By the time the HBO series has overtaken Martin’s new content from A game of thrones (1996), A clash of kings (1999), A storm of swords (2000), A feast for crows (2005) and A dance with dragons (2011), it only remained to develop a generalized overview of the planned plot developments that Martin provided to showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss; a change that many fans say resulted in a slow but steady drop in the quality of the story, leading to the controversial season 8 show’s climax abridged. While, in an ideal scenario, Martin’s inspiration for The Winds of Winter would remain untouched by the way the show ultimately turned out and the audience reaction, that cannot be the case. He’s only a human, and the book’s ten-year gestation has likely been frustratedly reshaped on several occasions, which would explain the seemingly endless delay. However, this delay will coincidentally give Martin the chance to redeem, in literary form, a television ending widely considered controversial.