Fantasy fiction fans of the books that inspired “Game of Thrones” got a chilly dose of reality today. "A Song of Ice and Fire" author George R.R. Martin says the long-awaited last books of the series — "The Winds of Winter" and "A Dream of Spring" — are not finished.
The writer took to his blog to set the record straight about the “crazy story” that was making the round on the internet on Monday. The rumor claimed that Martin had finished the two novels years ago but has held off on publishing them because of a deal he made with “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The books are the basis for HBO’s acclaimed show, which is currently in its eighth and final season.
The rumors of Martin's completing the novels originated from statements made by actor Ian McElhinney at Epic Con 2019. McElhinney, who appeared on "Game of Thrones" as Ser Barristan Selmy, told fans that he had heard Martin had "struck an agreement with Dave and Dan that he would not publish the final two books until the series is completed."
"So in another month or two, we might get book six and seven," said McElhinney in the video posted from the event.
“No, the books are not done,” Martin responded on his blog. “HBO did not ask me to delay them. Nor did David & Dan. There is no ‘deal’ to hold back on the books. I assure you, HBO and David & Dan would both have been thrilled and delighted if THE WINDS OF WINTER had been delivered and published four or five years ago… and NO ONE would have been more delighted than me.”
“The Winds of Winter” is the title of the long-awaited sixth installment of “A Song of Ice and Fire.” The fifth book, “A Dance With Dragons,” was published in 2011. Martin has posted tidbits of the upcoming book on his blog over the years to tide fans over but has repeatedly said he was not yet finished.
“It seems absurd to me that I need to state this,” wrote Martin. “It boggles me that anyone would believe this story, even for an instant. ... Why would I sit for years on completed novels?”
Martin’s most recent Westeros-related book is the House Targaryen-focused prequel book “Fire & Blood,” which was released in November.
“A Song of Ice and Fire” is expected to conclude with the seventh book “A Dream of Spring,” and Martin clarified in his Monday post that he hasn’t even started writing “A Dream of Spring” yet.
“I am not going to start writing volume seven until I finish volume six,” he wrote.