‘Game Of Thrones’ Author George R.R. Martin Blames Fandom For ‘The Winds Of Winter’ Delay

Brace yourselves, Game Of Thrones fans, because author George R.R. Martin is taking his sweet time with releasing the sixth book in the series, The Winds of Winter, and he’s blaming his loyal readers for the delay. It seems the popularity of the show, and fan enthusiasm about what’s to come, is proving too distracting for the award-winning writer.

The next installment in the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire was set to be released in 2016, but in talking at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, Indiewire quoted Martin as saying, “Writer’s block isn’t to blame here, it’s distraction.”

“In recent years, all of the work I’ve been doing creates problems because it creates distraction,” he explained, adding that the success of the show and all the promotion that’s required has kept him too busy to fill the pages of the next book.

“Because the books and the show are so popular, I have interviews to do constantly. I have travel plans, constantly,” George said. “It’s like suddenly I get invited to travel to South Africa or Dubai, and who’s passing up a free trip to Dubai? I don’t write when I travel. I don’t write in hotel rooms. I don’t write on airplanes.”

Martin confessed that his creativity flourishes when he’s alone in the comforts of his own home and not bothered with those burning fan questions.

“I really have to be in my own house undisturbed to write. Through most of my life nobody did bother me, but now everyone bothers me every day,” he said. “I have assistants and minions whose main job is to make sure people don’t bother me so I can actually get writing done.”

Game of Thrones

The previous installment, A Dance with Dragons, covered less story than Martin intended and left several characters’ storylines ending in cliff hangers. Martin says he intends to resolve these storylines “very early” in The Winds of Winter, saying, “I’m going to open with the two big battles that I was building up to, the battle in the ice and the battle at Meereen—the battle of Slaver’s Bay. And then take it from there.”

Back in 2012, Martin said that the final two novels will take readers farther north than any of the previous books, and that the Others will also make an appearance. He has also stated that he will end the series with book seven, titled A Dream of Spring.

As the Independent notes, Martin has also blamed the dreaded writer’s block for the book’s delay, as he explained, “I don’t [write] that rigidly. I go over in the morning and sit down, I usually reread what I’ve done the day before to try to build up a little momentum. Sometimes if what I wrote the day before is not very good I spend the whole day rewriting what I did the day before.”

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

During early development of the TV series, George revealed major plot points to producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss in case he should die before he released the last two books. Last summer he said “f**k you” to fans fearing he will die before the saga is completed. The sixth season of the popular HBO series returns in April and has already caught up with Martin’s storylines, making it likely that showrunners will either take the story in their own direction while at the same time spoiling The Winds of Winter for readers, as it has previously been suggested.

A few years ago, Martin was confident that he would have The Winds of Winter published before the series caught up, but during an interview last year, he confessed that perhaps he was a bit too optimistic about his writing style.

“Having The Winds of Winter published before season six of Thrones airs next spring has been important to me all along. I wish it was out now. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic about how quickly I can finish but I cancelled two convention appearances, I’m turning down a lot more interviews, anything I can do to clear my decks and get this done,” he said.

George has refrained from dropping any spoilers but claims the Game of Thrones books will have a “bittersweet ending.” To date, his A Song of Ice and Fire novels have sold 25 million copies worldwide. The first book in the series, A Game of Thrones, was published in 1991, and sales of the novels have rapidly risen since the first season of the HBO show aired in 2011.

Fans recently got a first look at an older Bran in the new season, and actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright has since explained to EW that the young Stark’s Warg abilities have dramatically improved.

“Previously Bran’s seen tiny glimpses of future or past but never has he been very much in control in the situation,” he said. “Now we’re given looks into very important events in the past, present and future of this world and Bran is beginning to piece them together like a detective, almost as if he’s watching the show. Equally, he’s now discovering how crucial he could be in the Great War. It’s quite Inception-y.”

It was previously reported that Game of Thrones season 6 will rely on some content from the fourth and fifth novels, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, as well as pull from original content not found in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, including material from the upcoming The Winds of Winter.

[Images courtesy Jamie McCarthy/Kevin Winter/Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images/Twitter]