Amid an angry couple of days of Game of Thrones discourse, following last Sunday’s controversial penultimate episode of the HBO series, we can add another bizarre story: An actor who used to be on the show said, in an interview, that author George R.R. Martin has, in fact, finished the much-delayed last two books in his A Song of Ice and Fire series.
Per Gizmodo, Ian McElhinney, the actor who played knight Ser Barristan Selmy in the first five seasons of the show, said on stage at a fan convention in Russia that Martin has not only finished the sixth book, The Winds of Winter, but has also completed the seventh, A Dream of Spring, and that both books will be published once the series is finished airing.
Speaking at Epic Con in Russia in April, McElhinney, whose character died on the show but remains alive, at least for now, in the books, added that he is “intrigued to know how Barristan, for instance, ends up going through those final two books.”
Aside from how little sense it would make for Martin, HBO, and Martin’s publisher to intentionally delay the release of the finished books until after the airing of the series, Martin said in a blog post published Monday that McElhinney and those reporting on his comments have it all wrong.
“All of a sudden this crazy story about my finishing THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING years ago is popping up everywhere. No, I am not going to provide links. I don’t want to reward purveyors of misinformation with hits,” Martin wrote on his blog, which he ironically calls “Not a Blog.”
“I will, however, say for the record — no, THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING are not finished,” Martin added. “DREAM is not even begun; I am not going to start writing volume seven until I finish volume six.” Martin also said that there has been no secret deal with HBO or with the showrunners to put the books out after the show finishes its run.
Martin seems to direct his anger at the press for reporting on the comments, although it would seem that his ire would better be aimed at Ian McElhinney, whose comments set the whole story in motion in the first place.
Despite various theories that Benioff and Weiss are betraying Martin’s vision with their ending for the show, Martin years ago told the co-creators the “major points” of his planned ending for the books, per a Rolling Stone report prior to the current season, although he acknowledged that there may be changes.