George R.R. Martin has a message for his fans, and, in the immortal words of Journey, it basically boils down to, “Don’t stop believin’.” Yes, it’s been seven long years since he started writing The Winds of Winter, the next novel in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. And sure, he still has to write A Dream of Spring after that. But mark his words, he will finish the saga.
Martin thanked fans for their patience on his blog, Not a Blog, revealing his trip back east was “hugely productive” — largely due to the launch and official release of his 700-page Westeros book Fire & Blood, which fans have received well enough for it to debut at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list.
We are back home in the Land of Enchantment after ten epic days in the east, mostly in New York City, but with a few visits to my old stomping grounds in New Jersey, across the bay. Read about the rest of my NYC journey at my Not a Blog: https://t.co/Xcb26K0BB1 pic.twitter.com/snr9Gjy9bL
— George RR Martin (@GRRMspeaking) November 30, 2018
Still, Martin acknowledged he’s aware those same supportive fans are anxiously awaiting something else.
“I know you want Winds, and I am going to give it to you… but I am delighted that you stayed with me for this one as well,” he wrote. “Your patience and unflagging support means the world to me.”
He went on to explain, “It won’t be tomorrow, and it won’t be next week, but you will get the end of A Song of Ice and Fire. Meanwhile, you have the final season of Game of Thrones coming, and the new show that is not yet officially called The Long Night being cast, and a couple more shows still being scripted… and a few other cool things in the works as well.”
Martin signed off with a cheeky nod to his work that has become synonymous with GoT: “Winter is not the only thing that is coming.”
And he has a point — fans have plenty to sink our teeth into for the time being. However, the funny truth about fandoms is that we want what we want when we want it. Really, it’s a testament to the true appreciation a fandom cultivates for the world created by writers like Martin.
But as Martin pointed out on his blog and in an interview with EW in November, it’s not as though he’s been on a “seven-year vacation.” In addition to all the aforementioned projects, he publishes Wild Cards books every six months.
Admittedly, though, even he is growing impatient for Winds to be finished. “I wished I finished it four years ago. I wished it was finished now,” he told EW. “But it’s not. And I’ve had dark nights of the soul where I’ve pounded my head against the keyboard and said, ‘God, will I ever finish this?’ The show is going further and further forward and I’m falling further and further behind. What the hell is happening here?”
However, it seems as though seeing Fire & Blood in its final form may just have, you know, lit his own creative fire.
“It’s been a long while since I had a new Westeros book and nobody knows that as well as I do,” Martin said of receiving his copy of the new novel. “I know that just as much as the angriest of my hardcore fans … so to finish a book that I’m proud of and excited by was emotionally a big lift for me.”
That’s the spirit, Martin! We’re all behind you, and by behind you, we clearly mean trying not to badger you to the point of stifling your creativity until we’re holding The Winds of Winter in our eager hands.