It is not a secret that George R.R. Martin has an intense fanbase. He has called them names. Other authors have come to his defense against his own fans. The relationship is volatile, to say the least. The issue that comes between the writer and his audience is how long he takes to write a book. Now, the fantasy author has signed a new five-year deal with HBO. This deal has led a writer at The Verge to question whether part of this eight-figure deal is to keep the author from finishing the last book in his Game of Thrones series.
The details of George R.R. Martin’s new deal with HBO were covered by The Hollywood Reporter. The fantasy author is developing and producing multiple series for the network. One such project will star Milla Jovovich and is based on several short stories by the late fantasy author, Roger Zelazny. The network is also working on other series in the fantasy world where A Song of Fire and Ice takes place. Martin is no stranger to writing for television. He wrote for television before he wrote the Game of Thrones novels. With so much success between him and HBO, the eight-figure deal makes sense.
However, George R.R. Martin is a slow novelist. It is a sore spot but also a joke. There is a plush doll with the author’s real voice saying, “I’m working on it”, which is presumably the sixth and final novel of the A Song of Fire and Ice series, currently titled Winds of Winter. While on a panel with Stephen King, who is famously prolific, Martin asked King how he keeps up the pace.
However, in light of the new deal, the writer at The Verge asks whether it really is just that George R. R. Martin is a slow writer. Perhaps there’s more to why fans have been waiting on Winds of Winter for about a decade. Could HBO want the last book to come out later? The writer at The Verge doesn’t directly say that HBO is doing this on purpose, though their headline does. In the article, they suggest the theory that this work is keeping him from Winds of Winter as their great fear.
There is room to see why HBO might consider George R.R. Martin sitting on Winds of Winter as long as possible to be a good thing. The release of the final novel will draw a lot of attention. It’s been waited on for a long time. Fans widely hated the end of the television series. Now, HBO is developing new series set in that same world. While it likely doesn’t hurt them much if George R.R. Martin’s novel widely diverts from anything HBO is doing with the material, it’s certainly advantageous if Martin doesn’t touch it at all. Then HBO is the final word on what happens in the series.
If George R.R. Martin is such a slow writer—which seems to be a fair assumption—how will he work on developing these new projects for HBO and write Winds of Winter? And if he is so angry with his fans for asking about the book, and he has all the money he could ever need, what kind of incentive does he have to finish it anytime soon? Whether HBO is hoping to keep Martin from publishing Winds of Winter or that’s just a coincidence, it doesn’t seem like Winter is fitting into the writer’s schedule anytime soon.