Game of Thrones is about to outpace its source material since the coming season will start airing without author George R.R. Martin having finished the next book in the series.
“You’re disappointed, and you’re not alone.” Martin said in a blog post on his website.
The popular HBO series Game of Thrones is based on the long running fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire. Each season of the show has been adapted from roughly one book.
Had it been finished in advance, the next book, Winds of Winter, would have been the basis of Game of Thrones’ sixth season. Martin said in the post he missed both a deadline in October and a further extension at the end of the year.
“Here it is, the first of January. The book is not done, not delivered. No words can change that. I tried, I promise you. I failed,” he wrote.
Martin cited several reasons, but pointed to stress from having a deadline and his decision to revise his work.
As a result, season six, which starts airing in April on HBO Canada, will use material planned for the sixth book along with original stories.
Until now, fans of the show have faced the constant threat of spoilers by readers.
Now things will be different, Martin said.
“Some of the ‘spoilers’ you may encounter in season six may not be spoilers at all … because the show and the books have diverged, and will continue to do so,” he wrote.
Martin said he has talked with the show’s writers about the series’ trajectory.
Fans had a mixed reaction to the announcement, although most seem positive about the delay.
I have absolutely no problem with Winds of Winter being out after the new season of GOT. I’d hate it to be rushed.
When a newsreader suggested to George RR Martin that he would never finish writing Game of Thrones he said, “You know nothing Jon Snow”…
I am sad that the Game of Thrones show will outpace the books but I will get more done if I’m not reading Winds of Winter, it’s bittersweet.
A few expressed concern over Martin’s comments about being depressed in the last few months.
George R. R. Martin sounds like a man who doesn’t want to finish his own story anymore. Did success backfire? https://t.co/zZlqCEPoI9
There were also a few complaints, with some accusing Martin of being lazy or negligent.
Poor George RR Martin. Tolkien never had these problems.
In response, many have pointed out that regardless of when he finishes his story, Martin does not owe his audience an ending.
“The bottom line is, we are not entitled to Martin’s story: We are lucky to get it, whenever he wants to share it with us,” wrote Maureen Ryan, a TV columnist for Variety.
As far as I’m concerned George RR Martin can see out his days feasting on juicy capons and never write another word. Enjoy it big man.
Martin mentioned in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2014 that one possible solution might be to draw from one of his Dunk and Egg novellas, which take place 100 years before the Game of Thrones series.
That, however, would lead to a new issue, since the actors for some of the characters began the series as teenagers and have grown up. In the books, meanwhile, they’ve stayed roughly the same age.
Any prolonged departure from the main story could significantly change how these actors appear.
Martin appears to have been prepared for quite a while for the books to part ways with the series.
“You have to recognize that there are going to be some differences. I’m very pleased with how faithful the show is to the books, but it’s never gonna be exactly the same,” he said in that Vanity Fair interview.
Martin released his last book in the series, A Dance with Dragons, back in 2011, after a nearly six-year wait. If he manages to release the book sometime this year, it would be the second longest wait time for a new book in the series.