The writer is the mastermind behind the A Song of Ice and Fire books; which provided the backbone for the TV phenomenon Game of Thrones. Although the TV series has long since overtaken the books in terms of the storylines, Martin is continuing work on the final two instalments of ASOIAF, eight years after 2011’s A Dance with Dragons. Now, on his popular Not A Blog site, he has made passing reference to the books, with a couple of quick – but interesting – nuggets of info.
The 70-year-old was discussing his recent Westeros ‘imagined history’ book Fire And Blood and its eligibility for the Hugo Awards when ASOIAF came up.
Firstly, he appeared to indirectly quash concern amongst fans that, once The Winds of Winter is finally released, the planned seventh book – A Dream Of Spring – would not see the light of day. It seems it very much will.
In fact, Martin’s nod to there being “two books” left also appears to hint that speculation over TWOW alone being split into two is a dead-end.
Secondly, he clarified why ASOIAF is not – in his view – to be considered “a series”.
He wrote: “For what it’s worth, I do not consider A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE to be a series.
“It’s one story. A huge complicated story, admittedly, one that will take seven volumes to tell (once I finish the last two). And in any case, FIRE & BLOOD is not strictly speaking a part of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. It’s imaginary history set hundreds of years before any of the characters in SONG were born.”
So that’s seven volumes – not the feared eight, if TWOW would need to be split into two parts per earlier online chatter.
There’s still no release date news for The Winds of Winter, although it is now all but certain to come out once the Game of Thrones TV show is finished for good.
That programme’s final run begins in April, and there have been no publication dates for TWOW for quite some time.
Last year George RR Martin admitted he was “struggling” with it, telling The Guardian: “I’ve been struggling with it for a few years. The Winds of Winter is not so much a novel as a dozen novels, each with a different protagonist, each having a different cast of supporting players, antagonists, allies and lovers around them, and all of these weaving together against the march of time in an extremely complex fashion.
“So it’s very, very challenging. Fire and Blood by contrast was very simple. Not that it’s easy – it still took me years to put together – but it is easier.”
He added: “The Winds of Winter is next, then I’ll decide what comes after that – whether it’s to go on to A Dream of Spring, the last one, or whether I switch back into Fire and Blood II, do another Dunk and Egg story or two.
“But I’ll worry about that one thing at a time – that’s too far ahead.”