Though thousands upon thousands of longtime Game of Thrones fans have been extremely vocal about their disappointment with the recent series finale — along with one of the show’s leading stars — George R. R. Martin has managed to avoid sharing his opinion on the matter.
At least that was the case until Sunday, after The Guardian published an interview with the author.
Martin, 70, is known as the man behind the vast majority of the incredibly popular HBO series.
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With his books, Martin laid out the general narrative and the character storylines of what would eventually happen in the TV series, however, the pressure to write the books faster seemingly got to him quickly.
Season 8 was revealed as the show’s final season and by then, Benioff and Weiss had outrun the plot in A Song of Ice and Fire.
As a result, the co-creators were left to create their own ending — which, unfortunately for them, wasn’t received very positively.
After being asked about his feelings towards the series finale, Martin admitted it relieved a great deal of pressure for him: “Having the show finish is freeing,” he said, “because I’m at my own pace now.”
“There were a couple of years where, if I could have finished the book,” he said, “I could have stayed ahead of the show for another couple of years, and the stress was enormous.”
“I don’t think it was very good for me,” added Martin, “because the very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down.”
The writer continued: “Every day I sat down to write and even if I had a good day — and a good day for me is three or four pages — I’d feel terrible because I’d be thinking: ‘My God, I have to finish the book. I’ve only written four pages when I should have written 40.’”
“I’m sure that when I finish A Dream of Spring you’ll have to tether me to the Earth,” Martin joked in reference to his seventh and final A Song of Fire and Ice novel.
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On whether the Game of Thrones finale changed or inspired the direction he’ll take his own story in, Martin replied, “No, it doesn’t change anything at all.”
He added, “As Rick Nelson says in Garden Party, one of my favourite songs, you can’t please everybody, so you’ve got to please yourself.”
Martin is currently working on the sixth and penultimate book of A Song of Ice and Fire, which is set to be entitled The Winds of Winter.
The previous book, A Dance with Dragons was published in 2011.
As of this writing, there has been no word of an official release date for The Winds of Winter.