While fans of HBO’s epic Game of Thrones are still not done dissecting the controversial ending, there’s one person who’s happy that all the fuss is over—the creator of the world, George R.R. Martin himself.
The 70-year-old, who still has two more books to finish in the series, told The Guardian in an interview that the stress of trying to stay ahead of the show was “enormous”.
“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.’ But having the show finish is freeing, because I’m at my own pace now,” he told Sarah Hughes in an interview.
Many fans of the book series have publicly expressed their frustration at the delay in publication of the final two books in the series, with many even wondering whether Martin would be able to complete them at his age. In 2014, the writer had said that he found the speculation around his health and death rather offensive.
In May this year, he also smacked down the rumour that he had actually finish writing the books but wasn’t disclosing this due to an agreement with HBO.
“It boggles me that anyone would believe this story, even for an instant. It makes not a whit of sense. Why would I sit for years on completed novels? Why would my publishers—not just here in the US, but all around the world—ever consent to this? They make millions and millions of dollars every time a new Ice & Fire book comes out, as do I. Delaying makes no sense. Why would HBO want the books delayed? The books help create interest in the show, just as the show creates interest in the books,” he wrote on his blog.
Martin had pleased fans who were shocked by the show’s ending by saying that the books would probably follow a different trajectory.
The Guardian interview with the writer tackles the complicated relationship he had with the show: on the one hand, he is clearly delighted at how intensely millions of fans engaged with the fictional world he created. But there’s also a sense of melancholy at the loss of anonymity and, in some ways, the accompanying lack of freedom.
“I can’t go into a bookstore any more, and that used to be my favourite thing to do in the world. To go in and wander from stack to stack, take down some books, read a little, leave with a big stack of things I’d never heard of when I came in. Now when I go to a bookstore, I get recognised within 10 minutes and then there’s a crowd around me. So you gain a lot but you also lose things,” he mused.