The author has been on a recent whirl of appearances and interview. Following a Game of Thrones fan Q&A in London and an appearance and (strictly non-Game of Thrones) Q&A in Ireland this weekend for Worldcon, Martin has also spoken to the British press. As always, everyone wants to know what he made of the way the HBO show ended his storylines, especially since it is now known many of them will be rather different in the books, when they eventually arrive. The fan backlash to Season 8 has been impossible to ignore and raises the possibility Martin can avoid some of the major pitfalls which angered fans so much.
Of course, this is a conversation nobody thought would be necessary back in April 2011 when the show first premiered.
A Dance With Dragons, Book 5 in A Song of Ice and Fire, was released in July the same year and nobody imagined another book would not appear before the show ended its eight seasons.
And yet, here we are.
In a rare formal interview with a newspaper, Martin told the Observer he was relieved the show was over.
Martin said: “I don’t think [the TV series] was very good for me.
“The very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. Every day I sat down to write and even if I had a good day … 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.’”
The author was more involved in the early seasons of the show, writing some scripts and consulting throughout. As the pressure and delays grew to deliver Book 6, Martin reduced his involvement with the show and cut back on public appearances.
Even so, it still looks likely Winds of Winter will arrive early next year, nine long years after its predecessor and the author has admitted he hasn’t even started on the final novel in the epic cycle. With the pages not written, how much could they be influenced by what worked and what provoked fan fury in the TV show?