Books | March 19, 2020 10:43 am

It Took a Pandemic for George R.R. Martin to Continue “Game of Thrones”

The fantasy author says he is writing in isolation

George R.R. Martin
"A Song of Ice and Fire" author George R.R. Martin.
Steve Jennings/WireImage/Getty Images

Remember when the most disappointing thing we had to deal with was the last season of Game of Thrones? The only thing that kept fans of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series going was the promise that the author would finish the final two books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and they would be better than HBO’s version.

It looks like the global pandemic is just the inspiration Martin needed to get back to work. On the author’s website, which is titled Not A Blog, he wrote this week, “Truth be told, I am spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day. Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms… but maybe not as grim as they may become here.”

Westeros, for those who already forgot, is the main continent where action takes place in the vaguely medieval fantasy world of the novels. While Martin doesn’t specifically say that he is working on either The Winds of Winter or A Dream of Spring, the sixth and seventh (and final) books, respectively, it’s pretty much implied. 

Ever since the HBO series premiered in April 2011 and subsequently became a global phenomenon, it’s been a point of contention between the author and fans of the books that Martin seems to be procrastinating in his writing. The fifth novel in the series, A Dance With Dragons, was also released in 2011, and there’s been no word about the follow-up since. 

But for those who are less concerned about the story and more concerned about the man behind them, there’s no need to fret for now. Martin also wrote that he is aware that he is in the “vulnerable population” (he is 71 years old), but that he is also in self-imposed quarantine. 

“I am off by myself in a remote isolated location, attended by one of my staff, and I’m not going in to town or seeing anyone,” he wrote. 

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.