**Disclaimer: I understand the perils of complaining about a best-selling author not writing enough as a Wanna-Be Writer with obvious consistency issues of my own. But, at the end of the day, this is the internet posts like this are what makes the internet go round.**
Across the nation Game of Thrones fans are anxiously re-watching every episode of the previous five seasons in anticipation of the season six premiere at the end of the month. I myself watched three episodes today. For those of you non-nerds that is three hours of television on a rare Seattle day of 70 degrees and sun in April.
As the premiere approaches however, there is a dark cloud hanging over the fans of Westeros. What is that dark cloud you ask?
THE LACK OF ANOTHER GODDAMN BOOK!
That’s right nerds! For the first time the HBO production will be sailing into uncharted territory for many of the main plot lines as one George R. R. Martin (furthermore referred to as GRRM) has yet to pony up.
Now this post is almost entirely for upset fans of A Song of Ice and Fire who have been waiting years now for the next installment. As such I’m going to skip the history lesson on what’s been happening and all the false promises we’ve received and skip right to explaining how not to be mad at GRRM.
Step 1: BE VERY MAD AT GRRM!
There may be a few people out there who might think to themselves but Connor, who are you to be judging a very successful best-selling author while you spend your Saturday nights ranting on a blog?
Fair enough. I see your point. But allow me to counter with a handful of reasons why it’s actually okay to be upset at GRRM for leaving us on the hook for Winds of Winter:
Reason 1: GRRM is a professional.
Writing books is literally his job. Jobs have responsibilities. People expect you to fulfill your professional responsibilities. If you don’t, no more job.
*Note: I could get into a very long debate about writing as an artist and writing as a best-seller but I’ll table that for now.
Reason 2: Professionals have deadlines. GRRM has missed about 80 of them.
80 might be a slight exaggeration but here’s a blog post from GRRM himself detailing all of the missed deadlines. I’m just saying, if I missed that many deadlines on a single project at work, no more job.
*Another note: He actually writes some pretty relatable things about deadlines and how some people react well to them, others do not. So in that sense, I can at least appreciate he has done away with the illusion/distraction of setting another deadline for himself. Meanwhile we wallow in uncertainty.
Reason 3: Until recently, GRRM has been writing everything but Winds of Winter.
It seemed like GRRM’s name has been on a lot of stuff that wasn’t Winds of Winter the in the time between Dance of Dragons dropped and now. Most notably his work on the HBO adaptation and a number of ASoIaF spin-off novellas and short story collections. I get there is definitely validity in working on other projects to try and get the creative juices flowing when you’re stuck on your main squeeze but Christ, it’s been years now. Luckily for us, he wrote in another blog post that I can’t find right now that he is tabling all but a few essential projects until he finishes Winds.
Reason 4: There is an obligation to the audience.
As a literature major, I know plenty of people who will balk at this statement and counter with, “the only obligation an artist has is to the art, man.” Again, there is another opportunity to go into the debate on the difference between someone writing for the sake of art and someone writing to sell books here but I think it’s fair enough to say GRRM has led us on enough with promises that he now has an obligation to deliver on them.
Reason 5: Because we, as that audience, are emotionally invested.
GRRM has done a fantastic job with ASoIaF. It’s arguably one of the best series I’ve ever read. That comes with a hefty emotional investment though. I think that it is reasonable to allow ourselves, as emotionally invested readers, to be upset at the fact that we are still waiting to figure out what will happen to these characters we care so deeply about.
In many ways, I’m angry at GRRM because I want to be. In others, I feel justified in the fact that I’m angry at GRRM because he’s done such a great job creating a world and a story that I want to invest myself in and there is something obstructing me from getting a return on that investment. Either way I’m completely okay being angry at George.
Until next time, keep an eye out for an news on Winds.