The publication date of the last Game of Thrones book has been released


Fans of the Game of Thrones books (also called "A Song of Ice and Fire") have been waiting a long time for the sixth of seven books in story, especially since the HBO series of the same name has now caught up to the last book. Author George RR Martin, who previously churned out books at a rate of one every two years, started taking a longer and longer to write his books. His first three books in the series, A Game of Thrones, Clash of Kings, and a Storm of Swords, were each published within two years of each other.

The book after that, A Feast of Crows, took five years to write, and his latest book, A Dance with Dragons, took six years. Now it has been more than four years and no new book has been forthcoming, even as the HBO series as surpassed the books.

Martin himself took to his blog today to announce that the next book, four years in the works, was not only not ready, but he had no idea when it would be ready. He gave many reasons why he has not finished work on the next book, blaming interviews and world travel, but the main reason seems to be his inability to write. I think the reasons boil down to this:

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1) He's low energy. George Martin is a literary version of Jeb Bush. He's also 67 years old and morbidly obese. He alludes in his blog that the last time he wrote anything for the book was... a few days ago. Maybe he just doesn't have the energy to write on a daily basis.

2) He's a perfectionist. On his blog, he mentions how he has written many pages of the new book, but likes to do a lot of structural rewriting of chapters.

3) He no longer enjoys writing the series. This is the most important point. Martin can't really have writer's block, because, having written 75% of the series, he knows where the series is ending and what has to happen. All he has to do is connect the dots between A Dance with Dragons and the ending he has already thought of. But he doesn't seem to like anything that he writes. He's lost interest in his own series.

Martin's writing style shows him to be kind of a nutty guy. His books have hundreds of characters, so many that it becomes difficult to follow at times. He creates and builds up characters, following them for many chapters, and then kills them, having accomplished nothing. For example, I remember following one character for a number of chapters who is trying to marry and cement a political alliance with Daenerys, the dragon queen, and we slowly follow him step by step on his journey as he gets closer and closer to her... and then when he finally gets there, she rejects his advances, and he gets killed by a dragon. End of his story, nothing accomplished, nothing changed. So why were we reading all about this guy for parts of an entire book?

From Martin's writing style I get the impression that he is bored and restless with what he writes, because he keeps jumping from one character to the next, one plotline to the next. I really think it's a mental condition, like ADD, where he can't be happy just focusing on a basic plotline, and now he can't be happy with anything he writes.

The good news is that his blog contains the seeds to figure out when the next book, as well as the final book are going to be written by him: never.

That means, however, that the final books will definitely be published... once Martin dies.

There is precedent for this. When famous "Wheel of Time" author Robert Jordan died without completing his series, his estate brought in Brian Sanderson to complete them. George Lucas stopped producing Star Wars movies, but when he sold Star Wars to white slave traders at Disney, suddenly we find ourselves with a Star Wars movie every year for the next five years.

As I've said, Martin is old and does not look very healthy. I think once he dies his family will want the story to have an ending and the publishers will hire a writer like Sanderson. But unlike Martin, they will not allow this hired writer five or six years to write each book. They'll expect one a year. And the significant parts of the next book are already written. So say the next book, Winds of Winter, will be published six month after Martin dies, and the next book which is supposed to be the final one, a Dream of Spring, a year after that. And then because publishers like money, they will do as they did in Wheel of Time and stretch it out to another book after that one, which will come a year after that.

So the answer to the question: "When will the last Game of Thrones book be published" should be about two and a half years after Martin's death.

Now, I don't wish death on anyone, except perhaps radical Islamists, and Adolph Hitler (if he becomes reanimated). But this, I think, may be the reality of when the Game of Thrones book series will be completed.



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