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George R.R. Martin is known for the rich and verbose details in his fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire, on which HBO's megahit Game of Thrones is based. But when it comes to fans who worry that Martin will die before he finishes the epic story of Westeros, he has a very concise message: "F*** you."

The notoriously deliberate writer, who is 65 years old, was asked by Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger about those fans and responded, "I find that question pretty offensive, people speculating about my death and my health. So 'f*** you' to those people." Martin's subsequent chuckle indicated that he wasn't entirely serious, but his choice of words conveyed that he's pretty sick of hearing the question.

Martin is currently writing The Winds of Winter, the sixth installment of the proposed seven-book series (though recent reports suggest that Martin could write eight books before all is said and done). However, Martin's publication cycle is getting longer and longer with each book he releases. After two years between each of the first three books, the period between Book 3, A Storm of Swords, and Book 4, A Feast for Crows, stretched to five years. Another six years elapsed between A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, which was released in 2011.

Martin has felt pressure from obsessed fans of the books to put pen to paper since the late 1990s, but now that Game of Thrones is one of television's biggest properties, there's a whole new gaggle of people tapping on his shoulder and telling him to get to writing. However, it's becoming more of a possibility that the television series may end before the book series does, as Martin has allegedly discussed key elements of the unwritten books with Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. HBO has already renewed Game of Thrones for Seasons 5 and 6, and has targeted a seven-season run for the series.


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/26/2016

Season 6 : Episode 10

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Typical. People seem more bothered about having no closure on a bit of fiction than a persons actual health. Reverse reasoning of the worst.
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Personally, I don't care whether or not it ends as long as Martin is the only one that finishes it!

Same goes to David and Dan with the TV show
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Well, excuse me, for wanting to know how ASOIAF ends. Many people who were younger and had less weight died because of obesity. And know that there might me 8 books and not 7 plus his publication cycle, of course fans are worried.
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If he dies, he dies. But first, he'll live.
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good on george send ramsay on to te swiss then they have a flaying time
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It's an extremely rude question! It's awful that anyone would ask that, whether it's a real concern or not (which it is, but still...).
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On the one hand, the question is kinda rude and ageist and then on the other hand, if he wasn't giving (so many bloody) interviews, he a) would not have to answer BS questions and b) would have more time to write perhaps.

But just think of the guy who started the Millenium book series (Girl with the dragon tattoo etc.) Stieg Larsson who died unexpectedly at 50 and he hadn't looked particularly unhealthy so it is a bit absurd to ask this question to any author. I am fairly sure that at this point there is an outline of how things go down in the last books and if Martin couldn't finish it all for whatever reason, the publisher would carefully get the last books completed somehow. Might not be ideal but I doubt GoT will end up incomplete if only because there is so much money at stake.
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I think the real problem is GRRMartin's desire to work on the books isn't what it was at the beginning. He got fame and fortune from the first 3 books and that upped the demands on his time in terms of outside distractions while also giving him more money than he will ever be able to spend.

Add to the that the fact that the HBO series will most likely pass him soon after book 6 is published. Will he ever finish book 7? It will really be up to him and my suspicion is at some point he'll decide to allow the television show to finish his tale.
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Actually, he stated in a Q&A session that the problem was that he hadn't yet learned to say no when people asked him to write for other works. And since he then was contractually obligated to finish them before a certain deadline, his ASOIAF series took a backseat.
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I would answer that fucked up question in the same way if I was in his shoes. Good for him!
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King shot through books 5-7 of the Dark Tower series in no time when he took decades for the first 4. The decrease in quality was very unfortunate and I would have rather waited.
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But we all know he's going to die before he finishes the last book right? I mean if the gossip is right and we're going 8 books. So it took him 2 years to get the sequel out, 2 years to get the third out, 5 years for the fourth, 6 years for the fifth, and now we're at 3 years with no sixth book in sight. If we stick to the schedule it's going to be 12 to 16 years before he finishes all 8 books. I don't like them odds.
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I've already read 3 chapters from Winds of Winter on George's website (Theon, Arianne and Mercy), so he's already got the writing under way.

The Mercy chapter is still up now, though the other two have been taken down.
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This exponential increase in time between books theory is pretty ridiculous. For one he spent many years developing the series before aGoT came out. And more crucially he had major restructuring issues for books 4&5. First he was going to do a time jump, then he decided that wouldn't work and he needed a book to cover the gap, then that book became too long and needed to be split into two books. Those were pretty big issues to overcome so it's hard to blame him for taking awhile to get books 4&5 out.

tWoW is a different story. There doesn't appear to be any restructuring required and he already had completed a number of chapters pushed back from a DwD. This shouldn't take anywhere near as long as the last two. But these are very long books so we have to expect 3-4 years per book. I read a site recently that said that per words Martin writes as fast as any fantasy writer, people just forget sometimes that the books he writes are very long. If tWoW takes 6 years plus to arrive then we'll have something to complain about but not now.
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What theory? If you plot the release times of the books that have come out you'll see that the times keep going up. I'm being generous and assuming it won't go up even more. Also, I'm not bagging on his writing speed. I'm just saying the odds of him still writing when he's pushing 80 are a bit slim. Am I wrong?
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Am I the only one who could careless about Westros?
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I'm assuming that you actually care a lot about GoT, and are asking how many people out there could care less than your humongous amount of caring.
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It is an idiomatic statement.

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No. I could care a lot, and I mean a lot, less.
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Yes. What a sad a lonely existence you must live. Especially when you click on and comment on an article about Westeros and its inhabitants....
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You'd be surprised Valhalla is pretty full with my comrades. But no, I read the article because I wanted to see why George R.R. Martin was so angry... Well, here's a clue for him-- he can die with his masterpiece unfinished or finished-- but I will not care. And If I hear one more stupid thing about Game of Thrones being great I will burst.

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And yet, you're here.............
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65 isn't that old nowadays but a lot of writers have died before finishing their book series. It's all the young fans that can't tell the difference between 45, 65 and 85 that cause the problem.

However, it does seem likely that the TV series will end before the book series. If seasons 5&6 cover book 4, that would suggest book 5, 6 and 7 would be given 2 seasons each. At that rate, for 7 books there would be 12 seasons. But that requires the show stay popular enough for 6 more years to make it worth producing and that they can retain the actors for another 6 years. And can the show stay popular for another 6 years?

This issue comes up all the time with anime based upon manga. Often the show runs out of material and has to end abruptly without resolving the main plot. It's not to say that Martin couldn't produce the books in time, but he'll be 70 by the time he's done. He's probably more interested in spending his money and retiring than continuing to write.

We're also seeing the TV series divergence more and more from the books. There's nothing to say that by season 7 the show will just not decide to go off on it's own. And there's really no reason for producers to give the show more than 10 seasons, or 100 episodes, regardless of how popular it is.

I'm thinking we could see book 4 handled by season 5&6, and book 5 and the rest of the story handled by season 7. That's still three more years of a popular show and by then HBO isn't going to draw many more new subscribers from the show. It will then be time for them to look to another show to draw in subscribers.

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I don't think are worried about his age as such, it's just that Mr. Martin doesn't look like he takes a huge amount of exercise. If he was 45 and in the same general shape as he is now, then the odds of Mr. Martin living to finish the series wouldn't something I want to bet my house on.
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Today is not the day he dies!
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Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
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You do realise that books 4&5 will be told concurrently in the show. There's no way they'll split the characters. I very much doubt they could get more than two seasons out of what remains of aFfC and ADwD, it's possible they could reduce both books to one season if they don't like some of the subplots.
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It currently looks as though season 5 will cover most or all of books 4 and 5. And will probably include some events from book 6.
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"It's all the young fans that can't tell the difference..." I think that's a bit simplistic. Robert Jordan is a good parallel for a lot of people. He was a few stories shy of finishing his Wheel of Time when he died at the age of 58. The possibility that Martin might die with his story untold is valid, not just the result of math-challenged kids.
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I'm sure he is pissed because the fans care less about him as a person and more about their desire for the books. It is not a valid worry for him. For us yes, but to equate this man's value to just being a printing press is inhuman and many of you should reevaluate your prior words.
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If I were G RR Martin i would not finish the books... ;-P
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And my response is " F*** You, Martin, you lazy, fame seeking slug!" . If you truly cared about the art of writing in your books, you would passionately work on them and not play with little tin men , write TV scripts and edit other books all the time.
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If I were GRRM, I'd delay the release of tWoW by a week everytime I'd read this kind of stupefyingly, amazingly entitled posts. The book will be out when it's out, if you're not happy with that then that's too bad for you, read the Wheel of time of something.
You do realize that the man doesn't owe you anything, right? His time is his own, if he feels like editing an anthology he's f*cking going to edit an anthology.

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That's all right; I won't buy or read the new book anyway and I don't watch the show just because of the things he is pulling. It would be alright if he would admit that he is a hack writer and doing this for money; just don't try to tell me it is taking so long because it is art and art takes time, that's pure buls***.
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I'd argue that a hack writer would release books faster, not slower, but we can agree to disagree.
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It's a valid worry though simply due to how long this project still has in front of it. It has nothing to do with his health -- though he's never struck me as all that healthy -- this is simply a math thing. If this series takes the 15 more years that it definitely could, there's plenty of room for him to come to his unfortunate end before the series does.
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I'm not into the whole GoT but when I saw this it was just typical about this ageist society. 65 is not "old" but I'd be more concerned that he's bigger and I have no clue on his health. I think you guys should be fine, hopefully. :D
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The concerns are far more about how long the books will take than an imminent demise.
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But really could he finish please
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Don't eat so much please.
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Less eating, more writing, perhaps?
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I don't particularly think he'll die for health reasons, but it takes him so long to finish them that he could just die of old age. he could die tomorrow just tripping somewhere and hitting his head. the main point is that he has such a long time between the books.
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Well f*** me then.
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I don't want to SEE the end of the story, Mr. Martin. I want to READ it.
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If HBO only plans on doing 7 seasons, they are going to have to decide if they want to rush and butcher some sort of ending or leave it incomplete. Assuming Martin finishes the 6th book soon, that would leave HBO with 3 books to adapt into 3 seasons and that doesn't even factor in the plots for the 7th and possibly 8th book. What a cluster f*ck.

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It looks as though season 5 will encompass all or most of books 4 & 5 and will probably enter tWoW territory, so that will re-align the books and show.
So, if tWoW is released in Spring 2015, George has 2 years to to finish aDoS. It'll be close, but it's just about doable.
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Pretty optimistic. :-) Fingers crossed ... but can't see it happening. GRRM doesn't devote his life to writing. He's booked up at all the CONs around the world ... and is quite literally travelling for about 4 months of the year. He has stated he doesn't write while travelling (he makes notes ... but nothing else). Apart from his meet/greet/signing commitments he is also now quite involved with the running of that revamped cinema in his hometown ... and he is devoted to football. There is a reason that the last 2 books have taken 5 years each to write. *If* he finishes writing the next one this year (and that's a big if) ... there will still be 6 months from the time he finishes to actual publication (this is normal). GRRM normally takes a break after finishing a novel as well. So ... add 4-5 more years for the (supposedly) last novel and we're looking at 2019. I personally think there will be an 8th novel as well ... so 2024. :-)
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Of course you're right, I'm being very optimistic and it's probably more likely than not that I'm proved wrong.
I'm sure I read a few months ago that GRRM said he'd finished Winds of Winter and there was less editing and re-writing to be done than for previous books, so I don't think it's that unlikely that it'll appear around February/March next year.
I'm just guessing that by the end of book 6, everyone will pretty much be in place for the final book and the end of their arc. So, in theory, it should take less time to write because he will know by then what needs to happen.
If it turns out there are eight books, then even if the show goes eight seasons, it seems clear that it will end before the last book is published.
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The TV show isn't really that far behind the books in terms of plot.
It has completely caught up with Bran's storyline ... and has actually gone beyond the current books with a couple of scenes this season.
Anything to do with Bran next season will have to rely on the producers' meetings with GRRM & could include a lot of 'filler' (similar to some of his scenes this season).

Book 4 (A Feast For Crows) was short (comparatively) & didn't have a great deal in the way of plot advancement (it was tied heavily, chronologically, with 'A Dance with Dragons' ... and included a lot of minor characters & story arcs that are just not in the TV show).
We have already covered some of Book 4 ... and now Arya (finally), and Tyrion, are on their way across the narrow sea ... realistically they could easily be completely caught up inside the next 2 seasons.

So while it would be nice to have longer seasons (and more of them) they would have to slow down their current pace of storytelling to do so (or shoehorn back in a load of the minor characters that they have previously left out).

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they could easily split a book into multiple seasons though, they've done it before.
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Even if they used book 4 and 5 for season 5-7 that would still leave them with the same dilemma. In fact, if they are trying to bring some sort of closure to the show it would make things even worse.
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Storm of Swords had more going on then Feast and Dance combined, and only made up two seasons . I can't imagine how they will stretch those two books into three seasons, especially considering Bran's storyline. If they stay true to the books he will be an old man by the time we see him again.
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