George R.R. Martin Will Stop Writing for Game of Thrones to finish The Winds of Winter

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Last week, the creators of HBO’s Game of Thrones officially confirmed what every fan already knew: the TV show is going to spoil the plot of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. For the past few years, Martin has talked openly about the pressure to finish the series before HBO, once describing the TV show as a “freight train” barreling down on him. While it seems impossible for him to finish the entire series before the show, he seems determined to at least finish book six, The Winds of Winter, before season 6 of Game of Thrones. He recently pulled out of attending several conferences, and today he took to his livejournal to say he wouldn’t be writing any episodes for the next season of the show. (Typically Martin scripts one episode a season.)

Writing a script takes me three weeks, minimum, and longer when it is not a straight adaptation from the novels. And really, it would cost me more time than that, since I have never been good at changing gears from one medium to another and back again. Writing a season six script would cost me a month’s work on WINDS, and maybe as much as six weeks, and I cannot afford that. With David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Bryan Cogman on board, the scriptwriting chores for season six should be well covered. My energies are best devoted to WINDS.

On the other hand, Martin also noted that The Winds of Winter was hardly the only project taking up his time:

When I say, “my plate is full,” I don’t just mean with WINDS. I am still editing the latest Wild Cards volume, HIGH STAKES. I have an overall deal with HBO, and three new television concepts in various stages of development, with a variety of collaborators and partners. I am consulting on a couple of videogames. There’s the Wild Cards movie at Universal, where I’m a producer. And I’ve recently formed a new production company to make low budget short films based on a trio of classic short stories by… well, no, not yet, that would be telling. Premature telling.

Meanwhile, the Game of Thrones train keeps chugging along.

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