1. I agree that GRRM definitely still WANTS to finish the story, but it seems recently that almost everything he does is the opposite of what he says. For the past 5 years or so, he claims that finishing Winds is his number one priority, yet he constantly starts new projects and undertakes a huge workload, then writes on his blog about how busy he is. Obviously he can do whatever he wants, but it just seems wierd that he chooses to undertake so many different tasks while working on an already large project.

  2. Yeah he’s a bit of a contradiction at times. He’s said that Winds is the priority and that Fire & Blood Vol 2 and Dunk & Egg will just have to wait until it’s finished, yet is involved with multiple spin-offs for HBO and now Wild Cards no doubt

  3. Honestly, I really think his whole rep. as a perfectionist is overblown. I think he is PRECIOUS about his work, in that he won't take suggestion or editing or notes. I think what he thinks he eventually calls 'finished' is in his mind perfect; but his definition of perfect must have changed since he wrote ASOS. I could buy that he has become indecisive to the point of rewriting things past the point of done, where you start taking away from quality instead of adding by losing forest for the trees. But no true perfectionist could have ever allowed AFFC or ADWD to be published. Structural messes that clearly could have benefited GREATLY from a strong editorial hand, or even just basic proofreading and an outline-- as in, once all the parts came together, actually reading it and seeing that most of it belonged in novellas and side projects or cut. The planter thing I always took as an excuse to not outline since it wasn't his most favorite thing ever, as if adding structure somehow kills the magical talent-berries that let him write creatively. Structure matters, and the bigger the story the more it does; somewhere around ASOS it became too big to ultimately succeed as a story without doing serious outlining, and instead of doing that he basically decided to wing it, and since you can't do that and move the overall story forward, he just let it spread and here we are....(for 10 threads to come together at a certain point and tell a common story successfully, you need each step of the way in each story to in some way move you closer to that point, or to serve that common story in some way either plot or character or theme or information, and if a character's story isn't doing at least one of these at every point they appear, you are basically writing endless sidequests that by definition are no longer serving/moving or even really part of the story you were telling) Or Fire and Blood, for that matter; downvote all you want, and not even addressing the subject matter, it is impossible to objectively argue that FandB in terms of proofing and editing is not a horrible essentially unedited mess.

  4. As someone who works in a creative field, trust me - sitting in front of that screen/typewriter/whatever for 18 hours a day does not make it happen faster when it is complex or you are stuck. Working on other projects, taking time off, doing something completely different helps an incredible amount. It took me ten years to get comfortable with the idea that if it wasn’t working, if I was stuck, I could just walk away and when I came back I would almost always solve the problem or pass the block and move forward much faster than had I spent gruelling hours making no progress and hating my life and hating the project.

  5. I'm sure he still greatly desires to finish the story, but at some point, surely, you've got to stop playing with different combinations of events, just pick something and go with it (assuming trying to get the absolute perfect sequence of events is what's holding him up, like with writing several versions of Quentyn arriving for Dany's wedding). He's ostensibly been writing it for 10 years, after all. I absolutely want it to be the best it can be, I'm very much aware the layers of rich detail and foreshadow don't just happen, they need to be painstakingly added in, but he doesn't have the luxury of exploring every option in detail now if he wants to finish at all.

  6. The older we get the less capable we become. It's very possible if not likely that GRRM just isn't as sharp as he used to be. I'm watching it happen to my parents each year and he's older than both of them. It could be all these things you mention PLUS him just not being up to it mentally/physically at age 73.

  7. He has been bloating his story since ASOS when he fell in love with world building. He added stuff like the blackfyre rebellions and wrote out the Targaryen history.

  8. I'm a writer too. I'm published, I write fiction and nonfiction, and have worked as an editor as well. I understand about distracting side projects and contracts, and I know sometimes you have to pause to take advantage of timing on something else. Interruptions may not affect one's desire to work on a project, but the opposite does definitely matter. GRRM is in a position to pick whatever work he wants. If ASOIAF was his priority, he would be working on it, even if that meant not working on anything else. Many authors focus exactly like that. GRRM is a pro with a lifetime of experience, so it's fair to assume he knows all that. Since Winds is still not finished, the most likely reason is that no, it's not his priority or passion, and I find it increasingly hard to believe he's ever going to complete the series now.

  9. He did, however, leave The Silmarillion incomplete and his son had to apply a huge amount of sticky tape across multiple, stylistically incompatible drafts written across almost sixty years to produce something publishable (and second-guessed himself so much he ended up releasing every draft and manuscript his father ever wrote in the interest of maximum transparency).

  10. Yeah, I couldn't agree more with the main sentiment that he deeply cares about the reception and that pressure is what has caused this massive halt to his progress.

  11. Yeah i agree. But i hope its not the case, the endings to most arcs in the show could actually work pretty well if they arent written like trash

  12. I used to think like this was the right answer. But right before the pandemic, I went to a small Q&A that George did. The entire two hour Q&A was George basically just saying that he is unapologetically indulging in the fruits of the TV Shows success now available to him. Travel, new projects, cons, money, fame, etc....

  13. I'll probably get lambasted for saying this here, and listen I'm a big big fan I've read the series 6-7 times, but GRRM doesn't seem like a nice guy to me.

  14. This is based on the assumption that GRRM spent last 11 years working hard on TWOW, trying to find the best possible narrative solutions.

  15. My personal favorite theories are the posters who believe that GRRM has written the Winds material and then scrapped it. It really demonstrates the almost religious faith they have in the man because they believe it without a shred of evidence

  16. I agree with all this. But can someone explain why a person who is in his 70s, trying to finish a ridiculously complex fantasy book, for which the whole world is waiting is taking dozens of other projects which are obviously distracting him?

  17. Yeah this is what I was talking about too, its really perplexing to me. He always talks about how Winds is his priority, but then gets involved in a ton of other things that all take up a lot of his time. It makes no sense to me either.

  18. He's presumably doing that to take a break and creatively refresh himself. Hitting your head against the same brick wall ad nauseum isn't always the best way through, taking another project and returning later often helps.

  19. I think the reason why he has all these other projects going is because even though he’s most well known for a series of books, a significant part of his writing is television. He’s admitted that he started writing asoiaf partly because he wasn’t getting any TV writing jobs at the time. But now that his novels have been adapted into one of the biggest TV shows in the world, he suddenly has all these opportunities to work on and produce TV with a level of creative control he never had before. Obviously he’s gonna take the opportunity while it’s there for him.

  20. The majority of these projects are not project that involve him day-to-day. He lights the touch paper or signs a contract and someone goes off and does the work, whilst he (ostensibly) focuses on Winds. For example, the Wild Cards comic involves Paul Cornell writing the comic based on a book published in 1987, mostly involving stories not written by GRRM. His work on House of the Dragon seems to be mostly answering questions from the showrunners when they want to change something.

  21. Work ethic isn't what gave us a good fuckin book like A Game Of Thrones. That book is a work of art. HBO's wrap up of Game Of Thrones is what it looks like to be written by folks just doing their job.

  22. Btw, just to clarify: Not saying that George doesn't get distracted by other projects too and that isn't a contributing factor. Just saying that I think he still cares about WINDS as well and that him caring is actually more likely as a factor in the delay of WINDS rather than him having stopped caring.

  23. What do you think about him saying he would have the manuscript by worldcon 2020(and that you could lock him in a house on a lake of acid if he didnt have it) before the pandemic hit and the fact that he still hasn't finished it 2 years later.

  24. I personally think he saw the backlash the series received and is hastily trying to rejig his final 3rd of the saga in a way that he thinks people will love, will not be saw coming and makes sense.

  25. I agree 100%. As good as it was (up until the final season), the TV show threw a wrench in the gears of the writing of the book series. I don't think anyone can deny that. George suddenly found a whole new level of fame and fortune, and also a new vitriol for his fans that he hadn't shown before.

  26. I remember this blog post, and it never really made any sense to me. Fitzgerald is known for The Great Gatsby. Dickens is known for Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities. Tolkien is known for The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. Peake is far less well known than any of them. Even very well-read people might not recognize the names of any of those works Martin lists.

  27. The arrogance it takes to make that comparison is just breathtaking. I absolutely adore the man's work but at this point I just cannot stand him as a person.

  28. This is where I am. I think he loves the world. But it feels to me like somewhere along the line this became about Targaryen history for him, and going back to the Starks, Lannisters, and Baratheons just isn't where his passion lies anymore.

  29. He doesn't care. The dozen or so projects he's taken on over the last five years are the best testament to that. People who care about things don't act like he has. He probably cared once (maybe 8-10 years ago), but now he's old, not in the best shape (I'm not judging him for it, but it is the state of things), and there are people offering him money, and lots of it, for other projects. So, what does he do? He takes the money and keeps going. If he tells the truth, people will lose their interest in him, and won't show for his other stuff. So, he keeps us hanging on. It's a grift at this point.

  30. If it were me, I wouldn't want to endure people complaining about it not living up to expectations for the short remainder of my life. Keep writing the books until they are perfect in my eyes and hold their release until after my death. Fans get their books, I get to avoid the inevitable disappointment for not living up to expectations.

  31. The last story GRRM wrote (not an anthology or collection or summation of his previous works and themes) was eleven years ago. Ernest Hemingway also had an eleven-year interlude between his books, which he broke at age 53 when he wrote The Old Man and the Sea, and people were shocked that he'd written such a good book at such an age, after such a hiatus. People who think GRRM will deliver TWOW are saying they think he can deliver in the clutch in a more stunning fashion than literary greats have done, and at a much greater age.

  32. I tend to think this way as well, though I do think being nagged about the book for a decade would be liable to burn a guy out, and the negative response to the show’s ending probably scared him.

  33. As a writer, I agree with your assessment. It's very easy to kill your progress by trying to reach "perfection" - perfect is the enemy of good and finished, after all. And, while like you said, it's all speculation, I would totally buy that GRRM is struggling with that as he tries to bring all the threads together for the finale.

  34. Aside maybe from Rowling with the final few HP books I don't think any author has ever been under so much pressure to deliver. It'd be a nightmare to write under that kind of expectation.

  35. Always always always write your ending first. George thought he was better than the rules and he's learning he's not the hard way.

  36. That's not a rule at all. Tolkien didn't have a clue what the hell LotR was about when he started writing it and he didn't have a firm idea about the ending until he got there.

  37. I don’t think Tolkien really applies here, Lord of the Rings was written as a single book that the publisher split to three parts

  38. I am really afraid that he is taking time bcos he wants only 7 books and struggling to fix enough plot in just one book TWOW so that he can write ADOS to end the series.

  39. I think another big factor is that he knows if/when he publishes he’s gonna have millions of readers going through every word with a fine tooth comb, and if there’s mistakes in it like the wideness/narrowness of a woman’s hips then people are likely to complain “oh wow GRRM had years and years to write this and he still made mistakes”

  40. That's what an editor is for and ridiculous to attribute this to him versus any author that writes popular books.

  41. Great point. This sub extends a lot of sympathy and excuse-making for GRRM. They'll say, The Winds of Winter hasn't been published because he's old, (Stephen King is older and still publishes multiple books a year). Or TWOW isn't here because he's rich and enjoying his life (J.K. Rowling is richer and is still putting out books). Some even go with the excuse that the Game of Thrones shows was so shitty and "demoralized" Martin. Thus, D&D are to blame for us not having Winds of Winter.

  42. It's an abusive relationship. No matter how obvious it is that GRRM doesn't give a fuck they will keep defending him. It's both sad and ridiculous.

  43. Yeah because the last season was a half-finished plot-hole-ridden trash pile. And coincidentally, shortly before making it D&D were offered a massive Star Wars deal. So it seems to me they didn't give enough of a shit to make like 2 more seasons to finish the story properly. Comparing that to speculating about George's personal feelings on the matter of his magnum opus is inane, tbh.

  44. D&D didn’t give a shit or else they wouldn’t have turned down more seasons and not horribly rush the plot along to skip to the ending. If they cared about the project they would have kept going or step down and let someone else take over.

  45. I just boycott anything he is involved with until the book series if complete. I all the book fans did the same and made a song & dance about it George wouldn't be in such high demand to put his name to other projects.

  46. I agree with you. My theory for a while has been that George is a perfectionist and that has led him to restart the book from near scratch at least twice.

  47. It's all a grift. Just like how Trump wants to get re-elected so he can "finish the wall" and Biden wants to get re-elected so he can (finally) "fix healthcare", people need to string others along with promises of "bigger and better" always being just around the corner. GRRM left us with massive cliffhangers at the end of his last book and knows that if he releases Winds, most of us will never care about anything he says again because Lord knows we ain't ever seeing DOS. So knowing how keen we are for winds, he keeps saying it's "just around the corner" as the lead in for more shilling about whatever worthless Wild Cards project he's shitting out this time. Dumb, dumber, dumbest.

  48. For sure he cares about the story. No one reasonable can say the opposite. Asoiaf is his masterpiece. The problem I think besides what you said is that he get bored quickly.

  49. I semi agree. Obviously he cares about the books enough to not leave a boat load of loose ends and unresolved plot lines but also it seems pretty doubtful that he was ever fully committed to writing winds for the last decade. He is always taking on new projects and was traveling alot doing press tours and book tours while the show was going on. If he was fully committed to writing the book we would have the book by now

  50. The number of posts here genuinely angry that George takes different jobs is concerning lol you guys look like a bunch of toddlers. I get being disappointed about Winds but anyone is entitled to take whatever job they want.

  51. The latter half of Elden Ring is going to be the Winds of Winter, similar to how the latter half of Bloodborne was cosmic horror.

  52. I agree. It really seems like he is so passionate about writing these series, it got out of hand. I think his original plan was like 3 books? Writing a book with such a big world is a LOT of work, especially if you're a perfectionist.

  53. I agree completely. Even if I don't have faith in George finishing the series, I do have faith in his passion and talent as a writer. I'm physically unable to swallow the ASOIAF Blackpill.

  54. I think he just gets easily distracted with other projects. As a fellow writer I can simpathize. You want to work on so many different things. People seem to leave out the key detail that hes constantly working on several other projects while writing these books. If he solely worked on ASOIAF I bet it would have finished years ago.

  55. From a videogame perspective: He just wants to complete every available side quest before finishing the main campaign. At least for me, when I complete the main campaign first I lose interest in the remaining side quests.

  56. I think this might be possible; but if he's really been doing this for 10 years, it's almost worse than him not doing much. It'd mean he's just totally incapable of writing anymore. I would accept the idea that he doesn't really care so much about finishing it as he cares about writing for fun. Or that he is basically crippled by his own apparent lack of confidence-- inability to tell what is good from what is good and necessary to the story. But like, no matter how much he might 'care,' it is clear that WOW has NOT been what he cared about most....... and I'm pretty sure you can look at his schedule and blog, and knowing he only writes at home, you can pretty much pick out that there were very few days over the years he could have even possibly been writing. COVID would have fixed that, and voila he suddenly was writing and talking about writing again. The dude almost always talks about it when he's actually writing. I'd say tthat every time he hasnt mentioned WOW or only gave it a lip service it's cuz he wasn't really working on it.

  57. GRRM has become delusional when it comes to these books. His due dates make no sense he said he Winds would come out in 2014. Who here really thinks he can finish in two books?

  58. Exactly. He knows asoiaf is the best thing he'll accomplish in life, and it took ONE tv spinoff to show him and the rest of the world exactly what it looks like to fuck it up.

  59. YES. This makes so much more sense to me, both of the facts as we know them, and of George's character, then the standard "he's lost interest" nonsense.

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