We all have found different ways to pass the time while practicing social distancing and enforcing self-quarantines during the coronavirus pandemic, and the way George R.R. Martin says he’s filling his time will probably delight fans of “Game of Thrones” and his “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series: The author says he’s once again working to finish “The Winds of Winter,” the next book in the saga that he’s been trying to finish for the last nine years.
“For those of you who may be concerned for me personally… yes, I am aware that I am very much in the most vulnerable population, given my age and physical condition,” the 71-year-old author wrote on his blog Tuesday. “But I feel fine at the moment, and we are taking all sensible precautions. I am off by myself in a remote isolated location, attended by one of my staff, and I’m not going in to town or seeing anyone. Truth be told, I am spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day. Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms… but maybe not as grim as they may become here.”
“Some days, watching the news, I cannot help feeling as if we are all now living in a science fiction novel,” Martin continued. “But not, alas, the sort of science fiction novel that I dreamed of living in when I was a kid, the one with the cities on the Moon, colonies on Mars, household robots programmed with the Three Laws, and flying cars. I never liked the pandemic stories half so well… Let us hope we all come through this safe and sound. Stay well, my friends. Better to be safe than sorry.”
So not only is Martin safe (phew), but he might actually, finally, for real finish the upcoming sixth and penultimate book in his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series that inspired HBO’s hit “Game of Thrones” (and which showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss wrapped up without Martin’s source material). Heck, if this Covid-19 lockdown goes on long enough, he might even find time to write the seventh and final book he has planned, “A Dream of Spring.”
Here’s where we should note, for your own sanity, that Book 5, “A Dance With Dragons,” was released in stores in 2011 and Martin has been working on/promising to finish “The Winds of Winter” ever since then. So maybe don’t get too excited until you actually find out that he’s completed it — or until this pandemic is over, of course.