June 19, 2017
George R.R. Martin finally understands what makes us, his fans, angry
by Susan Rella
George R.R. Martin, 952-year-old author of the popular A Song of Ice And Fire fantasy series (or as television calls it, Game of Thrones), has just addressed the biggest fear his myriad and rabid fans harbor: his impending mortality.
While providing an update to his fans on his Wild Cards anthology series earlier this month, via his LiveJournal page (basically a weird blog that he refuses to call a blog), GRRM expressed anger toward the many ASOIAF fans who’d worried aloud that he wouldn’t live to finish the series —especially if he keeps updating his other projects, like Wild Cards, which they see as sidelines.
The instigator of this online imbroglio? The very upset and well-adjusted slancet27, who stated, “while I am sure there are wild card fans, I’m willing to bet 99% of your fans are for asoiaf.” The ensuing battle between defenders, detractors, and GRRM himself created fireworks not seen on LiveJournal since, probably, 2003.
Forum moderator werthead writes that “there are literally people out there who assume if you [Martin] go a week and don’t mention ASoIaF but do mention football, they conclude that you haven’t worked at all on ASoIaF for that week and spent it all watching football instead.”
From William Gicknig, the peace-loving LJ voice of reason: “I would say if you feel like you wanna write a Wild Cards story then that is what you should write… Readers will complain no matter what and you only live once so you might as well follow your inspiration wherever it may take you.”
And from GRRM himself, responding to slancet27: “Wild Cards is pretty popular as well, elsewise it would not have lasted for thirty years and twenty-three volumes (with four more in the pipeline).”
As we inch up to the Game of Thrones Season Seven premiere, and close in on six years since the last book in the series, A Dance with Dragons, Martin’s fans are becoming increasingly alarmed that A Song of Ice and Fire may never be finished. GRRM has already vetoed the idea of another writer completing the series, in the event he gets beheaded like the fantasy-writer-slash-highlander he is.
Now, with two promised books left to go, and sixth, The Winds of Winter, already several years behind schedule, GRRM has just decreed he will stop giving fans incremental updates, which he thinks only serve to make his readers (and, apparently, Martin himself) angry. “The only thing I can give that will satisfy is the finished book,” the frail, 1,400-year-old wordsmith and last living Jedi responded, “and that’s what I’m trying to deliver.”
But it was notoriousreecey who cut to the chase, giving voice to the fear of fanboys across the globe: What if the sixty-eight-year-old author is called back to the old gods and the new before he finishes writing?
“I don’t see speculation about the possibility of my death as any sort of compliment,” GRRM LiveJournaled. “My own hope is to live another thirty years and write thirty more books.”
And like that, the wise sage disappeared back into his nineties web log technology, leaving his fans distraught over two equally horrific possibilities: having their author-god die before finishing the series, or having to wait thirty more years for him to do it.
Now we know how Reek felt.
Susan Rella is the managing editor at Melville House, and a former bookseller.