We’ve been in the midst of a vacation over here a Westeros, but George R.R. Martin has been keeping busy! A recent Not a Blog post goes into some length about the state of the highly-anticipated The Winds of Winter, a post which seems to have been prompted after a recent round of interviews (including this excellent interview by the team at Game of Owns). It’s the lengthiest update he’s given on the book in some years, and is well worth reading closely. And while he’s at it, George reveals how the story has been slowly moving further and further away from what he envisioned years earlier, even as late as when he met with the showrunners of Game of Thrones to discuss his plans.
Over at Not a Blog, George R.R. Martin has provided fans a lengthy update on The Winds of Winter, HBO’s successor shows, and more… and in the process lets the cat out of the bag regarding one project we here at Westeros.org have been working on for the last couple of years.
We’ll provide a quick summary below:
The Three Chroniclers, by Chase Stone.
In a brief post at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin shares some thoughts on the previous year. A dark time, as he notes, with the global pandemic, and the loss of a number of friends such as Susan Ellison, Kay McCauley, Ben Bova, and Phyllis Eisenstein, while other friends are in poor health. Still, he is hopeful for the future, especially as one of the more positive developments last year was the best writing streak he’s ever had on The Winds of Winter.
In his own words:
“I wrote hundreds and hundreds of pages of THE WINDS OF WINTER in 2020. The best year I’ve had on WOW since I began it. Why? I don’t know. Maybe the isolation. Or maybe I just got on a roll. Sometimes I do get on a roll.
“I need to keep rolling, though. I still have hundreds of more pages to write to bring the novel to a satisfactory conclusion.
“That’s what 2021 is for, I hope.”
Over at his “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin has posted a new update on various topics, including HBO’s House of the Dragon as well as where he’s at with the greatly-anticipated The Winds of Winter. Along the way, he gives some hints about what he’s been working on on the “big, big book”:
“Of late I have been spending a lot of time with the Lannisters. Cersei and Tyrion in particular. I’ve also paid a visit to Dorne, and dropped in to Oldtown a time or three. In addition to turning out new chapters, I’ve been revising some old ones (some very old)… including, yes, some stuff I read at cons ages ago, or even posted online as samples. I tweak stuff constantly, and sometimes go beyond tweaking, moving things around, combining chapters, breaking chapters in two, reordering stuff.”
(The newly-released A Storm of Swords (affiliate link) anniversary edition, featuring new illustrations from Gary Gianni.)
George R.R. Martin has posted a new entry to his Not a Blog, titled “Back in Westeros”, which discusses the self-imposed isolation he’s been in for much of the year. In a mountain cabin somewhere in the mountains of New Mexico, George has been making progress on The Winds of Winter, and reflects on how the periods in his career where he’s been the most isolated have also been among his most productive.
Towards the end, he gets a little more specific about what he has been working on lately in terms of point of view characters, and one of the one he names is a bit of new information as their presence as a POV had not been confirmed until now.
(No, this is not actually his cabin!)
In a new Not a Blog post titled “Writing, Reading, Writing”, GRRM has written from his cabin hideaway about his isolation during the global pandemic. In the course of being up there, his assistant captured two mice that they’ve now made into pets named Timmy and TomTom, and George notes they have not been too helpful in advising him on The Winds of Winter...
... but he actually has a deal to say about the progress he has made, even if he thinks he won’t be able to recapture the blazing rate of speed in which he wrote A Storm of Swords (which peaked at about 150 manuscript pages a month).
Here’s what he has to say:
“If nothing else, the enforced isolation has helped me write. I am spending long hours every day on THE WINDS OF WINTER, and making steady progress. I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week. But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week. It’s going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go. Please do not give any credence to any of the click-bait websites that like to parse every word of my posts as if they were papal encyclicals to divine hidden meanings.”
And below the fold, here’s some additional details that are slightly spoilerish in nature:
George R.R. Martin has updated his “Not a Blog” page with a long post discussing the current state of affairs in the world, a number of which impact businesses and initaitives he is involved in: Meow Wolf has closed its doors for now, and GRRM has followed suit by temporarialy shuttering the Jean Cocteau Cinema as well as the Stage Coach Foundation (however, he notes employees of both organizations will be paid for the forseeable future). However, in the interim, the Beastly Books store that shares a location with the Jean Cocteau does remain open for the time being for those looking to take some comfort in the familiar act of browsing shelves and picking up something to read.
In the course of writing on this, however, George does touch on those who are concerned about his own well-being. Never fear, he says:
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. 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.
That certainly does sound foreboding.
Over at Not a Blog, George R.R. Martin has shared thoughts on the close of Game of Thrones, how it might be compared to his plans for the final two novels in A Song of Ice and Fire, and more. Well worth a read as a reminiscence and commentary for those who wonder about these things. It’s been a long road for George, for everyone who worked on or covered the show, and for the tens (hundreds?) of millions around the world who’ve watched it.
I had the great privilege to accompany George and Parris to a visit to the set as the first season filmed (the image above comes from that visit, George and I moving down a dark hallway in the Paint Hall studio, led by Bryan Cogman to one of the several sets in that colossal space).