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It's no secret that George R.R. Martin has been taking his time completing A Song of Ice and Fire, the book series upon which Game of Thrones is based. Now the renowned author has addressed a rather unusual rumor that seemed to state otherwise.
Very recently, word began floating around that Martin had actually finished the sixth and seventh books in the Ice and Fire series but was waiting to release them until after Game of Thrones' final season. The rumor allegedly traces back to actor Ian McElhinney, who played Ser Barristan Selmy on the show's first five seasons.
Now Martin aims to set the record straight with an entry on his personal blog (via Entertainment Weekly). Given that the post is titled "Idiocy on the Internet," he doesn't sound terribly pleased about the whole ordeal. After deriding the general misinformation that can snowball out of control when turned loose online, the author cleared up any confusion.
"I will, however, say for the record — no, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring are not finished. Dream is not even begun; I am not going to start writing volume seven until I finish volume six."
Martin went on to address the outright absurdity of the rumor, stating that his publishers across the globe "make millions and millions of dollars every time a new Ice and Fire book comes out, as do I," so delaying the book for any reason wouldn't make any sense.
"So ... no, the books are not done," Martin continued. "HBO did not ask me to delay them. Nor did [showrunners] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss]. There is no 'deal' to hold back on the books. I assure you, HBO and David & Dan would both have been thrilled and delighted if The Winds of Winter had been delivered and published four or five years ago … and NO ONE would have been more delighted than me."
The fifth book in the series, A Dance With Dragons, was released in July 2011, just a few months after Game of Thrones premiered on HBO. As the show progressed, they famously ran out of Martin's source material between the fifth and sixth seasons. Since then, the show had been using a rough outline the author had provided as to how the story would eventually conclude.
In recent years, Martin's notoriously glacial writing pace has become almost as well known as his award-winning novels, though he does provide fans with regular updates on his progress.
As far as seeing a version of his story conclude on its own, Martin has also admitted he has mixed feelings about Game of Thrones' final season, which is down to one last episode coming this Sunday on HBO. Still, the author has admitted that his books will end more or less the same way that the show does.