George R. R.. Martin has opened up about his work on the final two books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, which Game of Thrones is an adaptation of.
In an interview with The Guardian, Martin spoke about The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, the final two books in his series, neither of which has a set release date yet (although Martin has previously hinted at a 2020 release). Although he refused to comment on when the sixth book would arrive (or what he thought of the controversial finale to the Game of Thrones television series), he was open about how the end of the series has been freeing for him.
In the lead up to season 6, when the show officially overtook the books, Martin felt that the pressure was impeding his work: “I don’t think it was very good for me, because the very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down.” But things feel different now that the show is over. “But having the show finish is freeing, because I’m at my own pace now. I have good days and I have bad days and the stress is far less, although it’s still there.”
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He was also clear on the fact that the ending of the series hasn’t changed how his books will end, despite the finale being poorly received by many fans. “It doesn’t change anything at all… As Rick Nelson says in Garden Party, one of my favourite songs, you can’t please everybody, so you’ve got to please yourself.” He has previously said that the book series ending might differ from the show, though. He spoke about how his understanding of the world in his books, which he started writing in 1991, has not been changed by the series. “For the average viewer, and I recognise this, Tyrion Lannister will always be Peter Dinklage from this point forward. But it did not work that way for me.”
Reflecting on some moments from the history of the show, Martin is very proud of the book readers who did not spoil the twist of the Red Wedding, and enjoyed watching reaction videos. “Suddenly, there were videos all over the internet of people reacting to the Red Wedding, all set up by their relatives who wanted to capture the grief and shock of their husbands, wives, siblings… Has that ever happened in the history of television? Not as far as I know.”
Martin is also currently involved in the Game of Thrones prequel projects in development at HBO.