What should George R.R. Martin be working on right now, if it was up to his fans? Oh, I don’t know, maybe season three of Game of Thrones. Then again, we’re already at the stage where HBO is ramping up the hype for its premiere on March 31 — the script-writing stage would have finished long ago and all that would be left to do is post-production work.
Hmmm… what else could Martin do with his time? Well, he could get back to work writing The Winds of Winter, the planned sixth (and penultimate) book in his as-yet unfinished A Song of Ice and Fire series. Martin’s said that the book will be huge — 1,500 manuscript pages — and he’s been working on it for several years now. With this new free time, he can get back to work and finish the novel, right? That would make a ton of sense!
Not to HBO.
According to Deadline.com, HBO just signed Martin to a two-year deal that will see him develop new shows for the network. You read that right: new shows. He’ll keep working on Game of Thrones and also contribute to new HBO projects.
Now hold on a minute. Martin is not a particularly young man. He’s also not a particularly healthy man, by all appearances. He still has to write two more books in the ASOIAF series and he hasn’t exactly demonstrated that he’s able to write at a blistering pace. This deal with HBO sounds like a bad idea — for fans who want him to write an ending to ASOIAF before he dies, at least.
Frankly, the sooner fans accept that we’re probably never going to see the final two books in the series, the better. In some ways, this HBO deal might be a blessing in disguise. At least the suits at the network know how he plans to wrap up the story, so we’ll get to see it on TV if not in novel form.