George R.R. Martin is not a speedy writer, even when he takes time off from fan conventions to concentrate fully on his craft. The next book in Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter, has been in the works for more than four years. That makes it nearly-certain that the television show version of Martin’s series, Game of Thrones, will reach its conclusion before Martin finishes the final book, A Dream of Spring (which is planned to follow The Winds of Winter).
That means that the show could spoil the ending of the series, something that Martin was opposed to for much of the show’s run. He’s gone so far as to suggest extended seasons and spin-off films to delay the inevitable. But in a recent interview, Martin indicated that he’s made his peace with the idea of the show finishing first.
“There was a period where I was worried about [the show ending first],” Martin told Geekwire. “Then I said, to hell with that. Worrying about it isn’t going to change it one way or another. I still sit down at the typewriter, and I have to write the next scene and the next sentence … I’m just going to tell my story, and they’re telling their story and adapting my books, and we shall see.”
Martin has hinted that the ending of the series will be “bittersweet,” rather than “apocalyptic.” As for the next book, The Winds of Winter, he wasn’t willing to tell Geekwire if it will be ready in time for the next season of the HBO series this Spring. “Don’t ask me when the book is going to be done — I’ll ask my minions to lop your head off,” Martin joked.