Books

Game of Thrones author gives fans the finger

Alison Flood, Maev Kennedy

Fans of George RR Martin's books want to know if he'll live long enough to give them an end to the series, a question he finds pretty offensive.

Kit Harington plays Jon Snow in Game of Thrones. (Supplied)

Obsessive fans of the Game of Thrones books are worried about their author. To them, George RR Martin doesn’t look so great. He’s overweight. He’s 65.

The question of whether he will live long enough to finish the A Song of Ice and Fire series, which has become the television phenomenon Game of Thrones, was bravely put, on behalf of his readers everywhere, by an interviewer for the Swiss daily Tages-Anzeiger.

“I find that question pretty offensive, frankly, when people start speculating about my death and my health, so fuck you to those people,” Martin said. In case the message wasn’t entirely clear, he then gave those people the finger.

The author had already taken a robust line with his fans back in the days before the books became the television series, bringing him millions more readers.

Even in 2009, the fans were demanding to know why he wasn’t leg shackled to his computer, and so hadn’t finished A Dance with Dragons. He wrote a lively response.

“Some of you are angry that I watch football during the fall … some of you hate my other projects … some of you don’t want me attending conventions, teaching workshops, touring and doing promo, or visiting places like Spain and Portugal [last year] or Finland [this year]. More wasting time, when I should be home working on A Dance with Dragons [the fifth in the series]. After all, as some of you like to point out in your emails, I am 60 years old and fat, and you don’t want me to ‘pull a Robert Jordan’ on you and deny you your book.”

Jordan was the author of another bestselling fantasy series, The Wheel of Time, who did indeed die before he completed it: the series has been finished by another fantasy author, Brandon Sanderson.

In the latest interview, he snapped: “I can’t write more than one word at a time … I know my working methods, I don’t work when I travel, I don’t work in hotels, I don’t work on aeroplanes, I don’t work on trains, I work at home.”

There is still no confirmed release date for The Winds of Winter, his sixth book. A fan site commented last month: “Call this one a hunch. With The World of Ice and Fire scheduled to come out just before the holiday season this year, I’m feeling confident that The Winds of Winter will be released in October 2015. The stars just seem to be aligning right for this one. GRRM has been quiet, which means he is writing.”

Alas, to the undoubted outrage of some fans, Martin has taken off again. His most recent blog post revealed that he has escaped from his study: “After a short visit in France, it’s off to beautiful Switzerland and the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival.” – © Guardian News & Media 2014

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