Game of Thrones au­thor says he is find­ing next book in se­ries a strug­gle

The Guardian - - NATIONAL - Sian Cain

Ge­orge RR Mar­tin has ad­mit­ted he is “strug­gling” to fin­ish the long-awaited sixth book in his A Song of Ice and Fire se­ries, as the rise in fame and pop­u­lar­ity that came with the TV adap­ta­tion Game of Thrones has be­come a “con­sid­er­able weight to bear”.

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with the Guardian ahead of the pub­li­ca­tion of his next book, Fire and Blood, a his­tory of the fan­tasy uni­verse of his hugely pop­u­lar se­ries, Mar­tin said he’d been wrestling with The Winds of Win­ter, which has been ea­gerly awaited by fans since the pre­vi­ous book in the se­ries, 2011’s A Dance With Drag­ons.

“I’ve been strug­gling with it for a few years,” he told the Guardian. “The Winds of Win­ter is not so much a novel as a dozen nov­els, each with a dif­fer­ent pro­tag­o­nist, each hav­ing a dif­fer­ent cast of sup­port­ing play­ers, an­tag­o­nists, al­lies and lovers around them, and all of th­ese weav­ing to­gether against the march of time in an ex­tremely com­plex fash­ion. So it’s very, very chal­leng­ing. Fire and Blood by con­trast was very sim­ple. Not that it’s easy – it still took me years to put to­gether – but it is eas­ier.”

He con­firmed that the sixth in­stal­ment was his next pri­or­ity: “The Winds of Win­ter is next, then I’ll de­cide what comes af­ter that – whether it’s to go on to A Dream of Spring, the last one, or whether I switch back into Fire and Blood II, do an­other [pre­quel] Dunk and Egg story or two.”

While Mar­tin’s books were best­sellers be­fore the start of the HBO adap­ta­tion Game of Thrones in 2011, the over­whelm­ing suc­cess of the TV show raised his read­er­ship by mil­lions.

The TV adap­ta­tion, which has won 47 Em­mys and a Golden Globe over seven sea­sons so far, over­took Mar­tin’s progress in the book se­ries in 2016, and is set to con­clude next year.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: HBO

Ben Cromp­ton as Dolor­ous Edd in Game of Thrones. The TV se­ries has over­taken the books in pop­u­lar­ity

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