“Game of Thrones” Creator George R.R. Martin Opens Up About Losing Friends to Coronavirus

On a very personal blog post for his official website this week, “Game of Thrones” mastermind George R.R. Martin spoke up about the losses he has experienced in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Martin has said that he has lost five friends to the virus over the last five months. Fortunately, Martin says that he and his wife received their first Coronavirus vaccine shots last week.

Struggling With Loss

Martin has been very open about losing friends to the disease in recent weeks and has frequently devoted much space to celebrating the lives of friends who have succumbed to COVID-19.

The author also remains optimistic about his work on the sixth “A Song of Ice and Fire” novel. The book would allow Martin to nearly complete the proposed seven-book series. He has said in blog posts that pandemic lockdowns and social distancing measures have allowed him to complete hundreds of pages of writing over the last year.

An Unlikely Hero

Although he was well known within the science fiction and fantasy writing community for decades prior to becoming a household name, George R.R. Martin came to widespread attention after HBO opted to adapt his “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series for television. The television version of the books was renamed “Game of Thrones” after the first book in the collection; the show was immediately praised by critics and earned a vast international audience and tremendous acclaim in subsequent years.

But a bone of contention with Martin fans has been the speed with which the author has completed each book in the series. It has now been a decade since the last “Song of Ice and Fire” novel “A Dance With Dragons,” and “Game of Thrones” outpaced Martin’s writing by the show’s fifth season.

What the Future Holds

Martin’s improvisational writing style may be to blame for the wait: The author is famous for refusing to outline his plots before writing books; by now, the world of “A Song of Ice and Fire” is so large and unwieldy that Martin appears to be struggling with its thornier plot conflicts.

Although “Ice and Fire” fans will know how the series is likely to end if they watch the final season of “Game of Thrones,” it remains to be seen how Martin’s writing will differ from HBO’s: Show-runners on “Game of Thrones” famously used Martin’s suggestions to wrap up the series, but Martin himself might have a different vision of how the story will end. If Martin has his way, we may just end up with a very different series of outcomes for Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Tyrion Lannister.

That wouldn’t come as a surprise to Martin’s fans; after all, the author has built his reputation by thwarting audience expectations for decades.

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