Entertainment

'Game of Thrones' Fans Want To Jail George R.R. Martin For Breaking His Promise

Sorry, George -- you made the rules.

george rr martin
George R.R. Martin | Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage
George R.R. Martin | Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage

When struggling to complete a big project, it's helpful to create self-imposed deadlines. Then, in order to meet those often purely theoretical deadlines, it's often useful to use a carrot or a stick to incentivize your own behavior. If you're fantasy author George R. R. Martin, the writer behind the incredibly successful Song of Ice and Fire book series that inspired HBO's mega-hit Game of Thrones, that stick takes the form of a self-imposed blog post proclamation that your fans can "imprison" you if you don't finish the Winds of Winter by July 29, 2020, which is today. That means Martin is going to jail. 

Why was Martin so determined to finish the next book by this specific date? As most fans know, the writer hasn't exactly been in a massive hurry to finish his next novel, the follow-up to 2011's A Dance with Dragons. Martin had planned to attend the World Science Fiction Convention in Wellington, New Zealand this year and the event was scheduled to run from July 29 to August 2, and he really wanted to show up with a new book. 

In a blog post from May, 2019, he wrote, "If I don’t have THE WINDS OF WINTER in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done."

Unsurprisingly, some fans online are ready to take him at his word.

So, at least according to the terms Martin set for himself on his blog, Martin will have the comfort of a small cabin to produce the pages that have eluded him for so long. If he wanted to, he could also let himself off on the technicality that the World Science Fiction Convention has been moved into the virtual realm this year because of the coronavirus. He wouldn't be the first person to blame unpredictable world events on his inability to meet a deadline.

And, to be fair, he does at least seem to be hard at work. (All the great procrastinators know that telling everyone how hard you've been working is half the battle!) In a recent blog post simply titled "Writing…" from July 19, he noted that this writing stuff is "hard," but had some specific updates. "Three more chapters completed this past week," he wrote. "And good progress on several more. Still a long long way to go, though. Do not get too excited."
 
You heard the guy: Don't get too excited. If the no-longer-looming threat of self-imprisonment didn't get him to finish the book, joking about him getting taking away in handcuffs on Twitter probably won't get the job done either. 

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Dan Jackson is a senior staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He's on Twitter @danielvjackson.