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Should Game of Thrones wait for George R. R. Martin?

When you are writing a series that averages a thousand pages per book, it’s going to take some time. Ask George R. R. Martin.

Just ask A Song of Fire and Ice author George R. R. Martin.

George R. R. Martin
Should Game of Thrones wait for Martin?

Martin, whose books serve as the basis for the ever-popular HBO show, Game of Thrones, has found himself in a precarious position.

When the series began, Martin had four meaty books under his belt, and then added a fifth. The problem is that his sixth book in the series, The Winds of Winter, was due to publishers prior to the next season of Game of Thrones. But Martin missed the deadline and the time for filming the next season has begun.

Last week, Martin sent this note to his fans:

“I am months away still … and that’s if the writing goes well. (Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t)… I tried, I promise you. I failed. I blew the Halloween deadline, and I’ve now blown the end of the year deadline. And that almost certainly means that no, THE WINDS OF WINTER will not be published before the sixth season of GAME OF THRONES premieres in April,” Martin said in his post, which was tagged with “current mood: depressed.” Martin added: “Given where we are, inevitably, there will be certain plot twists and reveals in season six of GAME OF THRONES that have not yet happened in the books,” he said.

HBO should wait until The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin is completed.

I am a huge fan of HBO’s Game of Thrones series, like most of the world. While I cannot wait for the next season, my gut tells me that HBO should hold out and let George finish his new book. There is something inherently wrong with forging ahead while its creator is still fleshing out the final manuscript.

Am I wrong? Vote here.

HBO would say that there are millions of dollars at stake and Martin has simply not lived up to his part of the bargain. He took HBO’s money and made the deal with the devil. Is HBO supposed to be held hostage by Martin? That’s just business.

Martin has served as an advisor to the series as well as a screenwriter. While he has left those duties to fulfill his writing obligations, the series has been faithful to the books (minus a few story lines).

This all means that the series should continue to remain just as faithful even if reports suggest that Martin has told Game of Thrones showrunners how the story ends

George R. R. Martin is at a critical juncture with The Song of Fire and Ice. His latest two books in the series have not been as well received by fans as the first three, with some critics citing that Martin has lost his mojo.

This is all the more reason for book six to be a home run. By nailing his next book, the faithful will be as tied to the series as ever and the content for HBO will be that much greater. It’s a win-win. (Although it could be argued that HBO simply doesn’t care whether Martin’s books are a success going forward. The network just cares if the TV series is successful.)

Game of Thrones is definitely a market leader. It’s the most pirated show in the entire world and has a legion of diehard fans. But, by airing the next season prior to the release of book six, HBO is missing the point of the brand and is ignoring the tough questions it should be asking itself, like: No matter what side of the argument you are on, what does not waiting for George R. R. Martin to finish The Winds of Winter say about us?

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