Will George Martin finish and publish books 6 and 7 for Game of Thrones?

Now that the show is over, I say he won’t finish them, there is no reason for him to publish them other than a cash grab.

Nope. Doesn’t need to, doesn’t know how to, doesn’t want to.

An adult who thinks about it for more than a couple minutes should be able to think of at least five different reasons “other than a cash grab” to publish them. Here’s my own quick stab at it:

  1. Contractual obligation to publishers.

  2. Emotional commitment to pleasing fans.

  3. Dis-satisfaction with television ending.

  4. Desire to leave complete literary legacy, even if satisfied with television ending.

  5. Drumming up interest in prequel series, or even other personal literary projects, by keeping release of books in public mind.

The money doesn’t necessarily mean much to him any more, but any of those reasons might compel him to finish. Of course, there is one really big reason not to publish them:

  1. The plot got completely out of hand, which means they’re extremely hard to write.

If I had to guess, I’d say he completes Book 6 but not 7.

he said he has no deadline to write the books so contract is not an issue. He certainly can write books now , he put out that one about GOT history last year. Why did he do that one and not finish 6?

See Item 1 in the second “list”* above:

  1. The plot got completely out of hand, which means they’re extremely hard to write.
  • 2)Hi Opal!
  1. We(I) still miss you.

1b) Even before the plot got completely out of hand, Martin was a very slow writer. People were already complaining about how long the wait was for the next book at least three books ago.

  1. Who even knows how long he’s going to live? His health has never been all that great. Even if he were (for whatever personal reasons) committed to finishing them, and wrote at a normal pace, he might still not finish.

I don’t know why you act as if that is not a compelling reason.

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The best thing Martin could have done was die circa 2013 so that Brandon Sanderson could finish the series.

Let’s pretend you didn’t write the first part of that sentence, but wrt to the second - how fucked was Wheel of Time when Brandon Sanderson took up the quills? (I’ve not read it, but I think he is seen as doing a very good job with it?). Because Song of Ice and Fire is quite badly broken as we all know - there would be a queue of turd-polishers a mile long willing and able to complete the series, but I doubt any of them could make it good from this point.

A feast for crows was the tipping point - pretty bad in hindsight but if it had been followed up with something strong you could have seen it more favourably in context - GRRM moving the pieces around the chess board. A Dance with dragons was a giant stinker, though, can’t see a way back from that (IMHO).

Seems like you can’t really afford to put the pen down on these huge multi-volume epics for any substantial length of time. Like running an ultra-marathon - have a 5, 10 min break by all means but any longer and you’ll never get going again.

I was being facetious about Martin’s death, obviously. I wish him nothing but health.

As for Wheel of Time, I don’t really know how bad it got because I gave up after book 7, but I understand it got even worse, which is kind of hard to believe. That said, I dived back in after Sanderson finished it - because I love Sanderson - and even without reading the 73 books in the middle, I still found the ending excellent. If something (God forbid!) happens to Martin, I think Sanderson can fix the series. His prose isn’t as good as Martin’s, and he’ll probably cut back on the sex, but the man knows how to write a story.

He does not seem like a guy who would put out books just for a cash grab.

Seriously doubt it, but I think he should have someone ghost write them and he can edit. The material is all there in the TV show.

Not all the material. There are several characters and subplots from the books that, as I understand it, never showed up on TV.

I’ve read all five books that exist so far. I’ve never watched the show (we don’t have HBO). Nevertheless, I followed the spoilers for this last season, so I know basically what happened in each episode. I figure that’s the only ending I’m ever going to get.

I don’t think there’s any earthly possibility that the last two books will ever be published.

He’s just had the biggest, most watched book trailer ever.

Of course he’s going to finish it.

The question isn’t whether he should, the question is whether he can. I believe that due to writer’s block, an inability to untangle story lines, loss of confidence, lack of interest in the story, poor work ethic or some other reason, Martin is incapable of finishing the series, whether or not he wants to.

I think he’ll finish book 6 and die before publishing 7. AFFC and ADWD both took a long time, and he’s taking longer with 6 than for either of those, but he’s published several chapters and it seems like a lot of seasons 5 and 6 are from the unreleased book. One of the actors thought GRRM was finished and waiting for the show to end before publishing. Perhaps he was just confused to a degree. I would guess the next book is out within 2 years, but George doesn’t hold on for another 8 to finish it out.

Wheel of Time was probably more meandering than ASOIAF when Jordan died, IMO. I don’t recall which book it was (Crossroads of Twilight?), but the last one I read didn’t advance the plot at all which is remarkable for an ~800 page book.

You have to remember that* A Game of Thrones* was only Martin’s third real novel, after almost three decades of writing. Not every writer is cut out for a massive series like this one. I think the man simply bit off more than he could chew.

No, if he knew how to finish them, he would have by now. The show proves that Martin created a big, unruly mess of a plot. Martin realized it and got stuck, so he bought a movie theater and blogs about football. The writers of the show didn’t have that luxury.

I haven’t seen the show but the books ended on huge cliffhangers and I’m a little bit salty about it.

That does sound remarkable but perhaps that sort of stasis enabled Sanderson to come in and get the show (back) on the road? ie it wasn’t irretrievably bolloxed, just ran out of steam.

tbh it’s a while since I read Dance with dragons and my recollection is not so much that the whole things had gotten too big and incoherent, more that it had gotten boring - like the author wasn’t really feeling it any more. Plot had indeed spiralled out of control but in tedious ways. So maybe someone else could resurrect it with a sense of purpose, if it came down to that.

Erikson’s Malazan books are a good point of contrast - wrote like a demon for ten years, and definitely went off the reservation with the narrative arc at various points. A number of missteps but he rarely lost that energy, the whole thing was driven from start to finish.