author: ruben deason | contributor
Furthermore, as George R.R. Martin himself posted on his LiveJournal: “the harder I work, the further behind I get.”
Surely, this information can’t be considered news to the millions of fans of all things Westerosi – who, like myself, received a message delivered by a raven heralding a very specific date. On July 16, nerds everywhere will be rewarded for their trials of slugging it through another year with a new season of Game of Thrones. It truly seems like a blessing – as soon as the summer sun shines upon us, we’re flung right back into the World of Ice and Fire, awaiting the devastation of dragons and the march of the legions of the dead as the White Walkers descend upon Westeros, more divided now than ever before.
To those who are a few levels less nerdy than I – which I estimate this to be a sizeable portion of the population – another season of one of the world’s most popular (and most pirated) shows is soon to be upon us, and the network executives at HBO are preparing to rake in the profits just as fans worldwide are bracing for its arrival.
But in all the excitement of seeing action of such unimaginable scale take place on the small screen, it can almost be forgotten how the entirety of the Game of Thrones series, from Jon Snow to Daenerys Targaryen, is based upon the critically-acclaimed series of A Song of Ice and Fire, penned by George R.R. Martin.
The reason why it’s so easy to forget this is because Martin has consistently proven himself to be among the world’s slowest writers. Thus, the life of a fan of the book series is a frustrating one, and if you look around enough, you might just be able to find a fan of the series that was hooked ever since the first novel was published back in 1996.
His book series, which was initially planned to be a trilogy, has since been expanded into a planned seven books, the most recent of which, A Dance with Dragons, was released in 2011. Since then, the Game of Thrones television series has rapidly eclipsed the books not only in terms of the audience reached, but in terms of the plot laid out by George R.R. Martin beginning in 1991.
For diehard fans of the show, this isn’t exactly a problem: no longer held back by unreleased books, the show is free to speed ahead with levels of hype unattained before by almost any other television saga. For fans of the books, dire times still await, as George R.R. Martin, notorious for his stagnant pace, has shown no sign of completing the next book in his series anytime soon, nor given any hint as to when the last one in the series shall be completed.
Furthermore, as George R.R. Martin himself posted on his LiveJournal, “the harder I work, the further behind I get.”
Now, of course, his books are his own personal projects, of which he’s poured his heart and soul (and absorbed many souls of its readers, who are continuously devastated by the deaths of their favourite characters); and, of course, the man should be allowed and encouraged to pursue all other projects that interest him.
That being said, it’s hard to not sympathize with the fans of the books, who have very little choice between either watching the show and being spoiled or retreating into their bomb shelters and waiting for news from the outside world that it’s safe to come out and head to Chapters.
It took James Joyce seven years to pen his seminal work, Ulysses, which clocks in at 265,000 words. The very first, and very shortest, of all George’s works, registers at 284,000, and altogether, almost two million words make up the world of Ice and Fire as recounted by George R.R. Martin.
If you don’t have the patience to wait for, let alone to read, the writings of old George, it’s heavily advised to binge-watch now, and be as caught up as everyone else for the arrival of the newest season. Hell has a greater chance at freezing over than the World of Ice and Fire – at least, in literary form.