While the tale of the Iron Throne is nearing its end on TV, the next novel in George R.R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire series is still further than the eye can see.
In an interview with The Guardian, Martin spoke about Fire and Blood (a Targaryen family history set to publish on November 20), in which he also admitted he’s been “struggling” to finish The Winds of Winter. Given the show’s enormous popularity, there’s certainly a feeling in Martin that he must do something great. In short, the pressure’s on.
“I’ve been struggling with it for a few years,” Martin said. “The Winds of Winter is not so much a novel as a dozen novels, each with a different protagonist, each having a different cast of supporting players and antagonists and allies and lovers around them, and all of these weaving together in an extremely complex fashion. So it’s very, very challenging. Fire and Blood by contrast was very simple. Not that it’s easy, it still took me years to put together, but it is easier.”
For Game of Thrones geeks eager for Martin’s next work, the admission is frustrating. But at the same time, it’s a massive undertaking that fans must understand. Martin’s plotting isn’t your average story. It’s is a well choreographed dance that takes years to put together, especially without the help of a writer’s room.
It’s not clear when The Winds of Winter will come out, but it’s probably best for long-suffering fans to give Martin the time he needs to get it right. In the meantime, they can enjoy the final season of Game of Thrones on television, which will return to HBO sometime next year.