Game of Thrones fans have a love-hate relationship with George R.R. Martin. On the one hand, he created the world that has enslaved the hearts and minds of TV viewers everywhere. (He also can’t be fully faulted with the divisive final season.) On the other, he’s been a touch slow to finish his long-promised final two novels in his Song of Ice and Fire cycle. Some people get angry when they even see pictures of him at parties or enjoying life. Others go so far as to worry he may get sick or die before finishing his masterpiece.
Martin knows you may be thinking this. On his most recent blog — again, more time not spent writing The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring! — he wrote of a very generous offer: New Zealand Air has invited him to the corner of the planet to finish his books. The Winds of Winter at least.
Martin turned them down, in his droll way, thanking them for their generosity but telling them, “I fear that New Zealand would distract me entirely too much. Best leave me here in Westeros for the nonce.” He asked them to instead extend the offer to other, more cash-strapped authors. “If you’d care to fly, say, twenty or thirty or fifty of them to Wellington in place of me,” Martin wrote. “I have no doubt they would instantly accept, and fall in love with Middle Earth.. er, New Zealand… just as I have.”
One thing, though: Martin says he is due New Zealand-way, but not till 2020. That’s when he’ll be in Wellington for the age-old World Science Fiction Convention, where he’ll serve as Toastmaster for the Hugo Awards. It was then that he offered this ultimatum:
“I tell you this,” Martin 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. Just so long as the acrid fumes do not screw up my old DOS word processor, I’ll be fine.”
Will Martin escape semi-self-imposed imprisonment? Would imprisonment even cure what could be a case of old-fashioned writer’s block? Will the world even be by Summer 2020? Hopefully this will have a less controversial ending than the Game of Thrones TV show.