George RR Martin says the success of Game of Thrones has made it hard to finish next novel The Winds of Winter

The bestselling author says that the popularity of the TV adaptation has been “a considerable weight to bear”

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17:  70th ANNUAL PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS -- Pictured: Writer George R. R. Martin arrives to the 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018.  NUP_184216  (Photo by Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Author George RR Martin has opened up on the pressure he’s felt about writing his book the Winds of Winter, the long-awaited next chapter in the bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire saga that smash-hit TV series Game of Thrones was adapted from.

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Describing the success of the TV series as a “considerable weight to bear” when trying to end his own saga, Martin admitted that he was “struggling” to get in the right mindset to write the book, which fans have impatiently been demanding since his last release (A Dance of Dragons) in 2011.

“I’ve been struggling with it for a few years,” Martin told the Guardian in a new interview.

“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, antagonists, allies and lovers around them, and all of these weaving together against the march of time in an extremely complex fashion. So it’s very, very challenging.”

And Martin also noted that the success of Game of Thrones on TV was also making him feel a pressure for the print version to measure up – especially given that the HBO series overtook his own novels (using plot details he’d provided to the showrunners) in 2016.

“The show has achieved such popularity around the world, the books have been so popular and so well reviewed, that every time I sit down I’m very conscious I have to do something great, and trying to do something great is a considerable weight to bear,” Martin said.

“On the other hand, once I really get rolling, I get into the world. The rest of the world vanishes, and I don’t care what I’m having for dinner, what movies are on, what my email says or who’s mad at me this week because The Winds of Winter isn’t out – all that is gone and I’m just living in the world I’m writing about.

“But it’s sometimes hard to get to that almost trance state,” he concluded.

In other words, we should probably all give George RR Martin a bit of a break when it comes to finishing his next book, and remember – we’re unlikely to be short of any Game of Thrones-related content going forward even if The Winds of Winter takes ANOTHER seven years to arrive…

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Game of Thrones returns to Sky Atlantic and HBO in spring 2019