“I don’t think [the TV series] was very good for me,” he recently told The Observer.
“The very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. Every day I sat down to write and even if I had a good day … I’d feel terrible because I’d be thinking: ‘My God, I have to finish the book. I’ve only written four pages when I should have written 40.’”
Martin added that he avoided the online reaction to the show, its critically-divisive final season spawning a petition demanding that HBO reshoot it from scratch. “I took myself out of all that,” he said, before mysteriously adding: “Some of [the theories] are right and some of [the theories] are wrong. They’ll find out when I finish.”
However, despite the criticism aimed at Thrones showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss, Martin says the TV show won’t alter his own writing. “It doesn’t change anything at all,” he said. “You can’t please everybody, so you’ve got to please yourself.”
Martin also lamented how the success of the TV show had changed his life, with fame preventing the author from enjoying his favourite hobby. “I can’t go into a bookstore any more, and that used to be my favourite thing to do in the world,” he said.
“To go in and wander from stack to stack, take down some books, read a little, leave with a big stack of things I’d never heard of when I came in. Now when I go to a bookstore, I get recognised within 10 minutes and there’s a crowd around me. So you gain a lot but you also lose things.”
Thrones fans have been waiting eight years for the next novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series to appear, with the fifth book in the saga, A Dance With Dragons, published in 2011. Martin is still yet to complete the series’ final two books – titled The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring – but has reassured fans these works are on their way.
“I’m writing. Winter is coming, I told you, long ago… and so it is. THE WINDS OF WINTER is very late, I know, I know, but it will be done,” Martin said in a blog post in May this year. “I won’t say when, I’ve tried that before, only to burn you all and jinx myself… but I will finish it, and then will come A DREAM OF SPRING.”
“How will it all end? I hear people asking,” Martin added. “The same ending as the show? Different? Well… yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes.”