We’re Out of Luck if George RR Martin Dies Before Finishing A Song of Ice and Fire

2011 Winter TCA Tour - Day 3

There are two factors that worry fans of George RR Martin and his Song of Ice and Fire series. One, he takes forever to write the books. Second, at age 65, he’s not exactly the picture of health and fitness. It would be sad enough if he died for obvious reasons, but even sadder if he did so before finishing his beloved fantasy series. And he wouldn’t let anyone step in and finish it, according to a recent interview.

“I don’t think my wife, if she survives me, will allow that [others writing in Westeros] either. But one thing that history has shown us is eventually these literary rights pass to grandchildren or collateral descendents, or people who didn’t actually know the writer and don’t care about his wishes. It’s just a cash cow to them. And then we get abominations to my mind like Scarlett, the Gone with the Wind sequel.”

I can understand not trusting another writer with your series. As painful as it would be, it would probably be better to let it be a mystery than have it keep going. I do remember him saying that he told the creators of HBO’s Game of Thrones how the series is supposed to end in case he dies.

He goes on to talk about how he likes what the Tolkein estate did with his work:

“I’ve always admired [J.R.R.] Tolkien and his immense influence on fantasy. [And] although I’ve never met the man, I admire Christopher Tolkien, his son, who has been the guardian of Tolkien’s estate who has never allowed that. I’m sure there are publishers waiting in the wings with giant bags of money just waiting for someone to say ‘yes, go ahead, let’s write Sauron Strikes Back’.”

Write fast George, please. Also eat healthy and exercise. We love you.

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  1. He could easily do something similar to what Robert Jordan did with the Wheel of Time series, where when he knew he was terminal he and his wife worked together to find another author that they felt suitable to finish his series. Following Jordans’ death, Brandon Sanderson stepped in and completed the series.

    It doesn’t have to be viewed as a cash cow, but instead how about showing some loyalty to the people who have filled GRRR Martins wallet and bringing an end to the series that some people have been reading for over 20 years.

    1. i agree with your point about the fans.
      while i certainly don’t think a writers has to always do everything his fans want him to, and that some fans are little cry-babies, it would not be nice to kinda give your fans the middle finger: i’m dead, i don’t care that you would appreciate some closure to those books you’ve invested time and money in.

  2. The last report has him in good health so God forbid anything happen to him for our own selfish reasons. He has told the writers how to end the TV show so we at least have that.

  3. This is probably mean, but the way GRRM destroys his fans by killing of the most loved characters, it wouldn’t surprise me if he dies before finishing the series. It almost seems inevitable.

  4. tastes differ i suppose. i liked scarlett. liked that it was its own story instead of a bunch of flasbacks to gone with the wind. that the characters had changed and matured.

    as for gmmr: another lesson he might take from tolkien is that tolkien’s son published some of his father’s stuff postmortem. it helps to keep the predators at bay if you can offer a ‘cannon story’ as an alternative to the watered down cash-grab.
    while it must be hard for any writer to think about ‘giving up their baby’ thinking about ‘hm, which writer would i potentially trust to finish my books’ will prevent the property from falling into the hands of what Hollywood-executives consider ‘good writers’

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