George R.R. Martin keeps himself pretty goddamn busy. The guy's penned dozens of books over the past few decades and single-handedly spawned one of the biggest TV franchises of all time. He currently has his hands in HBO's upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series, a new sci-fi show based on his novel Nightflyers, and not one but two other shows based on his Wild Cards franchise for Hulu. On top of all of that, he also managed to find time to crank out a massive tome detailing hundreds of years of Targaryen rule in Westeros called Fire & Blood.
All these creative endeavors aside, though, there's one project that Martin still hasn't been able to finish: The Winds of Winter. The sixth and penultimate novel in his Song of Ice and Fire series missed its initial end-of-2015 deadline, then the promised 2017 completion date, and now it's definitely not coming out this year, either.
But worry not, everybody—George R.R. Martin is going to finish Winds of Winter, goddammit, and he's apparently locking himself up in a far-flung cabin until he does.
According to a new interview with Martin in the Wall Street Journal, the author is currently "in hiding" in a "remote mountain hideaway whose location he refuses to disclose " in order to finally— finally!—get the novel done. "It’s a cabin he visits when he wants to hunker down to finish a book," the article continues, "and he’s hard at work on The Winds of Winter."
Now, to be fair, it's not like Martin just hasn't put time into the book until now—he's been reportedly cranking out pages consistently for the past few years, but it just hasn't clicked. "You can blame my travels or my blog posts or the distractions of other projects and the Cocteau and whatever, but maybe all that had an impact," he wrote in a 2016 blog about the book's progress. "You can blame my age, and maybe that had an impact too... but if truth be told, sometimes the writing goes well and sometimes it doesn't, and that was true for me even when I was in my 20s."
"I know there are a lot of people out there who are very angry with me that Winds of Winter isn’t finished. And I’m mad about that myself. I wished I finished it four years ago," Martin said in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. "I wished it was finished now. But it’s not. And I’ve had dark nights of the soul where I’ve pounded my head against the keyboard and said, 'God, will I ever finish this? The show is going further and further forward and I’m falling further and further behind. What the hell is happening here? I’ve got to do this.'"
It's unclear if locking himself in a secret cabin is actually the thing Martin needs to finish the book once and for all, but let's hope he's doing more than just banging his head against his keyboard while he's there. Regardless, the last season of Game of Thrones is finally due out in April, so at least we'll be catching up with everyone back in Westeros sooner rather than later.
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