George R.R. Martin is giving a specific update on his Winds of Winter progress.
The Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon author was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday, where he was asked the mandatory, yet wearisome, question about his progress on the long-long-awaited next A Song of Ice and Fire book.
“I think it’s going to be a very big book [more than 1500 pages] and I think I’m about three-quarters of the way done,” Martin said. “The characters all interweave and I’m actually finished with a couple of the characters, but not others. I have to finish all that weaving.”
Colbert did the math. “So [it’s taken] 10 years to go 75 percent of the way through … which means about … three more years?”
“That’s depressing,” Martin replied, and also lamented that the moment he finishes, he’ll get the first tweet asking when his seventh and final ASOIAF book is coming, A Dream of Spring. The author said he hasn’t even played his hit game, Elden Ring, due to his writing commitment.
Martin’s last ASOIAF novel, A Dance with Dragons, was released in 2011 — the year HBO’s Game of Thrones debuted. (House of the Dragon just aired its season one finale.)
Asked if by Colbert if he’s an optimist or a pessimist, Martin said, “Lately I’m becoming more and more pessimistic … we were worried about nuclear war in the ’50s, then we stopped worrying about it and started worrying about the zombie apocalypse instead. Now nuclear is more feasible again. We may have a nuclear war … but even in some of those old [sci-fi] books, there were always good people who would get together and reinvent civilization. Optimism was still there, even if the setting was terrible. Is it still there? Can we be optimistic about climate change? What are we going to do if Putin does use nuclear bombs? What do we want to do? I wish I had a dragon I could fly to the Kremlin.”
Martin was on the show to promote his new book, The Rise of the Dragon: An Illustrated History of the Targaryen Dynasty, Volume One, which takes the core story from Fire & Blood (which is the basis for House of the Dragon) and adds illustrations. “Fire & Blood is about 300,000 words of Targaryen history,” he explained. “This one is about a quarter of that length in terms of words, but we added 150 original illustrations by some of the finest fantasy artists in the world.”
George R.R. Martin Says ‘The Winds of Winter’ Is Now Three-Quarters Finished