Game of Thrones: George RR Martin ‘throws a lot away’ – Winds of Winter delay explained?

Speaking in an interview back when previous A Song of Ice and Fire novel A Dance with Dragons was released, he opened up about how his self-editing process often involves doing away with vast swathes of his writing.

Now, eight years on and without any sign of next book The Winds of Winter, could this explain why it’s taking so long?

Given the huge pressure from fans, and the complexity of the world he’s created, it would certainly be understandable.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about “[throwing] a lot away”, George RR Martin said: “I do. Maybe more than I should, especially with these books, especially as we go deeper.

“I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older, or the series is getting more complicated.”

He added: “I think I’ve been influenced by my own good reviews. I’ve had so many people say this is the greatest fantasy since Tolkien or even greater.

“It’s awoken in me a desire not to blow it.”

Interestingly, in the same 2011 interview he also opened up about other difficulties in threading the story together.

“The biggest thing I’m wresting with is the chronology,” he mused.

“When I set out with the young characters it was my intention that the kids grow up during the series.

“And I thought I’d have a chapter. And the the next chapter would be a month later. Then the next would be two months after that. And by the end of the book a year will have passed.

“But it doesn’t make sense that a character will take two months to respond to something that happens. So you wind up writing the whole book and very little time has passed.”

Martin has said that he hopes to have The Winds of Winter finally on shelves by summer 2020.

In the meantime, he’ll be in London in August for a special talk, and is due to pick up a huge honour in New Jersey.

Attention on his literary works has picked up since the TV series ended last month, to a hugely divided reception.

Lena Headey, who played Cersei Lannister, has a new film out in the UK this week.

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