Speculation has swirled online throughout the airing of Season Eight after the actor who played Barristan Selmy in the adaptation made a jaw-dropping claim about Martin at a Russian fan convention.
Ian McElhinney claimed on April 29 that: “George has already written books six and seven … but he struck an agreement with David and Dan, the showrunners, that he would not publish the final two books until the series has completed.”
He made the statement before an audience and on camera at EPIC Con 2019 in Saint Petersburg.
Martin’s last book A Dance With Dragons was released in 2011, it was the fifth in the series.
Fans have long anticipated book six and seven — The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.
“No, THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING are not finished. DREAM is not even begun; I am not going to start writing volume seven until I finish volume six
It seems absurd to me that I need to state this,” he wrote on May 13, under a post titled ‘Idiocy of the internet’.
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“It boggles me that anyone would believe this story, even for an instant. It makes not a whit of sense. Why would I sit for years on completed novels? Why would my publishers — not just here in the US, but all around the world — ever consent to this? They make millions and millions of dollars every time a new Ice & Fire book comes out, as do I. Delaying makes no sense.”
He also addressed claims HBO and the show runners wanted the books delayed until the final TV series wrapped up.
“Why would HBO want the books delayed? The books help create interest in the show, just as the show creates interest in the books. So … no, the books are not done. HBO did not ask me to delay them. Nor did David & Dan. There is no “deal” to hold back on the books. I assure you, HBO and David & Dan would both have been thrilled and delighted if THE WINDS OF WINTER had been delivered and published four or five years ago … and NO ONE would have been more delighted than me.”
In a follow up post the author also shot down more “loony stories” that claimed he disliked the character Bronn and actor Jerome Flynn’s portrayal of him in the series.
“Total bullsh*t. Not a shred of truth. I created Bronn, so it would be immodest of me to say he’s a terrific character … but what the hell, he’s a terrific character, and my readers will definitely be seeing more of him in the books to come. And Jerome Flynn has been just WONDERFUL. It’s been a honour to work with him. He’s done a marvellous job of bringing Bronn to life.”
Martin’s scathing reaction comes as fans offered a mix reception to the TV series end. Some have expressed their disappointment at the turn of events in the final episodes.