George R.R. Martin Says Game of Thrones Ending Was Freeing as a Writer

George RR Martin.
Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Writing a fantasy epic is hard. Writing a fantasy epic while also competing with a television show that adapts said epic, and will finish before you? Apparently that’s way harder.

At least, that’s the impression I get from an interview George RR Martin recently gave to the Guardian. In it, he talks about the pressure of creating while an adaptation of his work is ongoing.

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“There were a couple of years where, if I could have finished the book, I could have stayed ahead of the show for another couple of years, and the stress was enormous, “he explained. “I don’t think it was very good for me, because the very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. Every day I sat down to write and even if I had a good day— and a good day for me is three or four pages— I’d feel terrible because I’d be thinking: ‘My God, I have to finish the book. I’ve only written four pages when I should have written 40.’ But having the show finish is freeing, because I’m at my own pace now. I have good days and I have bad days and the stress is far less, although it’s still there… I’m sure that when I finish A Dream of Spring you’ll have to tether me to the Earth.”

He then went on to reiterate that the mixed reception to the show’s finale won’t affect his own take on the material, and he clearly doesn’t seem interested in discussing the show all that much at all. Which makes sense, as he still has books to write, shows to produce, and prequel materials to oversee.

But, like, did he enjoy the finale himself, though? When asked about whether he’d watched it, he replied, “We shouldn’t talk about that.” Fair enough.

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About the author

Julie Muncy

io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.