This time last year, on January first, frantic fans of Martin were refreshing and refreshing and refreshing his NotABlog like mad, waiting for the update we knew was coming. Martin had posted the night before that he’d written one. But just as he was about to finish, LiveJournal ate it. (Sounds like my life, circa 2004.) So he was doling the updates out piecemeal. The good, the bad and ….the one we were waiting for: the ugly truth that The Winds of Winter was not coming out prior to Game of Thrones Season 6. After years of hoping he would beat the show to the finish line, Martin admitted what the rest of us had seen coming since Season 4: that the show would get there first, and reveal the rest of the major twists ahead of him.
This year has been a very different story. Up until yesterday, the last post was dated December 27th, and discussed the tragic passing of Carrie Fisher. Yesterday, Martin wrote about two of his favorite football teams, the Jets and the Giants. But he’s been silent on the subject of the book.
To quote Paste:
I’m not asking for Winds to be in my hands by any set date. I’m not even asking for a promise that it will ever be finished. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a once-yearly update from Martin, even if that update is not satisfying. In fact, I think it’s the absolute least he could do. If he churlishly refuses, for pride or any other reason, the entitlement in this relationship is his, not ours.
But if you’re only checking Martin’s blog on the New Year for a specific update, then you’re missing most of the joy of reading Martin’s writing. And as we all can attest here at WiC, Martin gives tons of updates regularly. No, he doesn’t write a post entitled “The Winds of Winter: STILL NOT DONE, PEOPLE.” He doesn’t have to.
Instead, he slides the references in. Going back through the last month or so, Martin has talked about things like The Mystery Knight graphic novel, the enhanced edition of A Storm of Swords, gave a lengthy interview at the Guadalajara International Book Fair a couple of weeks ago, and gave a general update regarding his schedule, all of which confirm what we still know to be true: IT’S NOT DONE YET.
What do we want? For him to drag himself into the street on the first of the year and flog himself in the public square? A blog post version of the Walk of Shame as an after-fireworks chaser? Come for Kathy Griffith making Anderson Cooper blush, stay for watching George R.R. Martin once again admitting his failures for a public audience. Perhaps in Westeros, this would fly. (Shut up, you *know* you’d watch Kathy and Anderson ring in the Westerosi new year and make inappropriate jokes about the fireworks at the former Sept of Baelor.) But in real life, we’re supposed to be just a little bit better than that. Aren’t we?
Honestly, I hope he took January 1st, 2nd and 3rd and wrote another chapter of The Winds of Winter. After all, every time he does literally *anything else*, including write posts on his blog, that’s what people say he should be doing, right? Now here he is not writing on his blog, and we complain about that too?
The man cannot win. (Just like the Jets.) For heaven’s sake, y’all. Leave George R.R. Martin alone.