Fans Want to Make Good on George R.R. Martin's Offer to Imprison Him If Book 6 Wasn't Finished By This Date

If you're upset that you haven't finished writing your very own novel in quarantine yet, just know that it could always be worse. Fans are calling for A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin to be imprisoned, per the writer's blessing, as the long-awaited sixth book in the series still has yet to be released.

In a blog post on his website from May 21, 2019, the author made a deal with fans that he would finish The Winds of Winter, the latest novel in the series that inspired the blockbuster HBO show Game of Thrones, after seeing a welcoming ad from Air New Zealand. In the promo, the airline said it would fly Martin down to New Zealand for free to help inspire him to finish the novel.

While appreciating the generous offer, Martin wrote that he planned to return to New Zealand for the World Science Fiction Convention in 2020. And that's where his promise for the latest book comes up. "[I]f I don't have THE WINDS OF WINTER in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon [sic], you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I'm done. Just so long as the acrid fumes do not screw up my old DOS word processor, I'll be fine," he wrote.

Unfortunately for Martin, not even the coronavirus could delay Worldcon, which would've bought the author more time. On Wednesday, the convention kicked off, albeit virtually.

Fans on Twitter, upset that Martin has yet to release the novel despite his promise, said that it's time for him to face the music. They called for him to be locked up in order to finally finish the book.

In a blog post published on the Worldcon website on Wednesday, folks with the event noted that Martin was upset about not being able to be there in person. Still, the author offered some optimism for the fans attending virtually, telling the convention, "Socially distant in our own castles but still as one, united by our love of fantasy and science fiction."

On his own blog on Tuesday, Martin also expressed hopes that the convention would go well, but didn't address the promise he'd made more than a year earlier. The writer has continually posted updates about the book—which is the follow-up 2011's A Dance With Dragons—over the past few years; as recently as July 19, he posted that he'd written three chapters.

And back in June, Martin shared that self-isolation has led him to write for The Winds of Winter every day. He also wrote that while WorldCon going virtual was upsetting, he felt that a trip to New Zealand would hurt his momentum. He also again said that he hopes the book is finished by next year, when he hopes to revisit New Zealand.

While fans clamor for more Game of Thrones content more than a year after the series' finale, Martin's posts regarding his persistence are reassuring that they may someday actually receive the book.

Martin's agent and manager did not respond to Newsweek's emailed request for comment in time for publication. Bantam, Martin's publisher, did not respond to Newsweek's emailed request for comment in time for publication.

George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin attends the LA Special Screening of Fox Searchlight Pictures' "Tolkien" at Regency Village Theatre on May 08, 2019 in Westwood, California. Getty/Amy Sussman
Fans Want to Make Good on George R.R. Martin's Offer to Imprison Him If Book 6 Wasn't Finished By This Date | Culture