'Game of Thrones' Author Mourns Friends Lost to COVID

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin got his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine last week, leading him to reflect on the pandemic as a whole. In a new blog post on Monday, the writer shared the good news with his fans, but then remarked on how much bad news still outweighed it. He offered a solemn "Valar Morghulis" for all the friends he has now lost.

Martin wrote that he is "relieved to report" his inoculation with the Moderna vaccine for the novel coronavirus, which requires two doses. His second shot has been scheduled, and he wrote that his wife, Parris has also been vaccinated. He went on: "It does seem that we are finally turning the corner on the pandemic. We are not out of the woods yet, but I am cautiously hopeful."

"The bad news, of course, is that I have lost five friends since November," Martin went on. While not all of those losses were due to COVID-19, they had Martin feeling profoundly melancholy. He wrote: "Death is part of life, I know, it waits for all of us, valar morghulis and all that. Even so, this is too much too soon, and it has been hitting me hard."

Martin may have captured the mood of many readers when he wrote: "F— you, Grim Reaper. Stick that scythe up your arse and leave my loved ones alone." Finally, he finished: "Meanwhile, I do my best to lose myself in work."

The last line is a promise that Martin makes to fans in just about every blog post these days, assuring them that he is still working on The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in A Song of Ice and Fire. The series has been on hold for a decade now, but in previous blog posts, Martin has said that the social isolation of the pandemic has pushed him through his writer's block and helped him get more work done on it than he has done in years.

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Fans are hopeful that the book will show a different path for the story than was laid out in the Game of Thrones TV show. After the controversial ending, many hope that Martin will finish the book and do justice to his characters on the page, at least. Martin himself has admitted that the book ending will be different in some ways, and similar in others.

Meanwhile, Martin has plenty of other irons in the fire on the TV and movie side. In addition to producing on the Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, two of his shorter works from early in his career are now being adapted into movies. Martin is also producing other projects including some big book adaptations in the works. So far, none of his projects in any medium have a firm release date.