Wednesday, July 29, was a sad yet unsurprising day for Game of Thrones fans, as author George R.R. Martin missed his most recent self-imposed, half-joking deadline to complete the next book in the series. Martin is vague about his writing process these days due to the overwhelming fan outcry about the wait between albums, but last year he vowed to have The Winds of Winter ready for this date. If he didn't, he permitted fans to "imprison" him.
Many fans were ready to take Martin up on his offer to imprison him and force him to work on the next book in his series, A Song of Ice and Fire. However, the conversation walked a precarious line between joking and not joking, especially when it comes to calling out Martin personally. Martin has been honest and vulnerable with fans in admitting that writing his books while they were made into a sensational TV show at the same time was difficult, and creatively draining. Some have taken to defending Martin from any perceived sleight, wanting to foster a conducive mindset for him to work in.
lots of time to write in jail https://t.co/X7RbdumVuk— Emmett Booth (@PoorQuentyn) July 29, 2020
There was also the fact that this half-serious "deadline" was conditional. Martin established it back in May of 2019 when he announced that he would be the toastmaster of the 2020 World Science Fiction Convention. Of course, back then, the convention was meant to take place in person, and Martin was expected to travel to New Zealand to attend, so technically, he only permitted fans to imprison him there.
"But I tell you this — if I don't have THE WINDS OF WINTER in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon, 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," he wrote on his blog at the time. Just so long as the acrid fumes do not screw up my old DOS word processor, I'll be fine."
In more recent blog posts, Martin has admonished fans who took this deadline too seriously. He also confirmed that the coronavirus pandemic has actually helped his writing process move more consistently, saying that he is still working steadily on The Winds of Winter.
Martin will host WorldCon virtually via video chat this weekend — assuming no crazed fans try to imprison him literally. In the meantime, here's a look at the winding, self-referential torrent of jokes about Martin's self-imposed jail time on Wednesday.
Previous False Alarms
remember in november 2018 when grrm tweeted he was gonna be on the colbert show and added a winky face to it and we all thought he was gonna announce twow release date LMFAOOOO— cori ✿ (@jinsoulposting) July 29, 2020
All in Good Fun
NotABlog is also NotAContract.
(In case you wanted our NotALegalOpinion).
p.s. GRRM has been on writing roll, please don’t be an ass and use today to spread bad vibes. https://t.co/gRoLOoACZy— LearnedHandsPod (@LearnedHandsPod) July 29, 2020
abolition vs TWOW idk guys https://t.co/gOh4B9ICq8— Yezen (@YezenIRL) July 29, 2020
I'm looking forward to the prison abolition debate re-sorting itself based upon whether or not you liked the FeastDance— Don Zeko (@Don_Zeko) July 29, 2020
I saw this story and my first thought is that some loonbag fan of his might try and do something crazy having seen this. I hope and pray I'm wrong.— Michael Hantsch (@MikeHantsch) July 29, 2020
Fans in Jail
Not if nerds in jail get him. He'll be "for the watch'd" worse than Ol' Jonny— JBK (@JBKruschack) July 29, 2020
Jon Snow will warg into Ghost to live and Sansa will push Littlefinger into the moon door and rule the vale sorry— Jungkook le punk à chiens (@Eli_Gallifrey) July 29, 2020
I respect GRRM’s dedication to never finishing his WIPs, a true writer. https://t.co/0qR3WR6EuI— Grantomon the DigiDork (@grantthethief) July 29, 2020
I have imprisoned GRRM. pic.twitter.com/HElgBHh7id— Baron Zephyr (@StepOnMeMakima) July 29, 2020
arriving at grrm's house today pic.twitter.com/Wv556GnP8C— qi'hedna (@blue___leader) July 29, 2020
grrm today pic.twitter.com/A7WR1g9gyR— amber (abby’s wife) (@fireIordazvla) July 29, 2020
GRRM today: pic.twitter.com/REhixlH60L— i bless the rains down in castamere (@Chinchillazllla) July 29, 2020
GRRM: Okay fine you can lock me away, but so help god if you do I will write the books to play out exactly like the HBO show. Exactly like the show. Ed Sheeran will have a cameo. Don't think I won't do it you little bastards https://t.co/5h7VUxI0FM— (((Kung Fu Canuck))) (@kungfu_canuck) July 29, 2020