George R.R. Martin Paints Grim Picture for 'Game of Thrones' Fans in Heart-Wrenching Blog Update

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin shared an update on his blog Tuesday, with a message to fans explaining why he has fallen "hugely behind" on some projects. While there has been good news in his life, like the recent overall deal he signed with HBO to develop new Game of Thrones shows, he has faced difficult challenges in the past few months. Six of his friends have died since November, and a seventh is in the hospital.

At the start of the column, Martin reflected on why he started publishing his "Not a Blog," and how he was behind on a book at that time. "Somehow, though, over the decades, the 'Not A Blog' became a blog, and what I had intended as [an] occasional pleasure and a way to stay in touch with my readers has become a Blog (ironically, at the same time as everyone else was abandoning their blogs for Facebook and Twitter), complete with a sense of obligation. And when a lot of stuff happens very fast, I fall further and further behind," Martin wrote. He then added that he is "hugely behind right now" and trying to catch up is "feeling increasingly oppressive."

The 72-year-old author noted that his life has been filled with "extremes" in recent months. "Some days I do not know whether to laugh or cry, to shoot off fireworks and dance in the streets or crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head," he wrote. There have been some great achievements like the "very exciting" deal with HBO. However, Martin has also seen six friends die since November and only a couple of them from the coronavirus. Another friend is recovering from surgery, "at least we hope he is recovering," he wrote.

"Honestly, it is hard to dance in the streets even for the deal of a lifetime when another loved one dies every two/ three weeks, and that has been going on for me since November when my longtime editor Kay McCauley passed away," Martin wrote. "There’s lots more going on as well. Meow Wolf stuff. Railroad stuff. Beastly Books has reopened, but the JCC is still shuttered. The Jets traded Sam Darnold away. I am going to be leaving my cabin in a couple of months. I am close to delivering PAIRING UP, a brand new Wild Cards book."

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Martin's fans have been waiting for the sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire saga since 2011, but the author has been focused on other projects, including television shows and other books he's written in the Westeros world he created. In a February "Not a Blog" post, Martin revealed that he wrote "hundreds and hundreds of pages" of The Winds of Winter, and said he hoped to finish it in 2021. However, he refused to predict when he will finish because "every time I do, a—holes on the internet take that as a 'promise,' and then wait eagerly to crucify me when I miss the deadline. All I will say is that I am hopeful."

In late March, Martin renewed his overall deal with HBO for the next five years. The network is now working on the Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon, and there are several other rumored projects in the works. House of the Dragon will be the first Game of Thrones successor series to air when it debuts in 2022.