Plenty of people were disappointed, sad, and some even downright angry at the end of the Game of Thrones television series. A common statement both from and toward those people is to wait for the ending George R.R. Martin chooses to deliver in his books. But things aren’t really looking that great for us ever to see the end of a Song of Ice and Fire. Here’s why:
The time between the releases of the books has been steadily increasing with the last two installments. There were only two years between A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. Likewise, there were only two years between A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. But then things start to slow down. A Feast for Crows was released five years after A Storm of Swords and A Dance with Dragons was released six years after A Feast for Crows.
It has now been eight years since A Dance with Dragons was released and Martin has said he isn’t finished writing the next installment, The Winds of Winter. Even if he finishes writing the book this year, we won’t see a release until next year at the earliest. That’s nine years. And then there’s at least one more book after that.
But besides the mainline books, Martin has been releasing side stories. World of Ice and Fire, an encyclopedia of sorts about the history of the world, was released in 2014. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, the story of Ser Duncan the Tall, was released in 2015. And Fire and Blood, the history of the Targaryen house was released in 2018. But there’s also a second volume of Fire and Blood on the way eventually.
And those are just books. Martin is also involved in writing the prequel television series that has just started filming and is involved in completely different projects, like The Elden Ring game that was revealed at this year’s E3.
All of these side projects are no doubt taking away Martin’s focus and stealing what may be precious time to finish the mainline story of a Song of Ice and Fire. Martin is 70 years old. And while I wish him a very long life, his age is definitely a factor here. Unless he breaks into a Stephen King-like writing pace, I seriously doubt he will finish this story before dies. So the end of the television series might possibly be the only ending we actually get.