George R.R. Martin Denies ‘Thrones’ Books Are Finished and Waiting for Release After Show Ends

"Thrones" actor Ian McElhinney caused a stir when he said Martin had already completed the last two "Thrones" novels.
George R.R. Martin
George R.R. Martin
Anatoly Maltsev/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

George R.R. Martin took to his official blog Monday night to deny a recent claim made by “Game of Thrones” actor Ian McElhinney that the author had finished the final two books in his fantasy novel series and was waiting for the HBO series to end before releasing them to the public. McElhinney, who starred as Ser Barristan Selmy on “Thrones,” made the claim at Epic Con 2019, a video from which was widely circulated on social media May 13.

“I don’t know if you know more than me about this, but what I’ve been told is that George has already written book six and seven, and far as he is concerned there are only seven books,” McElhinney said. “But he struck an agreement with [showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] that he would not publish the final two books until the series is completed. So, all goes well, in another month or two, we might get book six and seven.”

Martin has famously struggled to complete the next two novels in his “Thrones” literary series. The show surpassed his books starting in Season 6. “A Dance With Dragons,” the fifth and most recent book, was published in 2011. For this reason, news that the two sequels “The Winds of Winter” and “A Dream of Spring” were possibly done and ready for release excited book readers. Martin, however, called McElhinney’s quote a “crazy story” that is simply untrue.

“It boggles me that anyone would believe this story, even for an instant,” Martin wrote. “It makes not a whit of sense. Why would I sit for years on completed novels? I will, however, say for the record — no, ‘The Winds of Winter’ and ‘A Dream of Spring’ are not finished. ‘Dream’ is not even begun; I am not going to start writing volume seven until I finish volume six.”

Martin continued, “No, the books are not done. HBO did not ask me to delay them. Nor did David and David. There is no ‘deal’ to hold back on the books.”

The author has expressed disappointment with himself that he was not able to complete his novels before the HBO series came to an end. “Thrones” is airing its series finale on Sunday at 9pm ET. While Martin’s next two novels will include some overlap with the direction the HBO series went in Season 6-8, the author has promised surprises are in store as the books have always included more story than the series.

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