Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin dropping the next book in his A Song of Ice and Fire series right about now would certainly be a welcome respite from what's going on in the world for his legion of fans. And while it looks like the release date for The Winds of Winter is still pretty much up in the air, the New Jersey native swears that he's actively writing while self-isolating himself.
As CNET reports, the Emmy winner took to his blog this week to update fans on his health amid the coronavirus crisis, assuring everyone that he's doing just fine. After explaining that his theater, the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and his nonprofit organization, Stagecoach Foundation, are shutting down, he then wrote:
"For those of you who may be concerned for me personally … yes, I am aware that I am very much in the most vulnerable population, given my age and physical condition. But I feel fine at the moment, and we are taking all sensible precautions. I am off by myself in a remote isolated location, attended by one of my staff, and I’m not going in to town or seeing anyone."
Martin then revealed he's kept busy working on what we can only assume is The Winds of Winter, adding, "Truth be told, I am spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day. Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms … but maybe not as grim as they may become here."
The last major update we heard from Martin in regards to the forthcoming sixth book in his fantasy series was back in May 2019, when he promised he would have The Winds of Winter finished by the World Science Fiction Convention, which is set to take place this summer. "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."
With nearly everyone forced to self-quarantine during this pandemic, maybe one good thing will come out of it. Maybe, just maybe, Martin will keep his word and release The Winds of Winter in the coming months. After all, he really has no excuse now. And history is full of examples of other artists who have thrived when forced into isolation, from William Shakespeare to Sir Isaac Newton.