George RR Martin says Game of Thrones books rumour is ‘absurd’

George RR Martin has shot down a rumour that he’s been deliberately holding back the next two books in his Game of Thrones series.

Apparently Ian McElhenney, who played Ser Barriston Selmy on the TV version until season five told fans that the author has actually finished writing not just The Winds of Winter, but also A Dream of Spring.

McElhenney said David Benioff and Dan Weiss, who are the Game of Thrones showrunners, had made Martin agree to not publish his books until after the series finishes airing.

The actor is quoted as saying: “George has already written Books 6 and 7, and as far as he’s concerned there only are seven books. But he struck an agreement with David and Dan, the showrunners on the series, that he would not publish the final two books until the series has completed. So if all goes well, in another month or two we might get books 6 and 7, and I’m intrigued to know how Barristan, for instance, ends up going through those final two books. George, I talked to him during season one and he did say to me that Barristan had a very interesting journey. But unfortunately I didn’t get to play all of that, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

I’ll be honest, I have wondered myself if The Winds of Winter has been held until the end of the show.

But taking to his blog, Martin has denied the accusation.

He wrote: “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. It seems absurd to me that I need to state this. The world is round, the Earth revolves around the sun, water is wet… do I need to say that too? It boggles me that anyone would believe this story, even for an instant. It makes not a whit of sense.

“Why would I sit for years on completed novels? Why would my publishers — not just here in the US, but all around the world — ever consent to this? They make millions and millions of dollars every time a new Ice & Fire book comes out, as do I. Delaying makes no sense. Why would HBO want the books delayed? The books help create interest in the show, just as the show creates interest in the books. So… no, the books are not done. HBO did not ask me to delay them. Nor did David & Dan. There is no ‘deal’ to hold back on the books. I assure you, HBO and David & Dan would both have been thrilled and delighted if THE WINDS OF WINTER had been delivered and published four or five years ago… and NO ONE would have been more delighted than me.”

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