Fans of A Song Of Ice And Fire—the books on which the popular HBO drama Game of Thrones are based—have a lot of theories. Some are about Jon Snow’s true parentage; some are about whether Brandon Stark ate his friend Jojen Reed; some are about whether Tyrion Lannister is the product of Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo having conceived a time-traveling fetus; some of the craziest ones involve author George R.R. Martin publishing The Winds of Winter, the highly-anticipated next book in the acclaimed fantasy series. Here’s a theory: he never will!
If you want to go down the rabbithole on this, you’ll find lots of opinions, with some people even offering statistical analysis projecting when he’ll turn pages in to his editors. A credible alternate analysis? This dude has no pages to turn in. Since the 2000 publication of A Storm of Swords, the well-received third book in his series, he’s published one (great) sort-of book, split into two volumes, that wasn’t even close to being finished, and spent a lot of time being a famous person enjoying life. In the four years from 1996 to 2000 he published three books; in the 15 years since he’s published part of one. People have been waiting to read his new pages since the last ones came out almost four years ago, this theory argues, because there are no new pages.
Leaving aside that this dude has put out one unfinished book since the Clinton presidency, there are a few points in favor of the theory that he’s published no pages over the past several years because he has none to publish. First, the only pages he’s known to have actually given his editors since the publication of his most recent book appear to have just been around 150 pages that didn’t fit into that book; second, the man is 67 years old, not an age where people can usually be expected to put out a lot of pages; third, he seems to spend a lot of time not writing, which is fair enough; fourth, whatever pages he does or doesn’t have have to deal with literally dozens of nonsensical plot lines, most of which are extremely complex and involve open questions that any reasonable person couldn’t be assed to answer, so that if the dude has any sense, he probably is saying or has said, “Ah, fuck it!”
All ASOIAF fans have their own theories. I know really sharp people who strongly suspect that this dude has thousands of pages and is trolling HBO and the public by sitting on them. I know equally sharp people who think that this promotional image of Brandon Stark riding a donkey released by the producers of the hit Game of Thrones series, the plot lines of which have by now advanced past those in the books, so that show teasers also tease future book developments, may imply that he’s using the psychic powers he’s gained by becoming a tree to travel through the past to impregnate his aunt Lyanna with his own cousin-brother Jon, thus ensuring that he will eventually be able to become a tree and so psychic and so able to fight ice zombies:
Doesn’t look a day under 35. Photo via HBO.
What all people with theories can agree on is that this dude is old and rich, appears to really like traveling and writing takes about the New York Giants and science fiction awards and doing other things that aren’t writing new books in his famous ASOIAF series, and hasn’t published a finished book in that series this millennium. None of this suggests more books are coming our way. It would be great if this dude gave us some pages that explained whether or not Jon Snow and Stannis Baratheon are dead, whether Aegon Targaryen is or isn’t a fake, etc. etc., but he can only do so if he has those pages, which he probably doesn’t. Pages will turn up eventually, at which point people will have theories about whether he actually wrote them—one credible theory will be no, because he never had any pages—but either way the question of whether Bran traveled through time to bone his own aunt will have been (sort of) resolved, and what more do you want than that?
If you have evidence that George R.R. Martin has pages, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org; photo via Getty