George R.R. Martin gives update on 'Winds of Winter,' says 'Game of Thrones' makes it harder for him to write

As fans eagerly await the eighth and final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” the author of the book series for which it’s based on is struggling to meet the high demand put on him by the show’s success, as well as the complexity of his own story.

George R.R. Martin, the author of the “Song of Ice and Fire” series, was featured in an interview with The Guardian in which he described the ever-growing pressure for him to finish the sixth of seven awaited books in the franchise. The 70-year-old writer updated fans on its progress and mentioned how the story’s TV success has gotten in the way of his ability to finish “Winds of Winter.

“The show has achieved such popularity around the world, the books have been so popular and so well reviewed, that every time I sit down I’m very conscious I have to do something great, and trying to do something great is a considerable weight to bear,” Martin said. “On the other hand, once I really get rolling, I get into the world. The rest of the world vanishes, and I don’t care what I’m having for dinner, what movies are on, what my email says or who’s mad at me this week because The Winds of Winter isn’t out – all that is gone and I’m just living in the world I’m writing about. But it’s sometimes hard to get to that almost trance state.”

As previously reported, Martin is notorious for his slow writing pace. The fifth book in the series was released in 2011, shortly after the premiere of “Game of Thrones.” Since then, the writer cannot appear in public without fans and critics alike chastising him for not being at home writing “Winds of Winter.” Further adding to the frustration, Martin’s most recent work has been on “Fire and Blood,” a history of the fictional world in which the series is based.

However, the author noted that getting into the world of “Game of Thrones” is not difficult for him, keeping track of its ever-growing nature, on the other hand, is.

“I’ve been struggling with it for a few years,” he told the outlet. “The Winds of Winter is not so much a novel as a dozen novels, each with a different protagonist, each having a different cast of supporting players, antagonists, allies and lovers around them, and all of these weaving together against the march of time in an extremely complex fashion. So it’s very, very challenging. Fire and Blood by contrast was very simple. Not that it’s easy – it still took me years to put together – but it is easier.”

Fortunately for eager fans, he confirmed that the next item on his to-do list is “Winds of Winter.” After that, only “A Dream of Spring” stands between him and the completion of one of the most highly sought-after book series ever.

Meanwhile, “Game of Thrones” will wrap up the story based on the structure that Martin laid out for series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss back in Season 6, when the show officially outpaced Martin’s stories for the first time.