What if George RR Martin dies before finishing Winds of Winter? Plans for book in event of his death revealed

George RR Martin’s plans for Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring in the event of author’s death revealed
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George RR Martin discussed what would happen to his unfinished Game of Thrones books, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, if he were to die before completing them more than a decade ago. The 75 year old author has published the first five volumes of the epic A Song of Ice and Fire series (adapted into hit HBO show Game of Thrones), but has two more still to go.

It’s more than a little sinister to speculate about the fate of a book in the event of a writer’s death, as it seems to suggest that the book is more important than the life of the actual writer.

George Martin, 75, has been writing on The Winds of Winter for 14 yearsGeorge Martin, 75, has been writing on The Winds of Winter for 14 years
George Martin, 75, has been writing on The Winds of Winter for 14 years
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And it’s something that the Game of Thrones writer has spoken about himself. Martin claimed, quite reasonably, in a 2022 Vanity Fair interview that he didn’t like fans speculating about what would happen to his upcoming books in the event of him dying before finishing them. 

He said at the time ‘I don’t feel close to dying’, and joked ‘It’ll be done when it’s done. Hopefully, Covid won’t kill me so that we won’t have that issue.'

Will Winds of Winter be finished by someone else if George Martin dies?

If Martin were to die before finishing his many planned upcoming Westeros-set novels - which includes ASOIAF sequels The Winds of Winter, and A Dream of Spring, as well as a Fire and Blood sequel, and more Dunk and Egg short stories - it would be tragic first and foremost because a brilliant writer will have died.

But many fans will also grieve the loss of the long-awaited novels alongside Martin’s passing. Whether Martin’s books could be finished by another author in the event of his death remains unclear.

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He said in 2013 that both he and his wife were of the opinion that if he died before finishing the ASOIAF series they would not want another author to finish his work.

However, at another point he said that if he ever knew that he did not have long left to live, he would consider writing detailed notes on the novels for someone else to finish.

As Martin has sunk more than a decade into working on Winds of Winter, and reportedly has more than 1,000 manuscript pages written, it’s hard to believe that someone would not finish the book on his behalf were he to die, though Martin hasn’t formally nominated anyone to do so.

How much of A Dream of Spring, the final ASOIAF novel has been written or planned remains a mystery, and if Martin did pass away with only a fraction of the book completed, it is less likely that this instalment would be published posthumously.

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