George R.R. Martin recently apologized to his fans for the delay in latest book in A Song of Ice and Fire (ASOIAF) saga – The Winds of Winter (TWOW), confirming that season 6 of Game of Thrones will completely outpace the books. However, an analysis of Martin’s pace and page count by Washington Post proves that GRRM does not need to be sorry for the ‘delay’, because he is still very much on schedule.
People have called Martin a slow writer, comparing him with ‘speedy authors’ such as J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis. Some think that since he has made himself too busy with other engagements like attending events, doing interviews etc., he is not giving enough time to TWOW. Few have even gone far in assuming that he has no plans to complete the ASOIAF saga ever, because Game of Thrones is already a huge hit and he no longer has the financial incentive to finish the books.
All these assumptions and comparisons however ignore a very important point- Page Count. Rowling’s all seven Harry Potter books and Martin’s first four ASOIAF books took nearly the same time but if you consider their page count, it isn’t too different either – 4380 for Harry Potter and 4225 for ASOIAF.
As the chart above shows, GRRM’s pace is on track with Rowling’s and actually higher than the other authors listed. Since his third book, Martin has been consistently writing about 200 pages a year. He has already said that he expects the last two books to be about 1150 pages each which means that as per his current pace, we can expect TWOW to release in 2017 and a 2023 release for A Dream of Spring – Martin’s 75th birthday.
Fans are also worried that he may not live long enough to complete the final book but according to Social Security Online, there is a good chance that he will live for 17 more years, until 2033.
Of course, past cannot always predict the future but these statistics do prove that The Winds of Winter is still on schedule and George R.R. Martin should live long enough to complete the A Song of Ice and Fire Saga. All we need to do is to trust Martin that he is giving it all he can and if at any point in future, he feels he can no longer complete the series, he will inform his fans immediately and will not keep them in the dark about it.