George R.R. Martin Deserves a Better Fandom

In 1996, George R.R. Martin graced the world with A Game of Thrones, the first installment in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. Since then, he’s put out four novels, six novellas, and two short story collections. Four of those subsequent novels have been the rest of the Song of Ice and Fire series, with the most recent, A Dance With Dragons coming out in 2011, the same year the television adaptation Game of Thrones began. However, there are still two forthcoming installments in the series, which has left Ice and Fire fans to wait patiently for the next installment. It’s not abundantly clear when The Winds of Winter will come out. GRRM wrote in 2017 “I think it will be out this year. But hey, I said the same thing last year.” Within the A Song of Ice and Fire fandom, the dominating narrative is one of desire and desperation – fans beg, “Where is the next book?” This might seem like an author’s ultimate goal, but the fans’ desperation brings forth an exceptionally toxic environment.

Any time GRRM tweets about anything related to A Song of Ice and Fire, he is bombarded with disgruntled fans, asking for the next book. And of course, they ask very politely.

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On January 23rd, when GRRM tweeted about a new Song of Ice and Fire calendar, he was met with various nagging tweets begging him to finish the book – aside from the clever use of Spongebob pictures above – most of the responses consisted of “Is the release date in the calendar?”

When GRRM tweets about creating a writer’s workshop to encourage the next generation of fiction writers, this is the response he gets:

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These kind of remarks aren’t exclusive to just Ice and Fire-related posts, of course. In one of the most repugnant examples of the Ice and Fire fandom acting like greedy children, after GRRM tweeted about the passing of fantasy fiction legend Ursula K. Le Guin, the twitter mob started up. Among the immediate responses is one from twitter user @Cloverhope23 that says “Finish the books please,” which, I mean I guess good job saying “please,” that’s an improvement. Thankfully, though, other members of the fandom  responded critically.

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That being said, I’m just glad to see that these kind of tweets doesn’t get in the way of GRRM living his life. He still has time to watch the Giants play…

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…grab a drink with Quentin Tarantino…

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The top tweet in response to this was just “Finish the book,” as opposed to being some kind of witty comment about how both of these writers use a lot of violence

…or wear silly hats.

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It disappoints me that I sent this picture to a book-reader friend and he responded “He should be writing.”

A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones has been almost life-changing for its fandom, which explains why they react so aggressively when there’s no sign of the next installment. Their disgruntled tweets are really just an expression of their intense passion and loyalty. That being said, this is 100% the wrong way to express said passion and loyalty. It makes the people of the Ice and Fire fandom come across as entitled and rude.

To those patiently awaiting the release of The Winds of Winter, I’m inclined to suggest going to your local library and finding a new fantasy series to read. There’s Brandon Sanderson or Neil Gaiman or Ursala Le Guin, as mentioned at the top of this article. Or perhaps read other things by George R.R. Martin – There’s A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, which is set about eighty years before A Game of Thrones.

Yes, GRRM is an old man who – like all of us – could die at any moment. But GRRM has done much to insure his literary legacy. HBO’s adaptation will answer immediate questions, and if not, GRRM has outlined the way the series has gone. Worst case scenario? Look at what happened to The Wheel of Time – Robert Jordan died before completing it, and Brandon Sanderson took over. People are worried that GRRM will die before Game of Thrones or A Song of Ice and Fire can come to an end, but the thing is, GRRM’s story has outgrown him. Even if he dies, we’ll still get to know what happens. George R.R. Martin has built the most fascinating fantasy world that we’ve seen since Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, depending on how high you rate him. This man is the mastermind behind one of the most popular novel cycles and television series in living memory. The least we can do is stop harassing him on Twitter.

Update: I finished writing this story and scheduled it to post later today. A few minutes before it was all set to go live, GRRM tweeted another one of his fancy hats, and the results were actually rather positive:

No one telling him to finish the books. How pleasant!

4 thoughts on “George R.R. Martin Deserves a Better Fandom

  1. I would probably be the one of the fans who would ask my favorite writers when their next book will be published ( I am waiting for 6 different series to finish ). I get the irritation but not enough to warrant that the writer owes me the remaining books

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, absolutely. Asking when the book might come out is no problem. The eagerness comes out of a love for the author’s work. The issue is when it gets toxic and these people demand that GRRM get back to work like he’s their slave. I want WoW as much as the next guy, but these people disappoint me

      Liked by 1 person

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