If this is the added stress that stops him from finishing The Winds of Winter, Santa Fe will have much worse to deal with than some curious fans.
In Santa Fe, New Mexico this week, the city's Historic Districts Review Board rejected Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin's request to build a library on his private compound.
The building—which would have been constructed in the style of a Medieval castle—had previously been rejected for exceeding local height restrictions, but the request for an exemption was met with considerable pushback.
More than 40 of the author's neighbors signed a letter to the board noting that the proposed building "WILL BE VISIBLE" and expressing fear that "our neighborhood will become the next treasure hunt ... his fans will be looking to find the castle that's in the middle of Santa Fe." Oh, the horror.
Can you even begin to imagine what it feels like to have your neighborhood aesthetic destroyed, not only by the addition of a far-too interesting building, but by the occasional appearance of curious nerds looking around for it? It's bad enough that his mailbox has a little turrets and a drawbridge, instead of being a drab metal box like everyone else's; now he wants to build a Medieval castle?!
When George R. R. Martin's neighbors want to look at something like that, they will book expensive trips to France or Hogwarts, where that kind of stuff belongs—not in their backyards! Unfortunately for them, they may have no choice but to give in, unless they want to face a fate even worse than being forced to look at a castle and occasionally honk their car horns at groups of easily-startled weirdos...
It has now been more than nine years since the publication of A Dance With Dragons—the fifth and latest enormous tome in the Song of Ice and Fire series. The sixth, and penultimate installment, The Winds of Winter, has been repeatedly delayed and stalled by various distractions—not least among them the disappointing final seasons of HBO's Game of Thrones.
While Martin has always taken his time with his books, this is by far the longest wait his hordes of slavering fans have ever had to deal with. For at least the last six years, people who have invested weeks of their lives into the 4,200 page series have been morbidly speculating that their beloved author, 71, may die before he can provide them with the closure that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss spectacularly failed to deliver.
Martin has responded appropriately to that line of thinking with an unequivocal "F*** you." But earlier this year he acknowledged that 2020 has presented an added risk. "Given [his] age and physical condition," he has noted that he is "very much in the most vulnerable population" when it comes to the ongoing pandemic.
Fortunately—with some distance now from HBO's Game of Thrones debacle—the solitude of social distancing may be just what the Martin needed break out of his stagnation. In March he wrote to his fans, "I am off by myself in a remote isolated location, attended by one of my staff, and I'm not going in to town or seeing anyone. Truth be told, I am spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day."
George RR Martin Regrets The Game Of Thrones TV Series And Says It Hurt The Books www.youtube.com
Hopefully he has kept that up, because he has a lot of work to do in order to finish The Winds of Winter and the last book in the series, A Dream of Spring—the combination of which, Martin has said will total around 3,000 pages. Now—with over 90 million copies of the first five books sold worldwide—fans are waiting with bated breath.
They need these last two books. So whatever helps George R. R. Martin focus and get the job done—including relaxing in a seven-sided Medieval sanctum housing his books and collectibles, with elevator-access to a roof deck—his neighbors would be wise to just let him have it.
Because if George R. R. Martin spends the rest of his life updating blueprints and arguing with review boards who want to prevent him from achieving the apotheosis of fantasy nerdom—building his own castle!—instead of finishing these last two books, the 40-odd neighbors who prevented him from living his truth will face the wrath of The Unsullied (or at least some angry virgins).
This is the fanbase that collected nearly two million signatures and raised tens of thousands of dollars to try to fix the bad parts of the show. And this is the author who may have single-handedly seeded America's uncomfortable feelings about incest. He is a cultural institution, and his fans are passionate.
So please, George R. R. Martin's neighbors, if you know what's good for you, stop being a bunch of whiny twerps and let the man be a nerd.
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