Wed
Jul 9 2014 12:55pm

George R. R. Martin to People Who Say He’ll Die Soon: “#$%@ You”

George R. R. Martin fuck you

A Song of Ice and Fire series author George R. R. Martin just laid it out during a recent interview to Swiss daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger. When asked about how he felt in response to readers claiming that Martin will die before he ever finishes the book series:

I find that question pretty offensive. So...“fuck you” to those people.

With accompanying hand gesture, of course. And somewhere, Neil Gaiman shook his head to himself, muttering “I told them. I told them,” before stepping between worlds for a tea break.

You can watch GRRM’s response here.

Never forget.

[via Vulture]

43 comments
Sky Thibedeau
1. SkylarkThibedeau
Valar Scribere: All Men Must Write(and finish the Book(s) Dagnabit).
Sydo Zandstra
3. Fiddler
I hate to say this, but I find that a proper question.

I love ASoIaF, but I've given up on Martin finishing it.

A Storm of Swords - 2000
A Feast for Crows - 2005
A Dance with Dragons - 2011

I'm aware of his Meereenian Knot, but he's supposed to have fixed that now, and it's 2014.
Nicholas Loftis
4. nloftis
@3, the question isn't whether he's going to finish it, it's whether he has any obligation to ruin his 'twilight years' by torturing himself trying to finish for the sake of entitled, ungrateful fans. And the answer is no.

Sit back and relax, Mr. Martin. If you finish the series, great, if you don't, we'll get over it.
emeraldcite
5. emeraldcite
GRRM wants to know all the favorite characters of those who claim that he will die prior to finishing the series...so that he can kill those characters off in the next book.
emeraldcite
6. Ayla
*cough* youtube.com/watch?v=w5vw9RTVky4

Also, i was NAMED after the main character in Jean M Auel's Earth Children series and she only finished that a few years ago. Epics take time.
emeraldcite
7. kadec
valar morghulis
emeraldcite
8. J Town
In all honesty, it IS offensive. This is a man's life that we're talking about, which is more important than the books he is writing and he owes people, collectively, nothing at all. Anyone who feels so entitled as to gripe and moan about how deprived they will be if the author dies (!) because they won't get to read something they like is pretty deserving of the gesture, frankly. Along with a boot to the head.
emeraldcite
10. I can't think of an alias
I love GRRM's response and if I were him, I'd say the same thing.

Doesn't mean he'll finish the series.

Does he have an obligation to do so? Of course not.
Is he our bitch? Of course not.
Does that mean I have to like it? Of course not.
The series is so good, they deserve to be finished. What would you think if the 9th Symphony ended halfway through the third movement? (assuming you like Beethoven)

It's not bitching and moaning; desperately wanting his series to be completed is the greatest of compliments (outside of GRRM's many imitators).
emeraldcite
11. Vran
Not sure why he is surprised by that question. No one wishes him dead, but look at the facts. He's getting older, he's overweight and who knows what health issues he may have, plus as Fiddler mentioned the length of time between books is growing longer with each one. I would hate to see someone else have to finish the series for him as I think only he truly knows the story.

Look at Robert Jordan's series. Brandon Sanderson did a good job finishing it, but is it truly the job that Jordan would have done. No one will know. Think about Chaucer
emeraldcite
12. quinne
I used to care whether he would finish ASOIAF. Now, I've completely lost interest. "A Dance with Dragons" was insufferably boring. And Game of Thrones Season 4 was clearly the worst of all the seasons so far. The dithering of the plot in ADwD was disturbing because you get the clear sense that he has no clue how to end the epic. The Quentyn Martell chapters and storyline were utterly superfluous.

I have new slogan for George RR Martin: "Winter is Boring"
emeraldcite
13. R.J.
Actually if you read "A Dance with Dragons" (and "A Feast for Crows") thoroughly you'll notice that he absolutely, most definitely, has a clue as to how to end the epic.
Now, that doesn't make the books less boring reads, perhaps, but really, there is so much foreshadowing and setup here that if you want to, you can practically "see" where the characters will end up. Check out westeros.org's "Moments of Foreshadowing" threads (google it). Made me appreciate the two latest works a little more.
Marc Houle
14. MightyMarc
On the one hand, he's asking his fans to be patient, but on the other hand, he regularly releases little tidbits of information and teasers so that he stays topical and to keep his fans from forgetting about him.

While it's true that Mr Martin may not owe his fans anything, it's also true that his fans don't owe him anything either. So if those fans want to whine, complain, and make jokes about him, then he should learn to either deal with it or do something about it (i.e. write faster).

(And for the record, I honestly don't care if he finishes the series. But I am tired of both the whining from some of his more spoiled fans and Mr Martin's whining about the jokes that are made about how slowly he writes.)
emeraldcite
15. Amaryllis
"Twilight years"? He's 65, not 85. Many writers continue to be productive in their 60s, 70s, even 80s. Don't panic!

And his weight is his own business, and not something from which strangers can make assumptions about his health.

If his readers understandably start to lose interest as the interval drags on, that's their business.

So in the meantime, I'm starting to make lists of "what to read isntead."
Chris Nelly
16. Aeryl
@11,
He's getting older, he's overweight and who knows what health issues he may have,

You have just summed up exactly what is so offensive about this, and why Martin has every right to tell you to fuck off.

Firstly, young thin people with no known health issues die every day.
Age is not a definite indicator of health. Weight is surely not a definite indicator of health andmost "health issues" are treatable.

And there is no denying that most of these statements, all come down to his weight, which is fat hatred, because again, weight is no indicator of health.
emeraldcite
17. Xena Catolica
@14 MightyMarc---agree 100%. This is at-will employment, so to speak, not a contract, and either party can walk away at any time.

Personally, I already walked. I don't think about how short his life might be, I think about how short my life is --- how many good books I haven't read yet, and how many other authors are working right now. If he writes more, I'll probably read it. But I'm too busy reading other great stuff to get worked up about it. I can be an asshole with the best of them, but really, there are just too many good books out there to badger any particular author.
emeraldcite
19. DougL
@16. Aeryl

Do you work in the health care system? I think obesity is general described as the epidemic of our times and is crushing the health care systems of Canada, US and Britain.

Still the question is insensitive, and nobody should ask it and in the interview in question and referenced herein the interviewer did not mention death, just his not finishing the series, which Martin must take to mean, due to his death because he intends to finish it.

I have not ever doubted that he intends to finish it, but in my view there are 3 books left, one out in the next 1 or 2 years and up to 10-12 years more after that. That's a long time, and we are almost certainly going to be spoiled by the show. So, you can see why fans may be getting a bit antsy. As for me, I can fanwank an ending, I don't care. Storm is a very, very good book, and in my top 5 probably, but it's still loses to the The Rising Shadow and the Silmarillion.

He will finish it when he finishes it, but I don't read any series now until they are done, because of Jordan and Mr. Martin here. I know other fans have suffered worse, but I never read any of those books, so this is my first exposure to waiting so long for a novel, which is something I don't do, wait. I browse TOR every day and no doubt they will let me know when it's done.

I don't think I've ever seen mention of Alan Bradley here though, which is negligent.
Chris Nelly
20. Aeryl
@DougL, you need to do some research into HAES(Healthy At Every Size) and TOFI(Thin Outside Fat Inside)*.

The same diseases that are cropping up amongst fat people suffering from "obesity" show up in the same numbers in thin people.

No I don't work in the health care system, but I have lots of friends and family that do, and I can tell you that they are no more immune to the fat biases our culture instills than anyone else.

Outward size is no actual indicator of health.

As far as Martin goes, you people who think it's right to badger him about this, are why we don't have Winds of Winter. The impression I get listening to him talk, is that he's done with it. He's just not releasing it, until the next one is done, because he doesn't want to have to hear this crap again.

*I dislike the TOFI framing because it continues to paint the problem as one of being fat, instead of clearly pointing out that we have falsely associated these conditions with being fat
emeraldcite
21. JamesA
My biggest critisism with GRRM is him selling out the series too merchandising and TV before finishing it. I am all for writers and anyone else cashing in on their work, but his desire to milk every penny out of this series is seriously compromising his ability and will to finish it.

The fact that HBO has all the details to the series and how it ends is already setting the stage for him not to bother finshing it which in my mind damages his credibility as an artist. I get angry every time I see a book come out with his name in huge letters and a tiny "Editied by" somewhere discreetly located around it...
emeraldcite
22. TimWhoDoesn'tCare
I honestly stopped caring years ago. While I have no right to complain about the snail's pace at which he writes, I have every right to feel the frustration. I chose to stop reading or caring about ASOIF. There are authors that are every bit as good at their craft, yet far more prolific. Added benefit, they don't try to sell cheap character figurines between books either.
emeraldcite
23. quinne
@21 Totally agree. There could also be legal problems when/IF GRRM finishes ASOIAF because if Benioff and Weiss and others from the show are writing parts of future ASOIAF books then GRRM could be accused of stealing from them. :) I hope that happens
M R
24. winterking
He's not our bitch, no, but we aren't his bitches, either. No, he isn't under any obligation to write anything else or ever finish the series. But we, the readers, are under no obligation to be happy about this or to refrain from criticizing him.

We are under no obligation to admire or appreciate or praise him. Praise, admiration, appreciation, devotion--these are earned, and can be lost. Criticism is earned, too, and Martin continues to do a fantastic job earning himself criticism.

So, no, he's not my bitch. He can do as he pleases. But so can I, and it pleases me to note that his books and stories are increasingly slow to arrive, are increasingly sprawling and inconclusive, are increasingly disappointing, and are unlikely to ever be finished (given his track record and current actions).
Jennifer Smith
25. vampirate
@19 I do not work in any form of healthcare either. I have, however, done many, many hours of research about the so-called obesity epidemic. Check out HEAS, or the Militant baker or Dances with Fat (whom all have insane amounts of science, not diet industry propaganda to back them up). What we believe about health and fat bodies is often inaccurate. Let me blow your mind: skinny bodies can be unhealthy. Fat bodies can be unhealthy. Skinny bodies can be healthy. And fat bodies can be healthy.What does this mean? It means we must remove weight from the health equation. Period.

In the end, a person's body is none of our concern. Bodies are not public property, and not Society's to diagnose. What humans do with their life and body rests solely on them and our culture needs to stop assuming that we are entitled to comment. "ZOMG BUT WHAT ABOUT THOSE FAT PEOPLE THAT HAVE UNHEALTHY VITALS ZOMG" you ask? Allow me to repeat myself; it's none of your concern. Their body. Their rules.

Regardless, GRRM doesn't owe us anything, not 1 more word. I've personally stopped reading ASOIAF for now, but I'm sure I'll pick it up again someday. So go GRRM, do what you wish. :)
emeraldcite
26. Underbelly
@25 & @ 19 (on a staticy Y-Wing com)

Stay on target. Stay on target.
Kimani Rogers
27. KiManiak
Hah! I found this post rather entertaining.

I have no problem with GRRM telling fans, “Fuck you” when he feels pressured by them in his writing approach.

I also have no problem with any fan telling GRRM, “Fuck you, write faster” right back to him when (as has been pointed out above) the gap between Storm and Feast was 5 years and Feast and Dance was 6 years.

GRRM isn’t anyone’s bitch and the fans aren’t his bitches either. Creators/manufacturers of a product want to issue the product when it’s optimal for them. Consumers of that product would like to receive it when it’s optimal for them. Sounds pretty standard to me.

Both parties are free to antagonize and mock the other (within reason, of course). Hopefully by the end of the series Martin will put out the product he likes and reap whatever benefits/rewards he desires out of it and the fans will have the end to the story that they (at least at one point) loved.

I just don’t see why either side (Martin being treated like a “bitch,” fans having to wait for the story) has to be overly victimized, or even championed for that matter. If Martin wants to treat (some of) his fans like crap and (some of) his fans want to treat him like crap right back (or the reverse order depending upon your perception) then that’s just the reality of the relationship between ASoIaF creator and consumers in the world that we live in.

Both parties are free to continue this for as long as they like, or explore other, more positively rewarding options.

But it is entertaining to continue to read about each parties actions.
emeraldcite
28. PoorerRichard
Well done, George. Well done. Words are wind, but hand gestures are steel!
Jerry Whitener
29. magick72
Oh George, you aren't good enough as a writer to be that arrogant. Sorry, it's just the simple truth.
Lauren Hartman
30. naupathia
Sure, GRRM isn't our bitch.

But when an author now shows complete irreverence to the people paying his bills, and is so completely rude and condescending... it really makes me not want to buy any more of his stuff out of principle, even though I really want to know the end.

Look I get it can be frustrating to have fans constantly whining about the pace, but that's what you signed up for. That's what comes with fame. I'm not saying it's right, or that it's fair, or that you have to like it. But it is something you should know you're going to have to deal with.

I do agree though that people claiming "GRRM's gonna die before the series ends" is going a little far, I'd be annoyed too. But there are better ways to deal with those people than a "fuck you".

This just gives me the impression that GRRM knows he's too big to fail at this point and he really just doesn't give a damn. Which makes me doubt several things, mostly whether he will ever finish (health or no) or if it will even be good quality (since he's clearly just milking it for all it's worth right now).
Chris Nelly
31. Aeryl
to the people paying his bills,

We don't pay his bills. His publisher pays his bills. We purchase a product, and that gives us no right to his time, energy or future intellectual properties.
Craig Sanders
32. CASanders
GRRM will live forever. He draws life force from the whining of his readers.
emeraldcite
33. Taitastigon
Wow, this discussion again ? Who is whose bitch ? *snort*
Is Mr. Martin miffed because people question the potential state of his health to finish the cycle, or is he miffed because HBO will finish the series way before him and has shown no inclination to slow down to let him finish it himself ? Mr. Martin is not my bitch, I am not his, so ain´t HBO - so however wants to wait for the written version to know the end, I am all for it. Me myself, I´ll be content with what HBO offers me 3 years down the road. That gives me a predictable timeline, I get closure, and if down-the-road Mr. Martin gives us the written version of the HBO finish, I will decide whether I still want to invest my hard-earned cash in such a reading venture. No bitching required any which way you slice it.
emeraldcite
35. Vran
@16 Aeryl
You put words in my mouth. I merely stated that he should not be surprised by the question, or other's assumptions about his longevity, due to the fact that he is overweight and growing in years. Whether the question should have been asked in the interview is a different story. His response is pretty much what I would expect from him.

I never stated that being obese means he will die, and yes young, thin people can have some of the same issues. Obesity increases the risk of certain conditions, like high blood pressure and diabetes which can and do lead to death. It is similar to smoking. Yes people who don't smoke get lung cancer, but smokers have an increased risk of it.

/end tangent

I for one hope Martin lives a long life and he is able to complete the series, as I stated he is the only one who know the story, but in the meantime there are thousands of other authors and books to read.

To the many others who state that Martin owns his fans/customers nothing, you are correct; however, if I gave my customers the finger I would be looking for another job.
emeraldcite
36. AlanHK
I haven't actually read ASOIAF, though I have read several of his earlier books, and do watch the HBO series. Thousand page fantasy epics aren't my thing at the moment. When and if he's done I might give it a try. I read Tolkien when I was 12 and but gave up on the genre a few books into Steven Donaldson.

That he's still working on it, when he could undoubtedly retire and live well on his current royalties shows he does take his obligation seriously.

I'm sure GRRM doesn't lose any sleep over these complaints. Having readers actually complaining that he is too slow to write stories is a huge compliment. As Oscar Wilde would attest, it's much, much better than being ignored, which is the fate of the vast majority of authors.

As long as the novels are actually good experiences to read one by one, if he falls over dead tomorrow it's tragic but his work still will be remembered and read, incomplete or not. As "The Sopranos" ending epitomised, life does go on, you can't expect a fictional (non apocalyptic) work to continue to tell the story of all the characters forever.
Chris Nelly
37. Aeryl
@35

Obesity increases the risk of certain conditions, like high blood pressure and diabetes which can and do lead to death.

Again, do some HAES and TOFI research, because this is not true, it's "conventional wisdom" accepted by most of the medical establishment, but it is not true.

if I gave my customers the finger I would be looking for another job.

And Mr. Martin didn't give THIS customer the finger, because I'm not so crass to say such things about him. To the customers of Mr. Martin who did get the finger, I think he's telling him that they are more than welcome to put him out of his job. You still haven't explained why he should care if they "fire him"?
emeraldcite
39. DougL
@37. Aeryl Like the Harvard Medical School, the top physicians in Britain?

It is true that obesity, in and of itself is not the cause of all of the things people say, like diabetes has literally nothing to do with it, but there are issues.

Now, it is true there is a correlation, and it is generally because many people who are obese are obese due to behaviour, not genetics. Behaviour that leads to obesity tends to be unhealthy. And as you say, thin people can get diabetes and heart disease and all manner of the same diseases. It is not related to body mass. However, you cannot deny that body mass is often directly associated with unhealthy habits.

It's nice that there are organizations that are sympathetic to folks with larger bodies than the general populace, and there is a lot of misinformation out there. I don't know why George is big, he does like to chat about his drinking when he meets with fans, at an average of 150 calories per drink it's not the best way to fill your daily quota, but maybe he was a big child, and he became a big adult. I don't know. I do know that you don't go from slender to obese without serious mismanagement.
Chris Nelly
40. Aeryl
it is generally because many people who are obese are obese due to behaviour, not genetics.

I have never seen one shred of evidence to back up this assertion. Yet, I have seen endless evidence that changing behavior does nothing long term to address obesity.

However, you cannot deny that body mass is often directly associated with unhealthy habits.

Yes I can, because I've not seen one shred of evidence of that, aside from conventional wisdom and popular culture that only shows fat characters if they are acting "stereotypically fat", overeating, being clumsy, inactive and destructive to furniture.

Chelsea Handler likes to talk about drinking a lot, yet no one thinks her drinking is making her unhealthily fat. Maybe that has more to do with the fact that every body handles things like caloric intake, activity levels, and weight distribution differently, and making generalized and ignorant statements about other's health based on their outward appearances doesn't reflect reality.
emeraldcite
41. Evidence?
Aeryl, there are endless studies on this subject which at least claim to have evidence of what you are disputing. I can't personally validate/disvalidate them all, but they tend to be more reliable than anecdotal evidence.

Here's a fairly random selection of articles from Google Scholar which all provide evidence that back up their assertions. From the looks of it, its a complicated subject with many causes and many consequences, not something that isn't concerning.

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=obesity&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5 (Google scholar search on obesity)

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2008.284/full (Sweet Drinks and Obesity)

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v459/n7245/full/459340a.html (Obesity: Causes and Control of Excess Fat)

http://www.jci.org/articles/view/19246 (Conditions linked to Obesity)

http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/10340798 (Risks and consequences of childhood obesity)


In short, there are definately "shreds" of evidence pointing to behavioural causes of obesity, as well as evidence pointing to consequences of obesity.

Personally I suspect that societal wide changes in behavior have created opportunity for obesity in those with the genetic disposition that allows them to become obese.

However, this doesn't mean that every individual should simply bow to societal trends - people with genetic predispositions don't have to be simply fatalistic about their predispositions, but can and should take responsibility for their decisions which affect how such predispositions are expressed.

Such a taking on of responsibility is admittedly complicated though by incorrect views of a complex topic. If a person is convinced that the "responsible" thing to do is to starve themselves in a misguided attempt to lose weight, its a very sad situation.

Or if a person is impoverished and has to make hard choices between "optimal health" and survival, then the responsible choice could possibly be one that leads to obesity. I don't think that GRR Martin is in that situation however.
Chris Nelly
42. Aeryl
Sure, I've seen those studies too, but those studies never bother to correllate to the other side of this equation, which is what about the thin people?

Yes, linking obesity to daily habits is simple, if you are looiking for correlation, not causation. I can link not being obese with daily habits, amongst people who have the same daily habits as obese people. That doesn't prove that daily habits are actually linked to either one, just that correlation is easy to demonstrate.

And again, all this "concern" for the "health" of fat people, is just a way to participate in acceptable fat hatred. It doesn't matter what the health, size, shape, or color of any person, none of that takes away from their right to be treated as a full human being.
emeraldcite
44. KellyKellyKelly
Tell em, George!
emeraldcite
45. KellyKellyKK
**Spoiler**

I heard that George is going to put an actual guillotine in his next book. When you turn from page 1163 to 1164, a paper guillotine--rendered extremely sharp by arcane origami techniques--will actually sweep out of the book and behead the reader. Pretty awesome! I am totes looking forward to it! Bring on the last death!
Katharine Duckett
46. Katharine
@43 Comment unpublished. Please abide by our moderation policy, and respect other commenters in the thread, even when disagreeing with their opinions. Thank you.

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