George R.R. Martin attended the Guadalajara International Book Fair and discussed his progress on The Winds of Winter, and Uproxx shared some highlights! Be warned: things are only getting bleaker. He also made an important choice, ranking the three fighters he would choose if he ever needed to engage in trial by combat.
Just in case you thought ASOIAF was already pretty dark, Martin is here to remind you that things can always get worse:
But there are a lot of dark chapters right now in the book that I’m writing. It is called The Winds of Winter, and I’ve been telling you for 20 years that winter was coming. Winter is the time when things die, and cold and ice and darkness fills the world, so this is not gonna be the happy feel-good that people may be hoping for. Some of the characters [are] in very dark places…In any story, the classic structure is, ‘Things get worse before they get better,’ so things are getting worse for a lot of people.
Martin went on to reject the idea of a conventional “happy ending,” saying, “We very seldom see that in real life or in history, and I don’t find it as emotionally satisfying myself as what I like to call the bittersweet ending.” He also made it clear that while he hopes to write a satisfying ending to ASOIAF’s final installment, A Dream of Spring, he’s not planning to tie all the loose ends up in a bow. “For me, that’s part of the fun of reading and writing is having stories that maybe have a little ambiguity to them, a little subtlety to them, and everything is not crystal clear and laid out.”
But enough of this serious writing talk, let’s get onto the important point! Who would Martin choose to represent him in combat? He chose Ser Arthur Dayne, then Jaime Lannister, and finally Brienne of Tarth, which makes for a solid bench of fighters.
Hungry for more news on The Winds of Winter? You can take a look at our roundup of every piece of the book that Martin has released so far. Plus, here’s footage of the entire interview from the Guadalajara International Book Fair: