It's been a long, hard road, but it would appear that George R.R. Martin has finally come through on the other side of the 5 Stages of Grief to acceptance: Game of Thrones, the TV show, will most likely reach the finish line before A Song of Ice and Fire, the book series it's based on. And he's OK with that. Before there were all types of denial. Not to mention bargaining—remember that brief talk of delaying things with a movie? (He later posted on his Live Journal that the idea did not originate with him, but, c'mon.) And he was definitely very angry with book fans constantly demanding status on book 6, The Winds of Winter, as GoT season 5 approached.
But now the Dark Day they feared has finally come—Stannis makes a choice late season 5 that definitely has not happened, yet, in the books but ostensibly will. Whether you've been up on the accumulating Ls for the Stark family since 1996 or didn't get hip until the TV series adaptation took off, we're all in this together now. But if you're a book reader waiting to learn the fate of Jon Snow, you might have to accept learning that answer on a different medium. While speaking at the Sasquan Science Fiction Convention, George (who has been limiting both his public appearances and his involvement with the TV series in an effort to complete the books) went so far as to acknowledge that the show might lap his books altogether.
"Anything is possible. The show is moving forward like a locomotive, or sometimes a jet locomotive,” Martin said. “They’re writing 60-page scripts, I’m writing 1,500-page novels. So who the hell knows? There was a period where I was worried about that. Then I said, to hell with that. Worrying about it isn’t going to change it one way or another. I still sit down at the typewriter, and I have to write the next scene and the next sentence…I’m just going to tell my story, and they’re telling their story and adapting my books, and we shall see."
Good on you, George. Though, this level of acceptance probably spells an extended delay for Winds of Winter. Book fans, hunker down for the long wait, and make sure your HBO subscription is right in the meantime.