'Game of Thrones': Is it fair for fans to get mad at George R. R. Martin?

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For such a beloved author, George R. R. Martin generates a lot of fan hate. It was recently announced that Martin would be releasing a new story set in the "Game of Thrones" universe. But rather than rejoice, many "Thrones" fans are very disappointed.

While you might think that Martin's devotees would be excited to get a new story set in Westeros, many simply seem upset that Martin is "wasting time" on side stories and not working toward completing the main "A Song of Ice and Fire" book cycle. Seven books are planned for the story cycle: Five have been published to date, with the sixth in progress now.

The new story "The Princess and the Queen" will be included in the upcoming, multi-authored fantasy anthology "Dangerous Women." The story will revolve around the Targaryen Civil War.

Prior to this, Martin had also written three other "A Song of Ice" spinoff novellas, as part of his "Tales of Dunk and Egg" series. Six more of these "Game of Thrones" prequels are planned.

It's understandable that fans would be worried about Martin's ability to deliver new stories. Martin is getting older and isn't in peak physical condition. Another beloved fantasy writer, Robert Jordan, died before he could finish his own 14-book fantasy series, "The Wheel of Time." The story cycle was finished by author Brandon Sanderson, thanks to copious notes that Jordan left after his death, but some fans were still disappointed that Jordan couldn't finish the series himself.

But despite fears that Martin will die before he can finish "A Song of Ice and Fire," is it really fair for fans to be so demanding? Is it fair for fans to get disappointed when Martin releases a book that isn't a new "Song of Ice and Fire" installment?

Even the quick-writing, punctual J. K. Rowling released two Potterverse "supplement" books while working on the main books in her series, and nobody complained about that. Shouldn't fans of the "Game of Thrones" books and novels just be happy that Martin is expanding the world in which his stories take place?

What should be more concerning to fans is that the "Game of Thrones" series might be hurting Martin's creative process. If Martin has to rush the final two books, or if the TV series progresses ahead of the book series, won't fans be more disappointed?

Fantasy author Neil Gaiman famously wrote a blog post supporting Martin's slow-paced writing style. The blog post contained a single sentence that set the Internet on fire: "George R.R. Martin is not your b----."

Perhaps that sage advice is something that angsty "Game of Thrones" fans should take to heart.

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