My loyal fans, I dearly wish I was writing to tell you that The Winds of Winter, the 6th Game of Thrones book, was complete. I wish I had a freshly printed copy to hand each and every one of you. But here is truth: it’s not done. It’s not even close to done. Look, I’ve been writing these books for twenty years, I’m sixty-seven — I’m losing steam. So I’m writing to announce that I plan to pull a Wonka and find a young, eager nerd to finish Game of Thrones once and for all.

For those of you who are not familiar with the plot of Willy Wonka, allow me to explain. Mr. Wonka, reclusive owner of the world famous Wonka Chocolate Factory, is weary of running his saccharine empire. So, through the guise of a tour, he interviews young candidates to take over his factory. The most pure of heart wins the factory and Wonka is allowed to retire in fudge-y bliss.

jon snow

I mean, yeah. You figured it out.

My plan is the same. Right now, there are 5 parchment tickets hidden in volumes of A Song of Fire and Ice. The lucky 5 to find these tickets will be asked to submit writing samples to my editor who, in consultation with myself and HBO, will choose my successor. Because, guys, I really cannot bring myself to write even word one of The Winds of Winter.

Truth be told, my age is only a part of it. The other part is you. You nerds figured out the whole thing. Of course Lyanna Stark is Jon Snow’s mother. And Rhaegar Targaryen is his father. Jon Snow is the Song of Fire and Ice. It really takes some of the wind out of man’s sails when, after 20 years of build-up, a Reddit lurker susses out your big secret. Yeah, you guys truly do have the whole thing basically outlined, which is more than I can say for myself.

So, go find those tickets. Send me your outlines. And don’t even think about complaining. I’m happy to release a 20-page Winds of Winter that will make the Red Wedding look like a tea party.

Tyrion will be the first to fall.


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