The results of the 2016 American Presidential Election aren’t just shocking IRL; they might have an impact on the story Westeros and Jon Snow’s eventual fate, too.
Game of Thrones fans have expressed concerns that George R.R. Martin might never finish The Winds of Winter now, and by extension, A Dream of Spring. They arise in part from his most recent blog post:
The election still has me in a state of high anxiety. I am not sleeping well, and I think I check FiveThirtyEight about three dozen times a day, hoping for some good news … I think I speak for a lot of Americans when I say that I desperately want this thing to be over. It has been SO ugly. Come Tuesday night, I will either be relieved or suicidal.
While Martin is still kicking as far as we know, those aren’t the words of a motivated writer. If he’s struggle with writer’s block in the past, this could affect his progress just as surely as the constant political squabbling affects King’s Landing and Westeros.
The end A Dance With Dragons left us uncertain about Jon Snow’s fate — and while we know he isn’t permanently dead, the story’s biggest looming question was whether his return would play out the same way it did on the show or in a different way. Martin has already said Hodor’s fate will be different on the page.
The fans are right that it could take Martin even longer to motivate himself this time, but the show will provide its own answers in its final two seasons. As for the books, there is always a dream of spring.