(NEW YORK) — Thanks to social distancing, winter is coming. Author George R.R. Martin delighted fans on Wednesday when he revealed that he is hard at work finishing the latest Game of Thrones novel, The Winds of Winter — the highly anticipated followup to 2011’s A Dance with Dragons.
On his personal website, the famed author spoke candidly on Tuesday about the COVID-19 outbreak and how it’s affected his daily life.
“Strange days are upon us. As ancient as I am, I cannot recall ever having lived through anything like the past few weeks,” the 71-year-old marveled as he commended his surrounding businesses of shutting down in order to reduce further spread of the virus.
He goes on to write that, because everything around him closing in his home in New Mexico and with him being considered “vulnerable” due to his “age and physical condition,” he’s returned to Westeros full time.
“I feel fine at the moment, and we are taking all sensible precautions,” Martin explained to concerned fans, who long expressed worries that the author could pass before finishing The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring — a theory the author himself has shut down several times.
“I am off by myself in a remote isolated location, attended by one of my staff, and I’m not going in to town or seeing anyone,” Martin promised, saying he has something more important to be doing right now.
Because he closed himself off to the outside world, that means he is “spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day.”
Martin furthered, “Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms… but maybe not as grim as they may become here.”
He also encouraged fans to keep washing their hands, saying, “Better to be safe than sorry.”
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