George RR Martin denies last two Game of Thrones books completed, but delayed for TV show

George RR Martin.
George RR Martin. Photo credit: Reuters

George RR Martin has reportedly already completed the sixth and seventh Game of Thrones books but is waiting to release them until after the TV show finishes.

That's according to Ian McElhinney, the actor who played Barristan Selmy on the show - but Martin himself has brushed off the claim as "misinformation" and "insanity".

McElhinney suggested his character won't suffer the same fate as he did on screen and we'll all find out how the Song of Ice and Fire ends within just a few months.

"George has already written Books 6 and 7, and as far as he's concerned there only are seven books. But he struck an agreement with [showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss] that he would not publish the final two books until the series has completed," McElhinney stated at Epic Con.

"So if all goes well, in another month or two we might get Books 6 and 7, and I'm intrigued to know how Barristan, for instance, ends up going through those final two books.

"George, I talked to him during Season 1 and he did say to me that Barristan had a very interesting journey. But unfortunately I didn't get to play all of that, so we'll have to wait and see."

Taking to his blog, Martin shot down the claims in a post entitled 'Idiocy on the Internet'.

"Why would I sit for years on completed novels? Why would my publishers ever consent to this? They make millions and millions of dollars every time a new Ice & Fire book comes out, as do I," says Martin.

"Delaying makes no sense. Why would HBO want the books delayed? The books help create interest in the show, just as the show creates interest in the books.

"I assure you, HBO and [Benioff and Weiss] would both have been thrilled and delighted if The Winds of Winter had been delivered and published four or five years ago… and no one would have been more delighted than me."

Although HBO's Game of Thrones is based on the Song of Ice and Fire novels, the two have evolved rather differently.

Many characters are alive in the books and dead in the TV show, or vice versa, while some characters have only ever existed in one medium's version of the story and not the other.

As the TV show has gone on, critics and many fans have enjoyed it increasingly less as it deviated further and further from the novels.

Many fans are eagerly awaiting the release of Martin's final two books - which still appear to be a while away, despite McElhinney's claims.