Over time, I have noticed a number of disappointed and outraged 1-star reviews (as well as a few fake-but-supremely-satisfied 5-star reviews) where the reviewer (whether disappointed or phony) is apparently under the impression that this series was supposed to finish with the 5th book.
At first, I was confused as to where reviewers could have gotten this impression. GRRM has never promised 5 books. Years ago, he was once promising a 4-book series, but then he switched to projecting 6 books, then to 7, which remains the current projection. He never projected 5.
But then it dawned on me. It's GRRM's "ICE AND FIRE UPDATE" on his website (it is not called a "DANCE WITH DRAGONS UPDATE"). If one clicks on it, to see how he is progressing with the series, you see the giant word DONE!, followed by a picture of the 5th volume, as though that volume represents Ice & Fire's completion.
At first, I thought it a mistake. Originally, of course, this merely meant that DANCE was done. But I tried to post about the potential for confusion on the WESTEROS forum where there are many people with access to GRRM who can alert him to the problem. My post was immediately deleted, and I was immediately banned from the forum. I received no explanation in response to emails. Months have now passed, and the misleading "update" remains in place.
So does this mean that GRRM, or at least his evil minions, WANT the update to confuse potential readers?
It's a diversion, to keep the KGB off GRRM's trail. Ever since his work with the Soviets just before their fall, they haven't stopped looking for him since the disappearance of nuclear physicist Roman Kechoslav, an aspiring young writer that George met in 1987. The man has not been seen since, yet it is purported that GRRM underwent many physical changes during this time.
I'm not saying George is a Commie, but... he DID vote for Obama.
I personally think he is done, he may keep the facade up for a few years and ride this puppy for as long as it will carry him, but I doubt there will be a book 6, much less a book 7. I don't think there is a conspiracy rather a lack of interest. GURM has moved on to richer pastures at HBO (and if we weren't such nerds we would move on too)... This series ended at book three...
That is precisely how I feel. The third one was the last one worth reading and he killed off or scattered everyone I had orginally cared about anyway so there isn't much incentive to prolong the agony.
Perhaps it wouldbe for the best!He should have never based the series totally on ASOIAF .It should have been based on the events leading up to the crowning of Robert Baratheon the first.From the Defiance of Duskendale and the Tourney of Harrenhall ,to the kidnapping of Lyanna Stark, to the War of the Usurper , to the events of the Tower of Joy.It would have allowed the series to enhance the story line.Keep people interested in the books when the story starts to drag like its' doing now.
At this point I don't care whether if he finishes anything or spontaneously combusts while sitting in front of his Commodore 64 or whatever archaic piece of technology he uses to write. He could have done something great with the elements he set up in the first book and he blew it. The disappointed fans are hoping he's going to magically return to the old way if/when the next book comes out but we all know it will be another bloated carcass that will never see the editor's desk before publication. We might as well have the entire story written by anyone else at this point.
Here's my prediction: Sometime within the next year or two GRRM will announce that he will not publish any more books in the series but instead will devote his (limited) time to helping HBO complete the series in another two or three seasons following their adaptation of book 5. There will be much fawning by the loyal fans and praising of his genius for devising such a clever plan.
I don't think GRRM will openly abandon the book series that early. The longer he pretends he's going to write another book, the stronger the gravy train will move. This franchise is at an incredible peak of popularity right now; they're going to want to make it keep looking like it's healthy on all fronts.