We're nearing a decade since the publication of the fifth book in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series; A Dance With Dragons came out in July of 2011. The HBO series Game of Thrones, which wrapped up back in May, of course went beyond the books seasons ago (and arguably suffered in quality because of it), and there's been widespread speculation about whether the books will have a more satisfying ending than the series, but no concrete word from GRRM about when we can expect it, or the sixth and next installment, The Winds of Winter. We still don't have anything close to a date, but there has been a slightly encouraging update from GRRM. "I am off by myself in a remote isolated location," he writes in a new blog post, "attended by one of my staff, and I’m not going in to town or seeing anyone. Truth be told, I am spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day. Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms… but maybe not as grim as they may become here."

Perhaps there's one tiny silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic if it forces GRRM to finally knuckle down and finish The Winds of Winter?

Meanwhile, GRRM acknowledges that he's at risk from the virus overall, but says he's doing okay so far. "For those of you who may be concerned for me personally," he writes, "yes, I am aware that I am very much in the most vulnerable population, given my age and physical condition. But I feel fine at the moment, and we are taking all sensible precautions."

And if you feel like 2020's been a doozy so far (we agree), is this why?