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J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter vs. George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones

August 5, 2016
JK Rowling is "done" with Harry Potter.

JK Rowling is “done” with Harry Potter.

Ned Stark might be "done," but Game of Thrones isn't.

Ned Stark might be “done,” but Game of Thrones isn’t.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin probably don’t attract quite the same audience.  Both sets of books have magic and shocking sequences, but Game of Thrones has a bit more “adult” material in it and can be a little more difficult to follow, with a bunch of minor characters and meandering subplots.

When I talk about Game of Thrones, book readers get mad and remind me that the series is called A Song of Ice and Fire.  If I say A Song of Ice and Fire, people who don’t read the books get confused, and then I have to say Game of Thrones anyway.  With J.K. Rowling, all I have to say is Harry Potter, and everybody knows what I’m talking about.

The series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin is not even done yet.  There are still two books left, and nobody really knows when these books will be completed and published.  Even though there have been deadlines, George R.R. Martin hasn’t been able to meet them.  Martin is lucky he’s a fantastic writer because otherwise no publisher would tolerate him.

Some fans are worried that A Song of Ice and Fire might never get finished, that George R.R. Martin will pass on before he’s done.  I don’t like to judge other people (even though I write a blog), but Martin looks like he might have some… issues.  I don’t want to list what those issues could be because I’m not a doctor, but if you look at the guy, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

If Martin dies before finishing A Song of Ice and Fire, a lot of readers will be ticked off.  Some will be angry that he didn’t write the novels quickly enough.  Others will point out that if he had lived a more healthy lifestyle, he would have given himself more time to finish his novels.

George R.R. Martin spends a lot of time writing stuff that isn’t A Song of Ice and Fire.  He writes Dunk and Egg stories.  He writes histories of his fantasy world.  To me, those are things he should write AFTER he’s done with A Song of Ice and Fire.  Dunk and Egg stories are okay, but I want to know what happens in Westeros.

Now that everybody has had the chance to read (if not see) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling claims that she is “done” with Harry Potter .  There are no more Harry Potter stories to tell.  The series is complete.  There might be other tales in the Potter universe, but that’s it for Potter.

“Done” might mean something different in the U.K.  In the United States, “done” means you’re finished with it, you’re through, you’re never going back, it’s dead to you.  Maybe in the UK, “done” means we’ll revisit it in a few years.  I don’t know.

J.K Rowling might be “done” with Harry Potter, but not all her readers are satisfied.  Some say she wrote the series too quickly and didn’t think through some of the plot developments and characterization.  In other words, they claim she should have taken her time.    Other readers complain that Cursed Child feels like fan fiction.  This shows that no matter what a successful authors does, readers are going to complain.  Then again, J.K. Rowling looks pretty healthy.  It seems like she is putting herself in a position to write a lot more books.  I guess that’s judging (which I try not to do, even though I’m a blogger), but at least it’s positive judging.

I’m not a betting man, but I’d wager that J.K. Rowling will write another Harry Potter book/script/something within the next 20 years.  I’m not talking about a Tolkien-like Silmarillion.  I don’t mean something related to the Harry Potter universe.   I mean, J.K. Rowling will write something new and significant about Harry Potter.

Cormoran Strike books are okay, but they would not have been best sellers if J.K. Rowling hadn’t admitted she was Robert Galbraith.  I don’t think Strike novels will sustain her own interest for the next 20 years and beyond.  At some point, Rowling will think of another idea for a Harry Potter book.  And I bet she’d rather change her mind than NOT write a new book just to stay true to her word.

When it comes to George R.R. Martin finishing A Song of Ice and Fire, I’m not sure how I’d bet.


What do you think?  Is J.K. Rowling really done with Harry Potter?  When (as in what year) do you think George R.R. Martin will finally finish writing A Song of Ice and Fire?


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From → Literary Combat

  1. I don’t get the obsession with Game of Thrones or Fire and Ice. They just don’t capture my fancy. I haven’t read the new Harry Potter. I felt the story was done at the end of the series. It was good for me. She could have done a lot though. Some fun graphic novels maybe on the twins and their shop. Or even a whole run on their kids at Hogwarts. How would you like to be the kid of Harry Potter? Surely there is a market for kids who feel they can’t quite live up to their dad’s reputation?

  2. I’m a fan of both series, and you brought up some excellent points, particularly the dichotomy between struggling to finish writing the series versus publishing additional works above and beyond what had initially been promised. While neither situation is optimal, I almost prefer Martin’s approach – he’s stated on several occasions that he is taking his time while writing to ensure that he produces the best work that he is able. Rowling, on the other hand, appears to be attempting to revamp interest in the Harry Potter series and is sacrificing quality for quantity.

  3. Maybe the solution would be to get Rowling to collaborate with Martin to finish the Game of Thrones series.

    • Haha! Great idea. Though would the two universes bled together? Imagine Cersei’s face when she eats a Bertie Bott’s snot flavoured jelly bean. Or Tyrion drinking a pint of butterbeer? Or what Voldemort would’ve done with the High Sparrow.

  4. Anushika permalink

    I’m yet to read The Cursed Child (out of stock at almost all bookstores), so I can’t judge. But I do agree that Rowling will most certainly come up with a sequel/prequel in the distant future.

    That said, I doubt I’m going to ever read A Song of Ice and Fire, because I lack the patience, and because the show is supposedly awesome.

    Great post, by the way.

  5. happyfreeconfusedlonelyatthesametime permalink

    I don’t think she’s done. I think she said that before and still wrote another book.
    I don’t care about game of thrones so I don’t have an opinion on that.

  6. I think I might be one of the few people on the planet with enormous sympathy for Martin – pretty sure when he wrote the first book he never expected it would be the all-devouring behemoth it’s become. It’s the biggest thing in his life – yes he’s earned a fortune from the books and the TV adaptation but it must be quite a burden too. Though, I’ve never read any of the books, so if I’d invested months reading the canon with the threat of the stories never being finished, maybe I’d be pissed off too.
    And JK Rowling? That woman is sculpted from pure adamantium, man. She’s made of tough stuff. It’s all that single parent, writing books in Edinburgh coffee houses marlarky. And no, I wouldn’t be surprised if she wrote something more about Harry.
    Never say never.

  7. aubreysbooknook permalink

    This is such a great post! I haven’t read or seen The Game of Thrones books or show (A Song of Ice and Fire), and I honestly don’t plan to. I feel like it is one of those series that seem never ending, but somehow draw people in (kinda like James Bond).
    It is very highly unlikely that J.K. Rowling is “done” with Harry Potter. It is how she makes most of the money she has and the fans are certainly not done with her. The Robert Gailbraith books (and for that matter, any J.K. Rowling book) would probably not be half as popular if it weren’t for Harry Potter’s success.

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