Although the rest of us may still be in withdrawal mode after the end of Game of Thrones, there's one person who's very glad the HBO series is finally over. That would be George RR Martin, the author of the books the show was based on, who calls the conclusion of the show a "liberation," in the words of the Observer. In an interview with the paper, the usually reclusive Martin says he's still working on finishing up The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in the series, and then getting started on the planned final one, A Dream of Spring—and since the TV show has ended, he says he's found it "freeing" for his creative process.
"I'm at my own pace now," says Martin. "I have good days and I have bad days and the stress is far less, although it's still there." He adds, "I don't think [the TV series] was very good for me," due to the "enormous" self-imposed pressure of keeping up with the show: "The very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. ... Even if I had a good day ... I'd feel terrible because I'd be thinking: 'My God, I have to finish the book. I've only written four pages when I should have written 40.'" Martin also addresses the series finale that polarized fans, saying that controversy won't have any bearing on how he wraps up his own writing. "It doesn't change anything at all," he says. "You can't please everybody, so you've got to please yourself." (Read more Game of Thrones stories.)