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George R.R. Martin clarifies eighth book rumor, offers sweet role in future book

Those who have read the novels upon which Game of Thrones is based were likely either thrilled or dismayed by the prospect of the conclusion being drawn out into an eighth book after speculation on it heated up on Tuesday. Author George R.R. Martin clarified the rumor this week, however, and it looks like those who were hoping for seven can breathe easier, at least for now.

Martin tells Entertainment Weekly that his plan is to finish in seven (though his original plan was for the story to be a trilogy), thus the possibility of pushing it to eight is there as more of a way to expand if the story necessitates it.

“I write the stories and they grow,” Martin said. “I deal with certain things and sometimes I find myself not at the end of a story. My plan right now is still seven. But first I have to finish Book Six.”

He also added that if you ask about this again when he’s halfway through book seven, perhaps he’ll “tell you something more meaningful.” Classic Martin. Besides, seven books fits in quite nicely with the series’ seven kingdoms, seven gods, and possible seven seasons of Game of Thrones, though Martin also said he wasn’t sure if seven seasons would be enough to tell the whole story.

There will be a slight distraction from the wait for The Winds of Winter this fall, when Martin releases The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones on October 28.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday Martin announced a new campaign to help him raise money for Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and The Food Depot of Santa Fe, two charities the Santa Fe-based writer is passionate about supporting. Donors can make contributions in various denominations from the $10 “Ranger” level, all the way up to “Martyr.”

The “Martyr” level will cost you a cool $20,000, but you’ll get what might be the coolest prize ever: the opportunity to be written into a future Song of Ice and Fire book...and be killed off. The author will name a character after you, you’ll get to choose your lot in life, be it a septon, a knight, a whore, or whatever you please, and Martin promises “you will certainly meet a grisly death!”

Everyone who makes a donation, which you can do here, will also be entered for a chance to win a trip to New Mexico to visit the wolf sanctuary with Martin himself. He says you’ll be able to chat Game of Thrones, the book series, or whatever you want. Just maybe don’t ask when Winds of Winter will come out, or he might want to kill you in real life.