Game of Thrones fans have a lot to look forward to — and a lot to be mad about, if we're being honest. At the top of the gripes list is the seemingly endless for George R.R. Martin's next book in the series: The Winds of Winter. But it seems that social distancing might be helping Martin make progress on the penultimate installment.

In an entry on Martin's blog posted on March 17, the author said he is hunkered down in near-isolation amid the coronavirus pandemic, working every day on The Winds of Winter.Martin wrote his note to assure fans that he's taking precautions — he's in New Mexico with just one staff member on hand, and he shut down his attraction Meow Wolf, his Jean Cocteau Cinema movie theater, and his non-profit the Stagecoach Foundation for now — and to share some of his anxieties that, from the sound of it, could possibly trickle into his work.

"For those of you who may be concerned for me personally... yes, I am aware that I am very much in the most vulnerable population, given my age and physical condition," he wrote. "But I feel fine at the moment, and we are taking all sensible precautions. I am off by myself in a remote, isolated location, 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."

Every New Original Movie and TV Show Coming to HBO Max

Age 71, Martin admitted that he's never seen anything like what's happening now and that, as dark as his next entry in his A Song of Ice and Fire series may be, it doesn't match the tough realties of the present. "Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms ... but maybe not as grim as they may become here. I cannot help feeling as if we are all now living in a science fiction novel. But not, alas, the sort of science fiction novel that I dreamed of living in when I was a kid, the one with the cities on the Moon, colonies on Mars, household robots programmed with the Three Laws, and flying cars. I never liked the pandemic stories half so well... As ancient as I am, I cannot recall ever having lived through anything like the past few weeks."

Things are definitely bad when the people of Westeros are in better shape than us, but — silver lining! — when we get through this, we'll likely get to see a new George R.R. Martin novel sooner rather than later.

George R.R. MartinGeorge R.R. Martin