The date July 29, 2020 may not mean much to most people whose birthday it isn’t.
It’s National Lasagna Day, if you’re in delivery range for your local Olive Garden. It’s also National Lipstick Day, if you feel like getting gussied up for a Zoom. It’s the anniversary of the doomed day Prince Charles married Lady Diana, and the day The Doors scored their first #1 hit with “Light My Fire.”
More importantly, today is also the day George R. R. Martin promised to deliver the fifth book in his galactically popular Game of Thrones series, under penalty of imprisonment—and under no circumstances would Twitter let him forget it.
George R.R. Martin says if 'The Winds of Winter' isn't out by July 29, 2020, fans can imprison him
— Fandom (@getFANDOM) May 22, 2019
The promise came at the end of a blog post the snail-paced author wrote extolling the virtues of New Zealand in May of 2019:
“I tell you this — if I don’t have THE WINDS OF WINTER in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done.”
The 78th annual World Science Fiction Convention kicks off in virtual form today, July 29, and guess which breathlessly anticipated manuscript will not be making an appearance? Oh well, it’s not as though there is a pandemic on, forcing people to spend loads more time indoors, catching up on their reading.
Obviously, there was no chance that Thrones-loving Twitter denizens would let the occasion pass unremarked upon. The cries for Martin’s impending imprisonment were impassioned and legion.
— THA-BIT (@DagrakaUchiha) July 29, 2020
— Tim Williamson (@TimWilly25) July 29, 2020
Time to pay the fucking piper George! https://t.co/Ve4LHIuE0C
— Brandon Collins (@elosoblanco69) July 29, 2020
George I will provide you safe harbor in an undisclosed location for a small fee https://t.co/OihdBlYo8N
— Jason Kirk, This American Life's cornhole expert (@thejasonkirk) July 29, 2020
A Lannister always pays his debts, but will George R. R. Martin pay his debt to society? Alas, we shall see.