“Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin is giving a gift to fans in the Santa Fe, N.M. area leading up to the Season 4 premiere. The Jean Cocteau Cinema, which he owns, will offer free screenings of all of the released episodes of “Game of Thrones” to promote the fantasy series.

But there’s one thing Martin knows the free screenings (which began on Jan. 6) won’t do, which is appease the desire for the sixth book in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. The planned seven-book saga began when “A Game of Thrones” was published in 1996, and fans have been more and more impatient for the next installments in the series to be released as Martin takes longer and longer to publish them.

“It helps a little, but it also whets the impatience a little, so it’s a double-edged sword,” Martin tells Santa Fe’s KRQE of the screenings. “They’re making television shows a lot faster than writing novels, so I need to speed up a little.”

In the package KRQE released about Martin’s “Game of Thrones” screenings, one fan acknowledged that he is still excitedly awaiting the release of book 6, “The Winds of Winter.” Martin has not yet announced a tentative release date for that project.

“It is great that so many people are eager for the next book and certainly these are the people who are paying my bills and allowing me to have a house across the street from my other house,” Martin previously told the Sydney Morning Herald of fans asking about “The Winds of Winter’s” release date. “But at the same time, sometimes I just wish they would stop pressuring me about it. It will be done when it’s done. I’m working on it. I don’t know what else I can say: I’m a slow writer, I’ve always been a slow writer, and these are gigantic books.”

If all else fails, at least he has his backup ending.

“Game of Thrones” Season 4 is slated to premiere in Spring 2014.

Posted by:Terri Schwartz