If you’ve chewed your fingernails to chips waiting for George R.R. Martin’s next book in his A Song of Ice & Fire series, you may now have to start on your toes. Because the sixth instalment, The Winds of Winter, won’t be published before season 6 of HBO’s Game of Thrones premieres in April.
In a blog post released on 2 January, the author revealed that he was nowhere near done writing the book.
“The book’s not done. Nor is it likely to be finished tomorrow, or next week. Yes, there’s a lot written. Hundreds of pages. Dozens of chapters. But there’s also a lot still left to write. I am months away still...and that’s if the writing goes well,” he said, citing stress and a hectic schedule for the delay.
For those familiar with Martin’s writing habits, this should come as no surprise. The writer is notorious for pushing back publishing deadlines — his fantasy epic debuted 20 (yes, you read that right) years ago, with the fourth and fifth books famously released six years apart.
With this announcement though, the main worry for fans is: What about spoilers? The sixth season of the series will now inevitably be moving ahead of its printed predecessor. Also, with the TV adaptation returning to our screens every year while the books each take an average of three to four years to complete, there’s a very real probability that Game of Thrones might end its run looonnnggg before Martin concludes the novels.
Then again, since the TV series has already deviated from the books, spoilers from the show may mean little to readers (actually, they may even provide fresh perspective on the storyline). As Martin put it, “You can still enjoy the hell out of both.”
Whether or not you’re waiting for the series to kick off or the book to be done, here’s what you can do in the meantime: Plaster up that Game of Thrones-sized hole in your heart with this little excerpt from The Winds of Winter, posted on the author’s website. You’re welcome.
For more Game of Thrones, check out Jon Snow Will (Almost Definitely) Be Back or Calling GOT Fans: Now You Too Can Fight For The Iron Throne. For more on lifestyle, click here.