George R. R. Martin, author of the best-selling “A Song of Ice and Fire” fantasy series, indicated that the latest instalment could be finished this year.
Martin has worked on “The Winds of Winter” (TWoW) since its predecessor, “A Dance with Dragons”, was published in 2011. TWoW will be the sixth and penultimate book in the series, which is currently being adapted into the award-winning HBO series “Game of Thrones.”
The books — and TV adaptation — focus on the fractured fictional kingdoms of Westeros and Essos, and the court intrigue and bloody battles playing out between an expansive cast of dozens of characters.
Posting on his blog, Martin announced that he’s pulling out of the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga, because he has “too many things on my plate.” But he added the caveat that he may change his mind “should I complete and deliver WINDS OF WINTER before these cons roll around.”
He suggested that progress on TWoW is going well, and could be realistically completed this year. Previously, the author’s publisher said there were no plans for publication in 2015. And past books in the series have also been mired by delays: Martin originally intended to finish “A Dance with Dragons” by 2006, but after numerous holdups, it was finally released 5 years later, in 2011.
For this reason, Martin previously said he won’t “play games with news about the books,” and that the announcement of when it is complete would be “straightforward and to the point.”
So, considering his statement about the completion of the book, it looks like this is a strong indicator that he doesn’t envision many holdups.
As progress on “A Song of Ice and Fire” continued to drag on, fans of the book have grown increasingly concerned about its TV adaptation “Game of Thrones” overtaking the events of the books.
The producers of the show, David Beinoff and D. B. Weiss, were told by Martin about how the books will end, and they have no contractual obligation to wait for the books. With season 5 of the show about to begin next month, it has already almost caught up with the events of the books, with some storylines almost certainly set to overtake the books this season.
Martin’s latest statement won’t stop Season 5 from spoiling some aspects of the series for book readers, and it’s no guarantee that the TV show won’t ultimately conclude before the books do. But the fact that he is at least discussing the completion of TWoW is being taken by many in the community as a very positive sign.
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