As much as people adore acclaimed author George R.R. Martin, to say his fanbase is getting impatient would be an extreme understatement. The New Jersey native famously penned the book series A Song of Ice and Fire, which inspired the award winning HBO series Game of Thrones. But while the TV show saw its end last May, Martin's series is still uncompleted. The last book in ASOIAF came out in 2011, and it still seems that the next has no release date in sight.
The sixth book in the series, titled The Winds of Winter, has been teased by Martin multiple times over the past couple of years, and fans actually had high hopes for its release this summer. Back in May 2019, the 71-year-old novelist stated that if he didn't have the next installment done by CoNZealand, a science fiction convention held in New Zealand, fans had "formal written permission to imprison [him]." The event is slated to take place in July of this year, now virtually, and of course, Martin is not done with TWOW. So what's the deal?
Well, Martin has just taken the time to update fans on his progress with the book, as reported by The Guardian, giving us the news people probably aren't happy to hear. "I was heartbroken when CoNZealand was forced to go virtual due to the pandemic and I had to cancel my plans (exciting plans) for a long trip down to Wellington with Parris and my minions… but there is definitely a silver lining in that cloud," he wrote on his blog. "The last thing I need right now is a long interruption that might cost me all the momentum I have built up. I can always visit Wellington next year, when I hope that both Covid-19 and THE WINDS OF WINTER will be done."
While "next year" surely isn't the release date fans had in mind, Martin also shared some good news, explaining that he's been writing a ton during quarantine. "If nothing else, the enforced isolation has helped me write. I am spending long hours every day on THE WINDS OF WINTER, and making steady progress. I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week," he wrote, however clarifying that, "But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week. It’s going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go."
As angry as Martin's update might make fans, he did conclude his blog post with a cute tease, writing, "Now you will have to excuse me. Arya is calling. I think she means to kill someone." Looks like we'll just have to reread A Dance with Dragons and rewatch Game of Thrones again to fill the void until (hopefully) next year.