If you’re even remotely familiar with Game of Thrones, then you probably know that author George R.R. Martin is way behind on the book series from which the hit HBO show is based. Yes, fans have been waiting a good amount of time for Winds of Winter, the next novel in his A Song of Ice and Fire saga. Here’s everything we know about the long-awaited book and when it’s expected to drop.
1. What Is ‘Winds of Winter?’
Winds of Winter is the sixth book in Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire oeuvre. He began the series in 1991 with the first volume, A Game of Thrones, which was published in 1996. His most recent novel, A Dance with Dragons, was published in 2011 and took six years to write. He’s currently working on The Winds of Winter and fans are eager.
2. What Books Have Preceded it?
The first book in A Song of Ice and Fire was A Game of Thrones (1996). The second was A Clash of Kings (1998), which was followed by A Storm of Swords (2000), A Feast for Crows (2005) and A Dance with Dragons (2011).
3. How Long Has George R.R. Martin Been Writing ‘Winds of Winter?’
Since 2011, so eight grueling years. Yikes.
4. Will George R.R. Martin Ever Finish?
Although it seems like fans have been waiting forever, Martin confirmed that he’s almost done with Winds of Winter. “I’ve been struggling with it for a few years,” Martin explained to The Guardian. “The Winds of Winter is not so much a novel as a dozen novels, each with a different protagonist, each having a different cast of supporting players, antagonists, allies and lovers around them, and all of these weaving together against the march of time in an extremely complex fashion. So it’s very, very challenging.”
5. When Can We Expect ‘Winds of Winter?’
It’s not exactly clear, but Martin dropped a hint about how close he is to being finished at the Chicago Humanities Festival in October. During a panel with author Eve Ewing, he said, “When I actually finish a book you know the rush that comes through me. It was easier to write short stories then because then I would get that rush every few weeks. But now, I get that rush every, you know, eight years or something like that.” He went on to add, “But it’s a great rush, and I’m hoping to have it again in the relatively near future when I finish Winds of Winter.” So, basically, the answer is “soon.” Let’s hope he sticks to that promise.
6. Will ‘Winds of Winter’ Be the Last Book in the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ Series?
No, in addition to The Winds of Winter, Martin has A Dream of Spring forthcoming. That will be the final book.
7. Will It Be Similar to the Show?
Yes, but like all the books in the A Song of Ice and Fire collection, Winds of Winter will be more complex than Game of Thrones was. Martin explained the book and the show’s differences in a blog post, writing, “There are characters who never made it onto the screen at all, and others who died in the show but still live in the books…So if nothing else, the readers will learn what happened to Jeyne Poole, Lady Stoneheart, Penny and her pig, Skahaz Shavepate, Arianne Martell, Darkstar, Victarion Greyjoy, Ser Garlan the Gallant, Aegon VI, and a myriad of other characters both great and small that viewers of the show never had the chance to meet.” Well, that’s certainly something to look forward to.