George R.R. Martin Teases 2021 Release Date for ‘Winds of Winter’

george rr martin winds of winter

Need a little pick-me-up? George R.R. Martin has your back.

The 71-year-old author, who penned the A Song of Ice and Fire series that Game of Thrones was based on, just issued an exciting update on the progress of The Winds of Winter. Yes, finally.

Martin opened up about how Winds of Winter is coming along on his blog, Not a Blog, and revealed that it should hit bookshelves sometime in 2021. He told fans, “If nothing else, the enforced isolation has helped me write.”

In the meantime, here’s everything we know about the long-awaited book.

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 nine 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 recently revealed that he’s aiming for 2021. “If nothing else, the enforced isolation has helped me write,” he wrote on his blog. “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. 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…I have bad days, which get me down, and good days, which lift me up, but all in all I am pleased with the way things are doing.”

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. 

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Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.


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