George R.R. Martin Says Winds Of Winter Will Miss 2017 Target

2019 Ahoy
  • Fantasy
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George R.R. Martin doesn't expect The Winds of Winter to be out on shelves until 2019. (Photo: George R.R. Martin)

At the beginning of this year, author George R.R. Martin thought it plausible he would finish the next installment of his A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter, in time for a 2017 release. But on Saturday, GRRM wrote an update on both his upcoming history of the Targaryen dynasty, Fire and Blood (also known as the GRRMarillion), and The Winds of Winter, stating definitively that the sequel to The Dance of Dragons and next in the Game of Thrones ’ source material series won’t be out in 2017.

“Not done yet, but I’ve made progress. But not as much as I hoped a year ago, when I thought to be done by now. I think it will be out this year. (But hey, I thought they same thing last year),” he wrote in January.

On Saturday, Martin provided this update:

“I am still working on it, I am still months away (how many? Good question), I still have good days and bad days, and that’s all I care to say. Whether WINDS or the first volume of FIRE AND BLOOD will be the first to hit the bookstores is hard to say at this juncture, but I do think you will have a Westeros book from me in 2018… and who knows, maybe two. A boy can dream…”

So that’s that. The Winds of Winter won’t be out in 2017. And Martin isn’t sure it will be out in 2018, either.

Martin also took the opportunity to bat away some of the more sensationalist stories about The Winds of Winter, including the claim that Winds is already finished that Player.One debunked last month. “I’ve seen some truly weird reports about WOW on the internet of late, by ‘journalists’ who make their stories out of whole cloth,” Martin wrote. “I don’t know which story is more absurd, the one that says the book is finished and I’ve been sitting on it for some nefarious reason, or the one that says I have no pages. Both ‘reports’ are equally false and equally moronic.”

It seems Martin has been making better progress on his book-length Wikipedia history of the Targaryens than The Winds of Winter, since The Winds of Winter delay came accompanied with the announcement of a two-parter Fire and Blood. The first half, the one Martin believes will be out in 2018, “will cover the history of Westeros from Aegon’s Conquest up to and through the regency of the boy king Aegon III (the Dragonbane).” The second volume, covering “Aegon III up to Robert’s Rebellion,” should be out sometime after The Winds of Winter.

For those who luxuriate in fictional worlds and love soaking up background material and mythology, the Winds of Winter release date delay comes with a built-in upside: Fire and Blood got moved up. For the rest of us, who just want to read the damn story, the wait continues.

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