"The Winds of Winter" is coming, but it's going to take a bit longer than you'd like.
In a blog post Saturday, author George R.R. Martin said the sixth book in his "A Song of Ice and Fire" heptalogy isn't finished, which all but assures that it won't come out before "Game of Thrones" season 6 starts in April. The book may not be done for several months, said Martin, and that's if the writing process goes well.
From the blog post: "For months now I have wanted nothing so much as to be able to say, 'I have completed and delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER' on or before the last day of 2015. But the book's not done. Nor is it likely to be finished tomorrow, or next week. Yes, there's a lot written. Hundreds of pages. Dozens of chapters. (Those 'no pages done' reports were insane, the usual garbage internet journalism that I have learned to despise). But there's also a lot still left to write. I am months away still... and that's if the writing goes well. (Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't.) Chapters still to write, of course... but also rewriting. I always do a lot of rewriting, sometimes just polishing, sometimes pretty major restructures."
In the post, Martin reveals that he's always had a problem with deadlines, which is partly why he started writing fiction instead of using his master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He has written several novels, such as "Dying of the Light" and "The Armageddon Rag," at his own pace. He acknowledges that contracts and deadlines stress him out.
Combine that with travels, awards shows, other projects and the fact that sometimes writing just doesn't flow and you get delays.
Some of Martin's fans were upset, and took to Twitter to vent their frustrations. @ChiSportsGal tweeted, "I think I'm done with this guy and his books." Others were more understanding, with several commenters on the blog post encouraging Martin to keep on doing what he's doing.
Now that it's all but certain that the show will advance more quickly than the final two books in the series, will the show spoil the books? Sort of, says Martin, but maybe not as much as you think.
Yes, there are certain character arcs and storylines that will be spoiled. There's just no way around that. But the show has already diverged from the books in so many ways that events in season 6 of "Game of Thrones" might not be book spoilers at all.
The situation could get more dicey in season 7 (or 8 or however long the series goes on), as it's looking likely that show watchers will know how the series ends before book readers.
Martin shows the divergence by outlining several characters who are dead on the show but alive in the books (or vice versa). And several potentially important characters haven't yet and may never make an appearance on the show. We won't spoil those for you here in case you aren't caught up on all five seasons/books, but you can read all about it below the spoiler warning on Martin's blog post.
*Warning: A brief spoiler follows if you haven't watched all 50 episodes of the HBO show and have somehow shielded your eyes from the Internet in the past six months.
Curiously, Martin doesn't mention Jon Snow at all, which might be pretty telling of that character's fate. Could the omission from Martin's post mean that the former lord commander of the Night's Watch is set for an epic comeback in season/book 6?
We'll know for sure when "Game of Thrones" returns to HBO in April or when "The Winds of Winter" finally lands on shelves.