George R.R. Martin Just Gave His Most Tangible Update on ‘Winds of Winter’ in a Decade

Photo credit: Getty
By Esquire
A Dance With Dragons, the latest book in George R. R. Martin's beloved fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire, was released a month after Game of Thrones season 1 finale. That was almost a decade ago on July 12, 2011. And when the show became a global phenomenon, the material in Martin's was released five out of seven planned novels, and the story ended with eight seasons of Game of Thrones - the fans got on the awaited sixth book Winds of Winter.
And finally, for the first time, there is light at the end of the tunnel. George R. R. Martin has given a specific window on when he will finalize the book. This happens after years, after vague updates by the author, after assurances that he writes slowly, after fears of writing blocks. But he has finally informed his readers that he hopes to have the book ready next year. As Martin wrote in his blog:
Last but not least, the forced isolation helped me write. I spend long hours with THE WINDS OF WINTER every day and keep making progress. I ended a new chapter yesterday, another three days ago, another one last week. But no, that doesn't mean the book will be ready tomorrow or published next week. It will be a huge book and I still have a long way to go. Please do not believe any of the click bait websites that want to analyze every word of my posts as if they were papal encyclicals with divine hidden meanings.
I was broken when CoNZealand was forced to go virtual due to the pandemic and I had to cancel my plans (exciting plans) for a long trip to Wellington with Parris and my minions ... but there is definitely a silver lining in this cloud. The last thing I need now is a long break that could cost me all the momentum I've built. I can always visit Wellington next year when I hope that both Covid-19 and THE WINDS OF WINTER are finished.
I know it doesn't sound like much, but to be clear, this is the most optimistic announcement Martin has made about the book in almost a decade.
He also gave fans an impression of what he was writing:
I return to Westeros between shots. I have recently visited Cersei, Asha, Tyrion, Ser Barristan and Areo Hotah. I will be back in Braavos next week. I have bad days that bring me down and good days that lift me up, but overall I'm happy with the way things are going.
I wish they would go faster of course. A long time ago, when I was deeply into writing A STORM OF SWORDS in 1999, I had an average of 150 pages of manuscript per month. I'm afraid I will never reach that pace again. Looking back, I'm not sure how I did it back then. A fever indeed.
This is a man who famously writes slowly. He started writing Game of Thrones in 1991 and almost 30 years later we are still eagerly awaiting graduation. For a small context, it took Martin six years to write A Dance With Dragons, and by the time he said he could write the next one even faster, he estimated that it might take three years. Well, he was wrong.
In his defense, however, it takes time to write the most famous fantasy series since Lord of the Rings. This is a guy who has written Westeros history for thousands of years - give him a break.
We will get winds of winter - let's just hope that humanity is still there to read it.
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