George R.R. Martin says The Winds of Winter may be delayed even further

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Jul 20, 2018, 2:52 PM EDT (Updated)

If you were hoping to read the next Game of Thrones book, The Winds of Winter, before the show ends next year, you might be a tad disappointed. According to series creator George R.R. Martin, the sixth novel will be delayed even further as he is currently working on his spinoff books about the history of the Targaryen family, Fire and Blood.

"Most of Fire and Blood consists of the 'sidebars' I originally wrote for The World of Ice & Fire," wrote Martin on his blog. "Abridged versions of some of those pieces appeared as [the novellas] The Princess and the QueenThe Rogue Prince, and The Sons of the Dragon, but these are the full versions, together with some chapters that have never appeared anywhere."

When asked by a fan how this spinoff series would affect the release of WoW, the 69-year-old writer revealed that Fire and Blood is planned as two volumes and he's close to finishing Volume One. After that, he intends to return to the sixth Game of Thrones Book and once that's done, pivot back to Volume Two of F&B. As a result, readers probably won't get an update on the literary version of Westeros before the HBO show finishes up in 2019. At this point, Martin runs the risk of dying (God forbid!) and requiring someone to finish up the books in his stead in a parallel of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. 

Martin plans to end A Song of Ice and Fire after seven books. Following The Winds of Winter, the follow-up will be titled A Dream of Spring