To say that fans are eagerly awaiting The Winds of Winter, the next installment of George R.R. Martin’s uber-epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, might be the biggest understatement in all of fandom.
That eagerness is stoked by the fact that Martin hasn’t published a book in the series since 2011, the same year HBO debuted Game of Thrones, the pop-culture defining TV show adapted from his five voluminous books. Ever since, Martin has teased fans with updates about the sixth novel, The Winds of Winter, which, unlike winter itself, never seems to be coming. And that’s not even to speak of the planned seventh and final novel in the series, A Dream of Spring.
But hold fast, friends, for the old gods and the new have blown fair tidings of progress our way. Or at least Martin has, in a hopeful update to his blog yesterday.
“I wrote hundreds and hundreds of pages of THE WINDS OF WINTER in 2020,” Martin writes. “The best year I’ve had on WOW since I began it. Why? I don’t know. Maybe the isolation. Or maybe I just got on a roll. Sometimes I do get on a roll.”
As fans well know (and as Martin well knows fans know), this doesn’t mean we should expect to see the results anytime soon.
“I need to keep rolling, though,” Martin cautions. “I still have hundreds of more pages to write to bring the novel to a satisfactory conclusion. That’s what 2021 is for, I hope.”
Alas, that hopeful tone is reached after laying bare the very real woes the past year has left in its wake, for so many, and for Martin personally, who says he lost “a number of friends” during the first year of the pandemic.
But the work goes on. And for that, Martin is hopeful, though not quite willing to offer up a firm date for WOW’s completion.
“I will make no predictions on when I will finish,” Martin writes. “Every time I do, a**holes on the internet take that as a ‘promise,’ and then wait eagerly to crucify me when I miss the deadline. All I will say is that I am hopeful.”
As are we. Granted, with hearing pitches for more HBO Game of Thrones prequels, and production on their greenlit House of the Dragon series commencing in the first half of 2021, we understand he’s a busy man. Although, and we're just throwing this out there, he did previously say he expected to finish The Winds of Winter sometime this year.