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Every time George R. R. Martin gave us hope for The Winds of Winter release

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Celebrities, they are just like us! They sometimes miss deadlines, whether by a week, a month, or a decade. Seems like George R.R. Martin is on a mission to prove to the literary world that good things take (a ton) of time. His next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series has been due for what seems like an eternity.

Although it has been 12 years since he released the previous book in the series, A Dance with Dragons, we still do not have a concrete release date or year when the next will be released. Here is a comprehensive timeline of every time George R.R. Martin gave us (false) hope for The Winds of Winter.

Read More: When is The Winds of Winter coming out? Everything we know about the next Game of Thrones book

The wait begins

a song of ice and fire

A Dance with Dragons was all set to release in July of 2011, and fans were already eager to know if the next book was in the works. At this point, the six-year wait for DANCE was the longest interval between any of the A Song of Ice and Fire books.

April 2011

After taking six years to write A Dance with Dragons, the author tells Guardian, “Hopefully, the last two books will go a little quicker than this one has, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be quick. Realistically, it’s going to take me three years to finish the next one at a good pace. I hope it doesn’t take me six years like this last one has.” 

He explained, “I have a million ideas. I have some other novels I want to write. I have a lot of short stories – I love the short story. But I’ve got to finish this first, and then I’ll decide what I’m inspired by at that point. If I’m not in some old folks’ home.”

October 2012

One of the rare times he mentioned the year of expected release. In an interview with Adria’s News, he says, “I’ve already written 400 pages of my sixth book, and I really look forward to publishing it in 2014, but I am really bad for predictions.”

May 2013

He’s sticking to his 2014 estimate of releasing The Winds of Winter while telling O Globo, “Definitely not ready this year, maybe next.”

George R.R. Martin vs. George R.R. Martin

George R. R. Martin

He began working on many more projects apart from A Song of Ice and Fire’s main series and Game of Thrones TV show. He began helping in the development of everything from video games, companion books, anthologies, spin-off series, etc. Fans began to believe that if he kept taking on new projects, he would be the one standing in the path of him finishing The Winds of Winter.

April 2015

He emphasizes to Entertainment Weekly that finishing the book before season 6 of Game of Thrones airs is the top priority. Martin says, “I wish it was out now. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic about how quickly I can finish. But I canceled two convention appearances, I’m turning down a lot more interviews—anything I can do to clear my decks and get this done.”

January 2017

Regarding the next book, Martin writes in his Not a Blog (then Live Journal), “I think it will be out this year. (But hey, I thought the same thing last year).”

July 2017

Another Not a Blog update reads,  “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.” Later he confirmed that he paused working on WINDS to finish Fire & Blood volume 2.

April 2018

Martin lets down his readers pretty straightforwardly this time on Not a Blog, “No, winter is not coming… not in 2018, at least. You’re going to have to keep waiting for the Winds of Winter.”

We aren’t getting this book anytime soon, are we?

Credit: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

May 2019

Game of Thrones actor Ian McElhinney who plays Barristan Selmy, claimed that the author had finished the final two books in the series. He said, “I dunno if you know more than me about this, but what I’ve been told is that George has already written book six (The Winds of Winter) and seven (A Dream of Spring), and far as he is concerned there are only seven books.

But he struck an agreement with [Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] that he would not publish the final two books until the series is completed. So, all goes well, in another month or two, we might get book six and seven.”

In response to this, the author took to his Not a Blog to shut down the rumor completely, writing, “No, THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING are not finished. DREAM is not even begun; I am not going to start writing volume seven until I finish volume six.”

He continued, “So… no, the books are not done. HBO did not ask me to delay them. Nor did David & Dan. There is no ‘deal’ to hold back on the books. I assure you, HBO and David & Dan would both have been thrilled and delighted if THE WINDS OF WINTER had been delivered and published four or five years ago… and NO ONE would have been more delighted than me.”

Later the same month

The author was scheduled to appear at Worldcon in New Zealand. On Not a Blog, he tells his fans, “But I tell you this — if I don’t have THE WINDS OF WINTER in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for Worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done.”

October 2019

Martin blogs, “But… let me make this perfectly clear… I am not taking on any scripts until I have finished and delivered Winds of Winter. Winter is still coming, and WINDS remains my priority, as much as I’d love to write an episode of House.”

New decade, New George?

George R. R. Martin Dune

George R. R. Martin

Well, if quarantine counts as imprisonment, he became imprisoned all right. George made the most progress on the book in this period since he began working on it. But fans are already worried if the book will ever see the light of day. But the author reassures that it will be released soon. After all, he has written a lot of Game of Thrones books.

February 2021

After writing in a couple of blog posts in 2020 about how COVID and quarantine have given him so much more time to write and complete The Winds of Winter, there is still no sign of the book. He writes, “I wrote hundreds and hundreds of pages of the Winds of Winter in 2020. The best year I’ve had on WOW since I began it.”

October 2022

In a live stream with his publishing house, Penguin Random House, Martin revealed that The Winds of Winter is now about three-quarters done, but there is still a lot of work until the book is anywhere near finished. George R. R. Martin. Still, this is the most positive update we had in a long time.

December 2022

George lets it be known that there are only 400-500 pages left for him to write and that he has finished almost 1200 pages. So maybe no release in 2023, but maybe 2024, or hopefully 2025?

🔥🐉 Embark on a journey through Westeros with our Game of Thrones themed games – 🔡Hodordle | 🐲 Flappy Dragon or you can use our Valyrian Dictionary and Dothraki Dictionary to learn new words. You can also interact with fans of the show on our Discord group🔥🐉

With the way things are going, when do you think George R.R. Martin will release The Winds of Winter? Discuss with us on our discord server.

Read Next: The best George R. R. Martin books that are not Game of Thrones

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