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

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george r r martin winds of winter

While Game of Thrones ended back in 2019, true fans of A Song of Ice and Fire have been waiting with bated breath to read the final books and witness the ending as George R.R. Martin intended for the legendary story. The author has spent over a decade trying to perfect The Winds of Winter and give it a satisfying climax.

Fans have been living on crumbs in the form of updates shared by the author over the past few years. Though he stopped predicting the exact release date in 2021, he has been actively sharing his progress and even making jokes about how people pester him to finish the book.  While we all wait for the penultimate books in this epic saga, here’s all we know about it so far.

Quick answer: There isn’t an official release date for The Winds of Winter yet, but George R. R. Martin said he had about 500 pages left to finish, back in December 2022. As such, we can expect the book to be released in late 2024, with GRRM still working on the book, saying he can’t be a showrunner for a Game of Thrones spinoff because of pending work on The Winds of Winter. We’ll be updating this article as more information comes out.

Also Read: 5 characters that might not survive The Winds of Winter

So far on A Dance with Dragons

cersei lannister walk of shame the winds of winter a dance with dragons

The story is told from the point of view of 18 characters, with each chapter being told by a different character. Jon Snow has been elected the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Tommen Baratheon rules over King’s Landing, with Cersei Lannister being the Queen Mother.

Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth were trying to quell dissent in the Riverlands. Brienne was also working towards fulfilling her promise to Lady Catelyn Stark by searching for Sansa Stark. Petyr Baelish has murdered Lady Arryn and has named himself Lord Protector of Vale. He is also hiding Sansa Stark with him.

Jon Snow has decided to let the Wildings through the wall to protect them from the “Others,” which includes White Walkers. But after much more tension, he is stabbed and left for dead by his brothers on the Night Watch.

His brother Bran Stark makes his way North of the Wall and meets the Children of the Forest and The Three-Eyed Crow. He joins with a weirwood tree and gains access to visions of his father’s past. He also communicates with Theon Greyjoy in the present.

Meanwhile, Arya Stark trains as an assassin in the House of White and Black to become one of the Faceless Men. She passes all the tests thrown her way. Tyrion Lannister escapes King’s Landing with Varys’ help and considers joining Daenerys’ forces.

This is when Varys reveals that he is part of a group that has raised the late Prince Rhaegar Targaryen’s son Aegon (presumed dead) in secret. Tyrion advises Aegon to prove himself worthy of Daenerys’ hand in marriage through conquest. In the meantime, Daenerys is facing a dangerous rebellion in Mereen and escapes with the help of Drogon before being stranded near the Dothraki Sea. Cersei had been facing trials for her multitude of crimes and faced the notorious Walk of Shame.

Also Read: We asked AI what will happen to Daenerys Targaryen in The Winds of Winter

A Timeline of The Wind of Winter Updates

george r r martin updates on winds of winter a song of ice and fire

Since this is not the final book, it can go many ways, and until the book is out, nothing is set in stone. Here are (almost) all the updates the author has given since A Dance with Dragons.

  • April 2012: “I’m going to open with the two big battles that I was building up to, the battle in the ice and the battle at Meereen—the battle of Slaver’s Bay. And then take it from there.” He also mentions that we will see much more of the “Others” and what is north of the wall.
  • September 2012: Arya will be in The Winds of Winter, Littlefinger will not have his own POV, and no new POVs will be introduced.
  • March 2014: The first chapter from The Winds of Winter has been released as a preview.
  • June 2014: “Well, Tyrion and Dany will intersect, in a way, but for much of the book, they’re still apart,” he says. “They both have quite large roles to play here. Tyrion has decided that he actually would like to live, for one thing, which he wasn’t entirely sure of during the last book, and he’s now working toward that end—if he can survive the battle that’s breaking out all around him. And Dany has embraced her heritage as a Targaryen and embraced the Targaryen words. So they’re both coming home.” He also says that Daenerys will embrace her house words, “Fire and Blood.”
  • August 2014: “There will be plenty of deaths, plenty of deaths! Including some viewpoint characters.”
  • August 2014: “The way my books are structured, everyone was together, then they all went their separate ways, and the story deltas out like that, and now it’s getting to the point where the story is beginning to delta back in, and the viewpoint characters are occasionally meeting up with each other now and being in the same point at the same time, which gives me a lot more flexibility for killing people.”
  • March 2015: Highgarden and Casterly Rock might appear in the book
  • April 2015: A Sansa Chapter is released
  • May 2015: The author releases another chapter preview
  • December 2016: “There are a lot of dark chapters right now in the book that I’m writing. It is called The Winds of Winter, and I’ve been telling you for 20 years that winter was coming. Winter is the time when things die, and cold and ice and darkness fills the world, so this is not gonna be the happy feel-good that people may be hoping for. Some of the characters [are] in very dark places…In any story, the classic structure is, ‘Things get worse before they get better,’ so things are getting worse for a lot of people.” 
  • August 2017: The author confirms that Rickon Stark and Osha will be making an appearance in the books.
  • November 2018:The Winds of Winter is not so much a novel as a dozen novels, each with a different protagonist, each having a different cast of supporting players and antagonists and allies and lovers around them, and all of these weaving together in an extremely complex fashion. So it’s very, very challenging. Fire and Blood by contrast was very simple. Not that it’s easy, it still took me years to put together, but it is easier.”
  • May 2019: “I hear people asking, the same ending as the show? Different? Well… yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget. They had six hours for this final season. I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3000 manuscript pages between them before I’m done… and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I’ll add them.”
  • August 2020: Brienne’s ancestry is revealed in a new WINDS chapter
  • November 2020: Martin confirms the last 2 books will feature Unicorns, or at least his take on the mythical creatures
  • March 2022: He reassures fans that he is making progress on the book
  • June 2022: The author has finished writing a “clutch of Cersei chapters”
  • July 2022: He says he will neither cameo in House of the Dragon nor write Fire and Blood vol. 2 until he finishes writing WINDS. He was then working on Tyrion Lannister’s storyline
  • August 2022: He updates his blog, saying he is almost finished with two The Winds of Winter character storylines
  • November 2022: The author explains why The Winds of Winter is taking such a long time, but also that he’s working on it
  • December 2022: George R.R. Martin has only 500 pages left to finish his manuscript
  • January 2023: He assures fans that he is working on Westeros
  • February 2023: George R.R. Martin explains why Winds of Winter is taking such a long time, citing good and bad days with writing
  • May 2023: George R.R. Martin assures fans ‘Winds of Winter’ will stay on track despite the writers’ strike
  • June 2023: George R. R. Martin delayed The Winds of Winter by accidentally killing an important Game of Thrones character
  • July 2023: “And, yes, yes, of course, I’ve been working on WINDS OF WINTER. Almost every day. Writing, rewriting, editing, writing some more. Making steady progress. Not as fast as I would like.. certainly not as fast as YOU would like… but progress nonetheless. It keeps me out of trouble.”
  • November 2023: George R. R. Martin jokes about fans pestering him about The Winds of Winter
    • November 2023: George R. R. Martin is struggling to finish Winds of Winter despite spending 12 years on it
  • December 2023: George R.R. Martin met up with his British publisher for The Winds of Winter
  • February 2024: George R. R. Martin announces new Wild Cards novel Sleeper Straddle
  • March 2024: George R.R. Martin says he can’t be a showrunner on Game of Thrones spinoffs due to The Winds of Winter

The Winds of Winter plot expectations

Given that GRRM was about 500 pages away from a finish, we can hope for a late 2024 release.

Forums have always been rife with speculations and theories of what’s next from The Winds of Winter. Most fans speculate that Daenerys might still die, and Jon might remain dead. And though George R.R. Martin has promised that the book will end differently than the show, Bran might still end up King.

In an HBO behind-the-scenes interview, Bran Stark actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright revealed that Bran becoming King was ultimately the author’s idea. “David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] told me there were two things George R.R. Martin had planned for Bran, and that was the Hodor revelation and that he would be king,” Wright said. “So that’s pretty special to be directly involved in something that is part of George’s vision. It was a really nice way to wrap it up.”

In an Inside the Episode, it was revealed that the sequence where Shireen is burned alive came directly from Martin himself. Game of Thrones showrunners have also confirmed that the shocking Hodor-Hold the Door twist was also courtesy of the author.

Also Read: Who are the White Walkers and who is the White Walker King in Game of Thrones?

Length of The Winds of Winter

George R. R. Martin | George R. R. Martin speaking with atte… | Flickr

Credit: Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

If we are to perceive the length of the book by looking at the time Martin is taking to write it, we might have to look at mid-5-digit numbers. However, after GRRM shared an update that he is done with 75% of the book. He added that 1,100 pages are written and ready to go, so we can assume that The Winds of Winter is about 1,500 pages long. Moreover, the author had previously mentioned that the last two books in the saga will collectively be about 3,000 pages.

A Dance with Dragons currently holds the title of being the longest book in the series. If The Winds of Winter news is correct and it is truly 1,500 pages long, it will dethrone the former by a wide margin. For fans who love getting lost in the imaginary world woven by GRRM, time will fly by as they read through the book in no time.

Why is the Winds of Winter delayed?

cersei lannister jaime lannister only us game of thrones season 8

Credit: HBO

Working on one book which is a part of a 7-book series for 12 long years is no joke. Fans think it’s tedious to wait for so long to read the continuation of the story. But, we cannot even imagine what GRRM must be going through. He has expressed that he is struggling with it and joked about writing shorter novels instead of such sagas. A few possible reasons for the delay in The Winds of Winter release date can be –

  • GRRM has his hands in too many jars. From video games to TV shows, the author has many other projects besides The Winds of Winter to look after. He has to dedicate equitable time to all ventures so that nothing gets left behind.
  • Too many ideas: With an abundance of characters and ambitions, it can be difficult to narrow down on one aspect. There are so many directions in which an author can take a character, so maybe this indecisiveness is delaying the project.
  • Beurgeoning pressure: A Song of Ice and Fire has garnered a massive fan following with millions of fans waiting to read the story. The pressure to satisfy fans with an accurate ending can be daunting. It can take a toll on the author’s mind.
  • Lack of time: George R.R. Martin has become a celebrity icon, synonymous with incredible world-building. He is constantly booking appearances in talk shows and events where people want to interact with him. Though the importance of such appearances cannot be understated, it might be infringing on his time to write and finish the book.
  • Clash of motives: A Song of Ice and Fire has a villain lurking in every shadow. The White Walkers, the warring houses, and most importantly the Others. They are a menacing commentary on climate change, and we are yet to see how that conflict is resolved.

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

Future titles and more books from George R. R. Martin

Tyrion Lannister

Credit: HBO

In February, GRRM announced another book to be released soon. Titled Sleeper Straddle, it is a part of the graphic novel series Wild Cards. The story follows the protagonist as he wakes up with a new superpower every day. This is because of a virus infestation that gets activated when he falls asleep. The story seems like playing Russian Roulette with superpowers, not knowing what will you wake up as.

As far as A Song of Ice and Fire series goes, the next and final chapter of the saga will culminate in A Dream of Spring. GRRM claims that the book will provide a bittersweet climax to the series. However, since The Winds of Winter is not complete yet, we have no idea when GRRM will begin writing A Dream of Spring and when will fans be able to finally witness the end. Once The Winds of Winter is released, we will get a better idea of what to expect from A Dream of Spring.

Discuss the upcoming books more by joining our discord server.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Winds of Winter ever going to be finished?

The author of The Winds of Winter George R.R. Martin has repeatedly assured fans that he is working on finishing the book soon. Fans can expect the book to be released soon, latest by early 2025. GRRM has been working on The Winds of Winter since 2010.

Is Winds of Winter Game of Thrones?

The HBO show Game of Thrones has an episode called The Winds of Winter in the sixth season. It is in fact the final episode of the season. GRRM is working on the book The Winds of Winter which is a work in progress.

Why is Winds of Winter taking so long?

GRRM has become a celebrity with many shows and commitments to take care of. The delay can be because of many reasons including struggling with character arcs or even a lack of adequate time to focus. Fans are hoping he releases the book soon.

What is the last book in the Game of Thrones series?

The Winds of Winter is the sixth book in A Song of Ice and Fire series. GRRM plans on capping the series with the last book which is titled A Dream of Spring. Only after GRRM releases The Winds of Winter will we be able to know when A Dream of Spring will release.

Will we get winds of winter in 2024?

 
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It all depends on how soon GRRM completes writing the book. The last update we received was with GRRM finishing about 1,100 pages of The Winds of Winter. We can expect the book to release either by late 2024 or early 2025.

Read Next: Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke isn’t keen on watching House of The Dragon: “I’m avoiding it”

 

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