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



george r r martin winds of winter

There is no one in the world more patient than an A Song of Ice and Fire fan. Having had to wait over a decade for the next book in the series, The Winds of Winter, author George R. R. Martin seems to be gunning for the title of “Longest Running Book Series.” He has dropped a considerable amount of updates about the book, saying he only has 500 pages left to write. While we all wait for the penultimate book in this epic saga, here’s all we know about it so far.

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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 release in 2024, as George has said the writers’ strike won’t affect The Winds of Winter. We’ll be updating this article as more information comes out.

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 made the decision to let the Wildings through the wall in order to protect them from the “Others,” which includes wights and 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 faces the notorious Walk of Shame.

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.
  • 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

The Winds of Winter release date and more

The book is not expected to release in 2023. However, given that George was about 500 pages away from a finish, we can hope for a 2024 release for The Winds of Winter.

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 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. The Game of Thrones showrunners have also confirmed that the shocking Hodor-Hold the Door twist was also courtesy of the author. So we can expect a few of the things we have seen in the show to appear in the books as well. Coming to the release part… only time will tell.

Discuss the upcoming books more by joining our discord server.

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


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