Bad news for fans of Game of Thrones: the latest book in the series isn’t going to be finished on deadline.
This will not come as much of a surprise to those who have been waiting around for The Winds of Winter to be released since 2011, as deadline after deadline is pushed back.
George R.R. Martin is infamously slow with his writing. The last book from his A Song of Ice and Fire series came out in 2011 and took six years to write, with Martin vaguely saying back in January 2014 that the new book ‘will be done when it’s done’.
But according to Mic the author had announced a self-imposed end-of-2015 deadline for it, which he’s now missed, meaning the HBO TV series will most likely reveal plot elements from the new book when it airs in April.
Martin wrote on his LiveJournal to confirm ‘The Winds of Winter is not finished’, adding:
Believe me, it gave me no pleasure to type those words. You’re disappointed, and you’re not alone. My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed … but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me.
Unfortunately, the writing did not go as fast or as well as I would have liked. You can blame my travels or my blog posts or the distractions of other projects and the Cocteau and whatever, but maybe all that had an impact … you can blame my age, and maybe that had an impact too … but if truth be told, sometimes the writing goes well and sometimes it doesn’t, and that was true for me even when I was in my 20s.
Martin went on to say the book might not be spoilt by the TV series, listing off a load of characters from the books who have already died in the show and vice versa.
He also added that different directions in the TV show’s plot have already led to major differences between it and the books, meaning they both offer their own experience to the viewer/reader.
And Martin took full responsibly for the delays:
There are no excuses. No one else is to blame. Not my editors and publishers, not HBO, not David & Dan. It’s on me. I tried, and I am still trying. I worked on the book a couple of days ago, revising a Theon chapter and adding some new material, and I will writing on it again tomorrow.
Winter is Coming, but how long it’s going to take is anyone’s guess.