The Winds of Winter will not be published before Game of Thrones: Season 6 Airs. The sad truth has been announced by author George R.R. Martin: he will not be finished writing A Song of Ice and Fire: The Winds of Winter before Season 6 of HBO‘s Game of Thrones premieres. Fans of the book series and the TV series that it spawned had been fervently hoping that the book would somehow make it onto shelves before this season of Game of Thrones aired so that key moments in the book series’ narrative would not be spoiled.
From George R.R. Martin:
My publishers and I have been cognizant of these concerns, of course. We discussed some of them last spring, as the fifth season of the HBO series was winding down, and came up with a plan. We all wanted book six of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE to come out before season six of the HBO show aired.
That will not happen. George R.R. Martin has confirmed that fact on Live Journal:
THE WINDS OF WINTER is not finished.
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. For months now I have wanted nothing so much as to be able to say, “I have completed and delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER” on or before the last day of 2015.
But the book’s not done.
Nor is it likely to be finished tomorrow, or next week. Yes, there’s a lot written. Hundreds of pages. Dozens of chapters…But there’s also a lot still left to write. I am months away still… and that’s if the writing goes well…Chapters still to write, of course… but also rewriting. I always do a lot of rewriting, sometimes just polishing, sometimes pretty major restructures.
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. But no, I can’t tell you when it will be done, or when it will be published.
George R.R. Martin directly addressed Game of Thrones spoiling events in The Winds of Winter (contains book and TV show spoilers):
Maybe. Yes and no…Given where we are, inevitably, there will be certain plot twists and reveals in season six of GAME OF THRONES that have not yet happened in the books. For years my readers have been ahead of the viewers. This year, for some things, the reverse will be true.
Some of the ‘spoilers’ you may encounter in season six may not be spoilers at all… because the show and the books have diverged, and will continue to do so.
Mago, Irri, Rakharo, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Pyat Pree, Pyp, Grenn, Ser Barristan Selmy, Queen Selyse, Princess Shireen, Princess Myrcella, Mance Rayder, and King Stannis are all dead in the show, alive in the books. Some of them will die in the books as well, yes… but not all of them, and some may die at different times in different ways. Balon Greyjoy, on the flip side, is dead in the books, alive on the show. His brothers Euron Crow’s Eye and Victarion have not yet been introduced (will they appear? I ain’t saying). Meanwhile Jhiqui, Aggo, Jhogo, Jeyne Poole, Dalla (and her child) and her sister Val, Princess Arianne Martell, Prince Quentyn Martell, Willas Tyrell, Ser Garlan the Gallant, Lord Wyman Manderly, the Shavepate, the Green Grace, Brown Ben Plumm, the Tattered Prince, Pretty Meris, Bloodbeard, Griff and Young Griff, and many more have never been part of the show, yet remain characters in the books. Several are viewpoint characters, and even those who are not may have significant roles in the story to come in THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING.
From George R.R. Martin own mouth – or blog – fans will have to “suck it up” when it comes to certain events being spoiled while reveling in the fact that all is not lost. That the TV and book worlds are so different now that only a percentage of what will be spoiled on-screen will transpire in the books. In addition, there are many characters either alive in the books or completely unrepresented in the TV Series. Their story-lines remain to be explored as are their implications on the overall narrative, a narrative different than the TV show.
Case and point, Lady Stoneheart. In the book series, she is inflicting heavy losses on one particular family. In the TV series, she does not exist. She may never exist in the TV series. Fans of her character will have to wait and see.
Fans of George R.R. Martin’s writing will have to do the same.
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