‘Game of Thrones’: Is ‘Winds of Winter’ Ever Coming Out? Author George R.R. Martin Offers Promising Update

Game of Thrones may have finished up its run on HBO nearly two years ago, but the book series it’s based on, A Song of Ice and Fire, remains incomplete, to the frustration of many longtime fans. It’s been nearly 10 years since author George R.R. Martin released the fifth book in the series, A Dance with Dragons, in 2011.

Martin has been transparent with his fans over the years about his long and methodical process for crafting the dense high fantasy series. It takes awhile to make sure all the various storylines mesh, and his various other pursuits have often distracted from finishing the next entry, The Winds of Winter.

The ‘Game of Thrones’ author said that 2020 was a very productive year

Sean Bean and Game Of Thrones Creator George R. R. Martin attend the Season 8 NY Premiere.
Sean Bean and ‘Game Of Thrones’ Creator George R. R. Martin attend the Season 8 NY Premiere. | Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

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Martin posted an update to his “Not a Blog” on Tuesday, Feb. 2, where he reflected on the past year. Many would likely agree with his sentiment that “2020 was probably the worst year I have ever lived through…”

After lamenting the hundreds of thousands of deaths from COVID-19 and the political strife that 2020 brought, Martin got to the business of reflecting on his writing progress. In particular, it sounds like last year was a very productive one on the Game of Thrones front.

“I wrote hundreds and hundreds of pages of THE WINDS OF WINTER in 2020,” Martin wrote. “The best year I’ve had on WOW since I began it. Why? I don’t know. Maybe the isolation. Or maybe I just got on a roll. Sometimes I do get on a roll.”

He continued, noting that while last year’s progress was significant, there are still hundreds more pages left to be written. Fans should take heart, however, as Martin remains optimistic that 2021 might be the year he wraps things up.

“That’s what 2021 is for, I hope,” the author said about reaching a satisfactory conclusion for his next novel. “I will make no predictions on when I will finish. Every time I do, a******s on the internet take that as a ‘promise,’ and then wait eagerly to crucify me when I miss the deadline. All I will say is that I am hopeful.”

The series is far from over, on the page as well as the screen

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Of course, as most fans are aware by now, The Winds of Winter, even after all this time, won’t be the final book in the main series. Martin has made it known for a while now that he plans to end things in a seventh book, A Dream of Spring. How long that one will take once Winds is out is anyone’s guess.

HBO is also moving full-steam-ahead on various television spin-offs of Game of Thrones, most of them based on side-stories written by Martin. The most significant of these is House of the Dragon, a prequel that will explore the fall of House Targaryen and the destruction of the doomed city of Valyria. It is based on material from Fire and Blood, an in-universe history of the Targaryens published by Martin in 2018.

The 10-episode series is planned to premiere in 2022 and has already cast several major roles. This includes Paddy Considine as Viserys Targaryen I, Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen, and Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen.

According to Variety, HBO is also reportedly working on another prequel based on Martin’s Tales of Dunk and Egg. Published from 1998 to 2010, the three novellas follow the adventures of Duncan the Tall (Dunk) and Aegon Targaryen V (Egg), the latter being the future king of Westeros. The stories were published in a collected edition in 2015, titled A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.