‘Game of Thrones’: The Reason George R. R. Martin Hasn’t Released Book 6

Game of Thrones fans has a lot in store for them. The final season of the fantasy show will be coming, and HBO plans to have many prequels lined up in the future. But we can’t forget that the fandom has been waiting for the last book for six years now.

George R. R. Martin often gives updates on his writing and when fans could possibly expect it. But there still hasn’t been much hope that it will be done any time soon. The author recently gave a reason on his blog on why the book hasn’t been released.

Here are seven things to know, including the reason the sixth book hasn’t been released (page 5).

1. George R. R. Martin previously said a book or two could be released in 2018

George R.R. Martin wearing a cap and glasses, and smiling

Martin hasn’t been keeping pace with the TV series. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Fans have been waiting for new work from Martin for quite some time. The sixth book, The Winds of Winter, has yet to be released. He also announced he will be doing a series focused on the Targaryen family named Fire and Blood.

But when asked which of his works would come first, he gave a vague timeline in his blog. He wrote: “Whether Winds or the first volume of Fire and Blood will be the first to hit the bookstores is hard to say at this juncture, but I do think you will have a Westeros book from me in 2018 … and who knows, maybe two. A boy can dream.”

Well, 2018 is here, and there still isn’t a release date for either book, which isn’t that surprising at this point. In order to finish the television series, HBO has jumped ahead of Martin’s books.

Next: There have been some pieces of the last book released.

2. Martin has released a few chapters over the years

Arya holding her sword

Arya is a fan-favorite character.| HBO

Although the author hasn’t finished the book, he has tried to please fans over the years by releasing chapters. The chapters released focused on specific favorite characters, including Arya Stark, Theon Greyjoy, Sansa Stark, Arianne Martell, and more.

Next: His book plans were shared with these two people.

3. His story plans were shared with David Benioff and Dan ‘D.B.’ Weiss

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss on stage accepting an Emmy

Martin is keeping them in the know. | Kevin Winter / Getty Images

The showrunners ended up turning to the author for help with finishing the series, since they didn’t have his books to turn to.

The lucky part is that George works with us and he’s a producer on the show,” David Benioff told Vanity Fair. “So we sat just down with him and literally went through every character and said, ‘So what’s the destination for Daenerys? And Arya?'”

Next: The author has also been working on this.

4. The author has been working on the spinoff shows

Game of Thrones

One of the new shows could have to do with the Targaryen lineage. | HBO

There are five potential Game of Thrones shows in the works at HBO. Martin is reportedly working with executive producer Bryan Cogman on one of them, according to Entertainment Weekly.

This news is related to what the author said about the future of his books.

Next: This is the reason Martin says the books are delayed.

5. Martin defends making spinoff shows a priority

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Presents An Evening With 'Game of Thrones' at TCL Chinese Theatre

He seems to be putting the shows ahead of the books. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

When a fan angrily said that book six should be more of a priority than the spinoff shows, the writer responded, “I am not sure HBO would agree that the spinoffs (I prefer the term ‘successor shows’ myself) could have waited.”

He continued, “With GOT set to end in 2019, they put five of them in the works, so as to have a new show… or more than one… to take up the mantle in 2020. (Development takes time).”

Next: Martin defends his decision to participate in the spinoffs. 

6. Martin says he wanted to be part of the spinoffs

Author George R.R. Martin poses at the after party for the premiere of HBO's 'Game Of Thrones' at the Roosevelt Hotel

He wanted to be involved with the TV side of things. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The writer then continued his response, saying, “The successor shows were going to happen regardless. I prefer that they happen with my participation and guidance, rather than without it.”

Next: The author says he won’t be doing this anymore.

7. He also says he won’t be releasing any more sample chapters

A collection of Game of Thrones books, each a different color

Don’t expect anymore freebies when it comes to the novels. | Amazon

The author has been reading sample chapters at conventions over the years and now won’t be doing so anymore. The reason why: He got some heat for it. “In the past, I have always been happy to release sample chapters, and to read other chapters at cons,” he wrote according to Express. “But in this age of the internet, no good deed goes unpunished.”

He then continued, “I found myself reading reviews that slammed Sons of the Dragon as ‘old, retread’ material because I’d read the story at a couple cons … for the entertainment of the few hundred people in the audience, but of course summaries went up all over the web, and somehow in the minds of some what should have been a brand new reading experience became old and familiar.”

Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!