George R.R. Martin Says He’s Making ‘Steady Progress’ on New ‘Game of Thrones’ Book, But Some Fans Are Skeptical

There may be one good thing to come out of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, at least if you’re a Game of Thrones fan. Author George R.R. Martin says being stuck inside due to the outbreak means he’s making progress on The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited sixth book in his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. 

In a recent update, Martin says his new book could be finished by next year. While some fans are overjoyed at the possibility of finally getting to read the next volume of the Game of Thrones saga, others are skeptical that Martin will be finishing the manuscript anytime soon. 

The last ‘Game of Thrones’ book came out in 2011 

George RR Martin
George R. R. Martin | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

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The HBO series based on Martin’s fantasy epics wrapped up in 2019, with a divisive finale that left some fans crying out for a redo. While a revised conclusion to the Game of Thrones TV series is unlikely to ever materialize, the story of the Starks, the Lannisters, and the rest of the residents of Westeros will continue in Martin’s books. The author plans two more novels in the series, and it’s not clear how closely those will follow the events of the TV show. 

But it’s been slow going. A Dance With Dragons, the fifth book in the series was released back in 2011. Since then, Martin has repeatedly said he’s getting close to finishing The Winds of Winter, only for no book to materialize. Now, it sounds like the downtime brought on by coronavirus might allow him to complete the manuscript. 

George R.R. Martin says he’s spending ‘hours’ every day on ‘The Winds of Winter’ 

In a June 23 blog post, Martin revealed that he was “in an actual cabin in the mountains” where he was working on the book. 

“If nothing else, the enforced isolation has helped me write,” he wrote. “I am spending long hours every day on The Winds of Winter, and making steady progress. I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week. But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week. It’s going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go.”

Martin added that he has been “visiting with Cersei, Asha, Tyrion, Ser Barristan, and Areo Hotah.” While he has both “good days” and “bad days,” he wrote that “all in all I am pleased with the way things are doing.” As for when the book might finally be finished? Martin says he hopes The Winds of Winter will be done by 2021. 

Fans are skeptical ‘The Winds of Winter’ is coming 

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Although Martin says he’s making progress on his book, fans have heard similar things before. On Twitter, some expressed skepticism that a book would be forthcoming next year.

“Steady progress? I’ve graduated high school and college, got married, had two kids, built my career, ran a marathon and 11 long-distance relays, became a vegetarian, stopped being a vegetarian, and got really good at pivot tables since you started this!” one replied.

“We love you, George, but I suspect there’ll be a vaccine before you right the wrongs of season 8,” commented another. 

Several replied to Martin’s tweet with GIFs asking the author not to get their hopes up for a new book. But others remained hopeful that they’d finally get to read the next installment in the saga and thanked Martin for creating Game of Thrones.

“Much love to you George!” read one tweet. “Take as much time as needed. We’re all so grateful for the hard work you’ve put in for us and the wonderful stories we have from you.”