After The Game of Thrones HBO series caught up to the ongoing book series on which it is based, the I-must-read-the-book-first fans have been eagerly anticipating any news on when The Winds of Winter, the sixth and last book in A Song of Ice and Fire, will be released. There was hope that the last novel would be finished by the end of 2015, and there were rumors that it would be published and in stores before the HBO series returns in April, but it looks like the show will finish before the book series.
On Jan. 2, George R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Fire and Ice, announced “The Winds of Winter is not finished,” in his blog. “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.”
Martin did not say specifically when the final book will be completed, only that “It will be done when it’s done.” It’s been a very busy year for Martin, but the main reason he cites for why the book still isn’t finished is that he simply is not good with deadlines and he never has been. In his long and rambling explanation as to why the book is not done, he took the time to answer what everyone is thinking: will the show spoil the books? Martin wrote, “I can’t think of any other instance where the movie or TV show came out as the source material was still being written. So when you ask me, ‘will the show spoil the books,’ all I can do is say, ‘yes and no,’ and mumble once again about the butterfly effect.” Martin said, “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.”
While many of us are of course disappointed, Martin takes full responsibility for the state of the book and said he “won’t make excuses. There are no excuses. No one else is to blame. Not my editors and publishers, not HBO, not David & Dan. It’s on me.”
The Winds of Winter may not be coming out any time soon, but at least we can still look forward to Game of Thrones season 6 premiering in April.