As long suspected, Martin confirmed yesterday that the first volume of companion book Fire and Blood will come out in November, and TWOW definitely won’t be seen until at least 2019.
But whilst many have feared that he will simply never finish the A Song of Ice And Fire series – of which TWOW is the penultimate instalment – there was some encouraging news.
At the very end of his blog post, Martin indicated that the book is being written right now – amid ongoing speculation that it will never see the light of day.
He wrote: “Archmaester Gyldayn is hanging up his quill for a while. As for me, I’m returning once again to THE WINDS OF WINTER.”
Martin has always maintained that the book is in the process of being written, but his multitude of other projects has made speed impossible.
But this new update will surely give hope to those who were beginning to suspect Martin had neglected A Song of Ice and Fire altogether.
What’s also significant about it is the implication that we may not see The Winds of Winter before the final season of TV series Game of Thrones airs.
The HBO show has long eclipsed the timeline of the novels from which they took their inspiration, but the later publication of the last two books could be good news for those who will be mourning its conclusion this time next year.
Earlier this month, a fan noticed a potential sign that The Winds of Winter was nowhere near completion.
Taking to Reddit, user Ser_Wun_Wun said: “In 2010, George couldn’t shut up about Dance being near completion. He gave page counts like 6+ times, spoke about chapters he was writing, how many POVs he had wrapped up, etc.
“When George is nearly done with a novel, he gets giddy and gabby. Can’t help himself. So his caginess with Winds is a very, very bad sign imo.
“He just is not behaving like he’s anywhere close to done with the book.”
“I work every day, like jumping between six different projects,” Martin had said in a previous interview.
“Of course, the most important, most difficult, most ambitious and [the one that’s taking the most time] is The Winds of Winter.”
Fire and Blood is out on November 20.