Author George RR Martin has made no secret of the fact that the novel is proving challenging to complete, given the sheer scale of the rich world he has created. So with a huge amount of material presumably to get through, will the book actually end up being delivered to readers in two separate parts? And what would that mean for the seventh and final book in this instance?
Currently there is no official confirmation on whether or not TWOW will be split, but fans online have been touting it as a feasible possibility.
Yesterday one user on the A Song of Ice and Fire board on Reddit even took the temperature of the fanbase by asking their preferred scenario if indeed the unlikely release strategy did happen.
User jonmason1977 said: “Would love to hear people’s thoughts on the much speculated-on scenario where GRRM ends up writing far more pages for TWOW than can be published in one book.
“Which do you think is more likely and which would YOU prefer to happen?
“TWOW published as 2 volumes: TWOW:vol. 1 and TWOW: vol. 2, either simultaneously or a few months apart, [or] TWOW split into 2 separately titled books announced at the same time: The Winds of Winter and A Time For Wolves?”
“[Or] TWOW published as one book, cut down to what can fit in a single volume?”
The response? Many fans would just be happy for anything whatsoever.
“What I’m hoping for is anything that leads to any portion of TWOW being published,” quipped one.
Another said: “It’s likely and probable that winds [sic] will end up being split, or some of winds will be put into the next book.
“Either way book 7 will not be the final novel (don’t say harr harr that’s book 5, not funny anymore) because he certainly has too much material to work with.
“It will have to be 8 books at the least, and winds is already probably 2 books worth of material, considering what GRRM has said, and his editors. So…. yeah. I think it’s likely.”
Whatever the case, the book is almost certainly not going to land before the TV show its umbrella series inspired, Game of Thrones, comes to an end.
Game of Thrones began its run by taking its cues from ASOIAF but its storylines overtook the books quite some time ago.
Now, the series will end in the Spring – with the books set to finish with a different turn of events.
Martin is also working on multiple other projects, including a prequel series, and released his companion book Fire And Blood – Volume 1 late last year.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO and Sky Atlantic in April.