Folks, what if all the time we've been waiting for The Winds of Winter has been manufactured to generate interest in the author's blog and HBO's Game of Thrones series? What if George R.R. Martin already finished writing A Song of Ice and Fire, and just wants to watch us all squirm a little before he releases it? These are real questions the ASOIAF fan community is asking itself right now, so it's worth a little dive in, just to see what all the fuss is about.
It's difficult to imagine a more anticipated book than The Winds of Winter. Every time Martin publishes a blog post or gives an interview, ASOIAF fans scour it for evidence of his progress. Wednesday marks five years since A Dance with Dragons hit store shelves, roughly the same amount of time that passed between A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows, but not quite so long — yet — as the wait between Feast and Dance. The fans, to put things mildly, are hungry for more.
And so, regardless of the fact that Martin said as recently as June that The Winds of Winter was not complete, and begged fans to stop focusing all of their attention on that corner of his work, they're now questioning whether the author has been stringing them along for funsies.
To be clear, I don't think that's the case here. Martin actively engages with his fans through his LiveJournal and Twitter accounts, where he updates them on the Game of Thrones television series, ASOIAF news, the Wild Cards anthology series, and his day-to-day ramblings. It just seems out of character for him to keep a secretly finished Winds of Winter under wraps.
That's not to mention the fact that every time Martin dares to not name-drop The Winds of Winter, he's met with heaps of online abuse from the Veruca Salts of the world, who believe they are entitled to receive his creative labors when they want them, and not a moment later. For Martin to withhold The Winds of Winter from his audience would be nothing short of pure masochism.
Is the wait for The Winds of Winter manufactured, or — at the very least — almost over? I can't say for sure, but look at it this way: we're one day closer to it now than we were yesterday.