It's been over seven years since the publication of A Dance with Dragons, the fifth book in George R. R. Martin's wildly popular A Song of Ice and Fire series. In all that time — through the publication of several prequel novellas and reference books and fictional histories, through the successful HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones and the green-lighting of at least five different spin-offs — fans have had one question on their minds: When is The Winds of Winter coming out? Though there is still no definitive answer, the Game of Thrones author teased his forthcoming novel in a recent blog post, promising fans that "Winter is not the only thing that is coming."
In a Dec. 10 post on his Not a Blog page, Martin opened up about his famous book series, the wonderful world of Westeros, what he's been writing, and where his work will take him next. "It’s been a couple of very exciting weeks for me and Archmaester Gyldayn," Martin wrote in reference to the narrator of his latest work, Fire & Blood. He went on to celebrate the success of his over 700-page history of House Targaryen, which received massive support from the Game of Thrones community, despite not being part of the Song of Ice and Fire sequence.
The author thanked his fans for sticking with him through his additional writing projects, saying "I know you want [The Winds of Winter], and I am going to give it to you... but I am delighted that you stayed with me for this one as well. Your patience and unflagging support means the world to me."
According to the author, Fire & Blood made the bestseller list in the United States, where it debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, as well as in the United Kingdom, Brazil, Spain, Germany, and France. "Needless to say, I am thrilled," Martin wrote.
But Martin isn't letting his excitement over the success of Fire & Ice hold him back from moving on to his other projects, namely The Winds of Winter.
"I am back in my fortress of solitude, and back in Westeros," Martin wrote. "It won’t be tomorrow, and it won’t be next week, but you will get the end of A Song of Fire and Ice. Meanwhile, you have the final season of Game of Thrones coming, and the new show that is not yet officially called The Long Night being cast, and a couple more shows still being scripted… and a few other cool things in the works as well."
While Martin didn't give fans what they really want — a publication date for The Winds of Winter — he did give them something else: hope. For years, fans questioned whether or not Martin would ever finish his beloved series, and this blog post confirms he intends to do just that.
This cryptic news about the forthcoming publication of The Winds of Winter is just the latest on a long list of headlines that have A Song of Ice and Fire fans excited. HBO recently announced the final season of Game of Thrones will premiere in April 2019, and a new teaser has viewers obsessively searching for clues about it. The premium cable network also confirmed that it was working on a prequel to the show, tentatively called The Long Night, with Martin as executive producer. There is also the new Fire & Blood book and a new Game of Thrones-themed Monopoly board on the shelves, just in time for the holidays.
We may not know when The Winds of Winter is coming, but thanks to Martin's latest post, we know that it is. Luckily, there is plenty to read, watch, and play while we wait.