Game of Thrones fans (and there are a lot of them) know their favorite show will be back on HBO some time in summer 2017, if only for seven more episodes. Folks who have been anticipating the next volume in the book series that inspired Game of Thrones however are a lot more in the dark about when they will get their next fix.

The writing of A Song of Ice and Fire has become almost as epic a saga as any of the storylines contained within those books themselves, but is it possible that there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel for folks who’ve been dying to find out what happens next in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy world? It’s very possible that a glimmer is may be visible up ahead.

According to Martin himself, things are happening with his planned sixth book, The Winds of Winter. In a comment posted in response to a reader on his LiveJournal blog (via ScreenCrush), Martin gave an update on how things are progressing with his painfully protracted writing process and now says the book will be out in 2017. Though to be perfectly honest, he doesn’t sound all that sure about this tentative release window either. He said:

Not done yet, but I’ve made progress. But not as much as I hoped a year ago, when I thought to be done by now.

I think it will be out this year. (But hey, I thought the same thing last year).

The Winds of Winter Cover George R.R. Martin: Winds of Winter ‘Will Be Out This Year’

It’s now been almost six years since the release of the last installment in the series, A Dance With Dragons; by now the HBO series has blown by the events in that novel and even the upcoming next book, and is just about ready to wrap up its version of the story. Martin still has two more books to finish, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, and unless he suddenly develops the ability to hammer words out at a feverish rate, he’s not going to get to the end of his own saga for many more years to come.

Don’t be shocked if Song of Ice and Fire fans greet Martin’s “news” with a little roll of the eye, though. Promises have been made before about Winds of Winter being near-completion and at this point fans probably are not allowing themselves to get very optimistic about any potential release date. Until they’re holding the actual book in their hands, a lot of fans are going to continue taking a “wait and see” attitude. Fans of the show meanwhile can sit back and enjoy speculation on spinoffs, prequels and even partake in some GoT wine if they so choose.

For a lot of folks, any further Song of Ice and Fire books will be anticlimactic given that the story has already been told via HBO’s acclaimed Game of Thrones series. Of course there are devoted book readers who don’t care much about the HBO take and want to know what Martin will do with the saga he began. Martin surely will finish what he started all those years ago, but when exactly he’ll finish is anybody’s guess.

Game of Thrones season 7 premieres on HBO summer 2017.

Source: George Martin’s LiveJournal (via ScreenCrush)

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