Despite rumors of an eighth entry in the works, George R.R. Martin confirms A Song of Ice and Fire will only consist of seven books. Fans of both Game of Thrones and the books the show is based off of are anxiously awaiting the next installment of each medium. On the TV side, Game of Thrones won’t return for its eighth and final season until sometime in 2019. Luckily, filming is in full swing and set photos have been teasing some plot points.

Thanks to looks at the show, we know Jon and Cersei will have a confrontation during season 8. Of course, given how things ended last year, it’s hardly a surprise the two rulers will come to blows. But whether that will distract them from the threat of the White Walkers and their ice dragon remains to be seen. On the book front, meanwhile, readers have been waiting seven years for Martin to deliver The Winds of Winter. The sixth installment in the series has been teased for quite some time, but fans have stopped holding their breath that it will emerge before Game of Thrones ends. As to whether it will be the penultimate entry, Martin has weighed in.

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George R.R. Martin took to his LiveJournal to discuss the opening of the Hugo Awards nominations. After discussing Game of Thrones and Wild Cards, he spoke a bit about how he views A Song of Ice and Fire and its future.

A Song of Ice and Fire Game of Thrones George R R Martin George R.R. Martin Confirms There Will Only Be 7 Game of Thrones Books

“On the other extreme, I don’t consider A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE a series either; it’s one single story, being published in (we hope) seven volumes. FWIW, Tolkien wasn’t writing a series when he wrote LORD OF THE RINGS either. He wrote a big novel and his publisher divided it into three parts, none of which stands on its own.”

As Martin confirms, only seven books are being planned. That said, he does leave the idea open and the series of books has certainly expanded beyond his original vision. While he at one point could churn out new tales to a small but dedicated audience, the success of Game of Thrones has meant more pressure on Martin to put out new material. Not only that, but wrapping up such an epic tale is likely harder than writing the previous entries.

Martin has also been busy elsewhere. He’s helping to adapt at least one of the proposed Game of Thrones spinoff shows. His book Nightflyers is headed to TV as well, though he’s said to not be directly involved with it. Still, Martin certainly has his hands full so the next book could still be a long way off. And even when it does arrive, there’s no telling when the final installment of A Song of Ice and Fire will see the light of day.

MORE: Major Game of Thrones Season 8 Spoiler Possibly Revealed

Source: George R.R. Martin

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