With Game of Thrones edging into its final season next year, fans of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series still have quite a while to wait until the final two books are released. That said, Martin has confirmed that The Winds of Winter is very much his "top priority."
The first novel in the Song of Ice and Fire series, A Game of Thrones, was published in 1996. It introduced readers to the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos, the Seven Kingdoms, the Great Houses, and the epic, grisly pursuit of the coveted Iron Throne. The novel eventually spawned four sequels - including A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons - and there are two more books in the works, beginning with The Winds of Winter and culminating with A Dream of Spring. However, given that seven years have passed since the last book was published, as well as the fact that Martin is attached to the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel spinoff series, fans are desperate for details on a release date. So, to quell the masses, Martin officially stated that he is prioritizing The Winds of Winter over any other projects.
Martin took to his personal blog to fill readers in on the details regarding The Winds of Winter's release date, as well as where it stands in regard to being finished. In a slightly sarcastic tone, Martin explained to readers that not only is the book his "top priority," it would be "ridiculous to think otherwise." He added cheekily that he would most likely be trying his hand at writing one of the spinoff scripts himself, given that it wouldn't be his first time, had it not been for his focus on the book. Over the course of the Game of Thrones series on HBO, Martin has written a handful of episodes himself, including "Blackwater," "The Bear and the Maiden Fair," and "The Pointy End." He said:
“Before you ask, work on Winds of Winter continues, and remains my top priority. It is ridiculous to think otherwise. If I wasn’t busy with Winds, don’t you think I’d be scripting one or more of these pilots myself? It’s not as if I’ve never written for TV…”
So, while Martin insists that he is putting The Winds of Winter before all other projects, that's not to say he isn't busy with other projects. He'll also be serving as executive producer on Jane Goldman's greenlit Game of Thrones spinoff series, which is set thousands of years before the events of the current series. It will explore the creation of the White Walkers, the First Men, and the dreaded Long Night.
Despite the fact that the gap between A Dance with Dragons and The Winds of Winter is the longest gap between any of Martin's books, the public clamor for a quicker release date doesn't seem fair. Given that Martin had published his previous novels prior to the show's success, the final two books are part of a new era, so to speak, so it's no wonder that his schedule isn't nearly as tight as it was during the period in which he wrote and published the first four novels in the series. Patience is a virtue.
Source: George R. R. Martin
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