We’ve been bracing ourselves for the delayed arrival of The Winds Of Winter, the sixth book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire series, for some time now. Although it looked like Martin was (somewhat) on pace to complete the book by the end of 2015—at least, according to an editor for the Spanish-language publisher of the ASOIAF books—a 2016 debut still seemed dubious. Excerpts of the book have trickled out, presumably in an effort to stave off outright fan rebellion, but now it appears Martin has given up on making promises of a timely nature for its release. The author recently announced via his blog that Winds Of Winter is not yet completed, nor will it be anytime soon.
“Believe me, it gave me no pleasure to type those words. You’re disappointed, and you’re not alone. My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed…but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me. For months now I have wanted nothing so much as to be able to say, ‘I have completed and delivered The Winds Of Winter on or before the last day of 2015.’ But the book’s not done.”
In his apologetic post, Martin admits that the delay throws a wrench in the works of Game Of Thrones season six, which is slated for an April 2016 premiere. But showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss haven’t exactly been left rudderless—they’ve been made privy to the conclusion of the book series, so they’ll have something to work with, i.e., spoil parts of the book for loyal readers. Indeed, 2016 could be the year that the TV-watching hoi polloi will finally be able to lord its knowledge of future plot points over Martin’s (presumably) monocle-wearing devoted readers. For now, only the latter has an inkling of what might happen to Jon Snow, but we’ve all been made aware that season six will feature a healthy dose of Bran.