In 1996, writer George R.R. Martin saw the publishing of his novel “A Game of Thrones”, a medieval fantasy story about the political upheaval of a kingdom in a world where seasons – especially winter – can last for years. This crisis in a fantastic setting is seen primarily through the eyes of the Stark family, whose members are separated and systematically killed off by conflict over the course of five books, with two more planned by Martin to conclude everything. At least that was the plan, were it not for delays with Book 6, which will “not” be released this year.
As detailed by Entertainment Weekly, it would appear that George R.R. Martin does not think that book six of his “Song of Ice and Fire” series, entitled “The Winds of Winter”, will be published at any time in 2018. Instead, that honor will go to his other literary work, “Fire and Blood”, technically a prequel to the stories in his novels but written as a history rather than prose. While acquiring more backstory to build up the fascinating world of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, this is sad news for fans that have waited since book five came out 2011.
“No, winter is not coming… not in 2018, at least,” Martin announced on his personal blog. “You’re going to have to keep waiting for The Winds of Winter.” It was a refrain that his readership has heard numerous times before. The gap of seven years (and widening) from when “A Dance with Dragons” was published has already adversely affected the plotline of “Game of Thrones”, the book series’ TV adaptation on HBO. Having gone through all book plots in five seasons, the sixth and seventh were all original plotting by the production crew, with 2019’s season eight ending it all.
Reaction to the news on social media showed a wide spectrum ranging from shock, annoyance, anger and tired resignation. This is especially hard for fans that prefer the original books to the award-winning HBO series, some of the more vocal critics disdaining it as fan-fiction by show-runners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. A number has made plays on the story tag-line “Winter is Coming” (Stark family motto) and are bemoaning that it might never will. Ultimately there are those who have decided to pick up Martin’s “Fire and Blood”, a 900-plus history of the Targaryen Kings coming out this November.
“The Winds of Winter” at least already has several chapters completed, which George R.R. Martin has released as previous several times before. Following this long-procrastinated novel is a final book, entitled “A Dream of Spring”. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” will premiere its eighth and final season on the following year.
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