George R.R. Martin Announces He Has Missed The Deadline For ‘The Winds of Winter’, Next ‘Game of Thrones’ Novel

By January 2, 2016

Fans of George R.R. Martin’s epic Game of Thrones saga and its corresponding HBO television show have been hoping the author would finish the next novel, The Winds of Winter, before the premiere of season 6 next April. Martin has been behind schedule for quite some time now, even canceling convention appearances in order to work on it. Still, there was hope that he would hit his deadline so that Winds could be published in March, ahead of the show’s premiere.

Well…that ain’t happening. Sorry.

In a post on his blog (via Deadline), Martin laid out the bad news:

“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.”

He went on:

“Unfortunately, the writing did not go as fast or as well as I would have liked,” Martin says. “Sometimes the writing goes well and sometimes it doesn’t … as spring turned to summer, I was having more bad days than good ones. Around about August, I had to face facts: I was not going to be done by Halloween.”

The original deadline for a March publication was in October, but unfortunately that date came and went with no new book. Publishers extended the deadline to the end of the year, but…yeah. Nope.

“I won’t make excuses. There are no excuses. No one else is to blame. Not my editors and publishers, not HBO … It’s on me. I tried, and I am still trying. I worked on the book a couple of days ago, revising a Theon chapter and adding some new material, and I will writing on it again tomorrow. But no, I can’t tell you when it will be done, or when it will be published. Best guess, based on our previous conversations, is that Bantam (and presumably my British publisher as well) can have the hardcover out within three months of delivery, if their schedules permit. But when delivery will be, I can’t say. I am not going to set another deadline for myself to trip over. The deadlines just stress me out.

“I am going back to my stance from last March, before all this. It will be done when it’s done. And it will be as good as I can possibly make it.”

Oh boy.

Listen, it’s easy as fans to get angry at Martin for the delays. Sure, it’s an unfortunate turn of events. After all, the show has officially caught up to the novels, so neither book nor non-book fans have any idea what to expect. Martin has robbed those who’ve read the books of their ability to smugly laugh at their friends who haven’t read them whenever something horrible like the Red Wedding or Mountain vs. Red Viper happens. THOSE POOR PEOPLE!!! But seriously, fans are chomping at the bit to see what happens next, and these delays only make their anticipation and frustration grow. In Martin’s defense, just imagine the insane amount of pressure he’s under to deliver. I mean, this is basically the literary Force Awakens. Slightly different circumstance, obviously, but it’s still the next installment in a hugely popular franchise with legions of fans around the world. But I’m sure those fans would agree we’d prefer Martin take his time and get it right instead of rush things in order to just be done with it. Patience, my friends. Patience.

Season 6 of Game of Thrones premieres this April on HBO.

Make sure to keep checking back for updates – right here on GeekNation.

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Joe Ruggirello
Joe is a writer, retired comedian, and giant nerd. He's particularly fond of comic books, pro wrestling, and Godzilla. Oh, and that Star Wars thing. You can yell at him on Twitter @JoeRu23.
  • David Johnson

    How long did it take Mr Martin to write the First Book or the followups (only stephan king can write 3 HUGE novels a year). This is sort of like True Detectives Pizzolatto probably wrote & re-wrote the original over & over again in His head before actually putting it to paper. Then HBO basically gave Him a year to try to recreate the magic!!!

  • mopremtech

    I do sympathize how difficult the GoT books must be to write considering the MULTIPLE plot lines running through each tome. Robert Jordan before he became ill was averaging two+ years between books and even David Weber has to take breaks between novels in his series to do other things because the well runs dry sometimes.