George RR Martin has discussed the demand for The Winds of Winter’s release, but Game of Thrones fans shouldn’t be worried by how long it’s taking.
Despite The Winds of Winter taking so long, Game of Thrones fans shouldn’t be too concerned by George RR Martin’s delays in finishing the sixth and penultimate A Song of Ice and Fire book. Prior to Game of Thrones beginning back in 2011, Martin had written four of his planned seven novels in the Song of Ice and Fire series; the fifth, A Dance with Dragonswas released just three months after Game of Thrones debuted on HBO. Since then, though, there has infamously been no sixth book, with The Winds of Winter‘s release date delayed multiple times, to the point Martin no longer makes predictions about when it’ll be finished.
Martin had originally hoped to finish both The Winds of Winter and its sequel, A Dream of Springbefore Game of Thrones its finished run. Of course, that didn’t happen, and Game of Thrones season 8 delivered an ending before the books could, although one that is perhaps far more divisive than Martin’s will be (or that’s certainly the hope). The author has had no shortage of other projects in that time, developing Game of Thrones spinoffs like House of the Dragonworking on the Targaryen history book, Fire & Bloodupon which show is based, and work outside of Westeros too, such as Elden Ring.
With the book so delayed, Martin has discussed intense demand for The Winds of Wintersaying: “I get [that] Winds of Winter, the sixth book is late. I can get a hundred good comments, but there’s still gonna be a few fans out there who are gonna remind me of it on my blog or whatever,” and mentioning that there can now be a “viciousness” in online discourse that wasn’t there previously. Of course, anything that strays into harassment or abuse is completely unwarranted and should not be tolerated, but even among the much more good natured comments and demand for The Winds of Winter, there shouldn’t be such concern. At this juncture, even with it taking so long, Martin has more than earned the right to patience, and to finish the book on his terms when it’s truly ready.
Why Is The Winds Of Winter Taking So Long?
It’s true that it has been over a decade and counting without the release of a new A Song of Ice and Fire book, but that isn’t cause of concern but rather part of a pattern with the saga anyway. The first three books were published within four years, from 1996-2000, but the fourth, A Feast For Crowsdidn’t arrive until 2005, and it was another six years before A Dance with Dragons was released. So Martin was already taking around half-a-decade between books, and that’s before factoring in the sheer amount of engagements and work that has come about as a result of Game of Thrones‘ success: not only working on that show and spinoffs, but more demand for his services elsewhere, more pressure and publicity, and basically far more to take him away from writing The Winds of Winter. Combined with his already slower pace between books, then The Winds of Winter‘s release delays don’t feel quite so surprising or drastic.
That slower pace also speaks to the other issue, which is that the story is so much bigger now than when he was writing the first three books. A Dance With Dragons is more than 350 pages longer than A Game of Thronesand even that is despite some events and characters being split across A Feast for Crows; The Winds of Winter will undoubtedly be longer still. The sheer scale of this story has kept expanding, with a dizzying number of plotlines and characters that Game of Thrones didn’t even include; Martin has to reckon with servicing all of those, as well as begin to contract things again to set up the endgame and all of these things coalescing. That is one of the hardest tasks he’ll have faced writing this series, especially as an author who typically doesn’t map everything out in advance, but it’s one he is surely up to given how great his story has been so far.
Martin has given promising updates on The Winds of Winter And it seems to be making decent pace, if not as much as an expectant audience or even himself would like in an ideal scenario, but too much demand and concerns about him not finishing or struggles to tell the story are unjustified. The author is telling the story his way, the same as it’s always been, and the past justifies faith in him now. As far as A Song of Ice and Fire goes, Martin has not yet delivered a letdown in terms of story; The Winds of Winter is taking a long time, but there’s also nothing so far to suggest it won’t be worth the wait.
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