You know how the Red Wedding was shocking? Well, this is the opposite of that. George R. R. Martin, the author of the Song of Ice and Fire series that HBO’s Game of Thrones, announced in a blog post on Wednesday that the seriously long-awaited next installment in the series, The Winds of Winter, will not be released in 2018.
Martin made the announcement on his blog in a post announcing the release of Fire and Blood, a nearly 1,000-page history of the Targaryens. However, he opened the post by referencing the book that fans would, frankly, rather read.
“No, winter is not coming … not in 2018, at least,” Martin wrote. “You’re going to have to keep waiting for The Winds of Winter.”
The seemingly endless wait for the next book in the series has become something of a running joke, because for die-hard fans, you either need to laugh or cry. Longtime readers of A Song of Ice and Fire have been waiting for The Winds of Winter since 2011 when the fifth book in the series, A Dance With Dragons, hit shelves. The Game of Thrones TV show has long-since surged past where the books left off, albeit while making increasingly substantial deviations from the source material. So, what’s the harm in waiting an extra year or so?
Fire and Blood seems pretty interesting, at least. In the post, Martin stressed that it’s not a novel, but instead an “imaginary history,” much in the style of the A World of Ice and Fire, which reads like a fantasy history textbook.
Given that HBO is pursuing Game of Thrones spin-offs, Martin got ahead of any questions about whether or not they’d be drawn from Fire and Blood.
“It’s a logical question,” he wrote. “The only answer I can give is… ah, well, no one is sure yet, and anyway, I am not allowed to say. So let’s move that to the side.”
“As for me, I’m returning once again to The Winds of Winter, Martin wrote to conclude his post.
Fire and Blood comes out on November 20. The Winds of Winter comes out sometime between 2019 and the heat death of the universe.