The Book That Was Promised

The Winds of Winter: George R.R. Martin offers an exciting update

George R.R. Martin is closer to finishing The Winds of Winter than we all thought.

Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones Season 8

The first season of HBO’s House of the Dragon is over, which means fans of George R.R. Martin’s sprawling fantasy world once again have to wait for more Westerosi material. While House of the Dragon Season 1 did a lot to assuage many of Martin’s fans, his readers remain hungry for more information about the long-awaited sixth installment of his Song of Ice and Fire book series, The Winds of Winter.

Despite recently saying that he’s lost all interest in predicting when he might finish The Winds of Winter, Martin has offered his fans an interesting, surprisingly specific update on his follow-up to 2011’s A Dance with Dragons.

Kit Harington as Jon Snow in the Season 6 finale of Game of Thrones.


A New Update — During a recent livestream for Penguin Random House, George R. R. Martin revealed that he’s about 75% done with The Winds of Winter. “It’s a big, big book, I’ve said that before. It’s a challenging book. It’s probably gonna be a larger book than any of the previous volumes in the series,” Martin said.

The author continued, “A Dance with Dragons and A Storm of Swords are the two largest books in the series [to date]. They were both about 1,500 manuscript pages. I think [The Winds of Winter] is going to be longer than that by the time I’m finished with it, and I think I’m about three-quarters of the way done, maybe? But that’s not 100% done, so I have to continue to work on it.”

In the same event, Martin also noted that there’s a chance The Winds of Winter could end up being split into two separate volumes by his publisher. “Of course, there’s the issue here of my friends at Random House, when I deliver this monstrous book that will be as big as a dragon. Are they going to try to make me cut it in two?” Martin said. “We’ll find out about that, but first I have to finish it.”

George R.R. Martin, probably while being asked about the state of his novel.

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A Massive Book — This is one of many, many updates Martin has offered about The Winds of Winter in the 11 years since A Dance with Dragon's release. His note that he's written about three-quarters of the novel, however, makes this a much more specific update than he's provided in the past.

Of course, this update still doesn't reveal when The Winds of Winter will be done and published. And Martin went on to remind fans that his publishing problems won't be done when The Winds of Winter is released, as the book is only meant to be the penultimate installment in the series. It's the equally long-awaited A Dream of Spring that's expected to serve as the final chapter of Martin's beloved fantasy epic.

Kit Harington as Jon Snow and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones Season 8.


The Inverse Analysis — At this point, it's useless to predict when The Winds of Winter will actually be done. Martin clearly writes at his own pace, and he's the only person who will know when his most anticipated book yet is ready.

That said, this update does at least tell Martin's fans that he's written more of The Winds of Winter than he has left to write. Considering that some fans have theorized that he's completely stuck, that's a revelation worth celebrating.

The Winds of Winter will be released whenever George R.R. Martin finishes writing it.

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