If you thought there was no silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic, well, you forgot about The Winds of Winter. Leave it to Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin to come up with the ultimate twist. The author offered fans of the book series that inspired HBO's biggest show ever an exciting update in an update to his personal blog.
In a blog post accurately titled Strange Days, Martin went into detail on the many ways he's responding to coronavirus. That includes shutting down the small independent movie theater he owns, canceling all events at his bookstore, and, yes, spending more time at home working on the upcoming sixth and penultimate book in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, The Winds of Winter.
"Truth be told, I am spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day," he says. "Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms… but maybe not as grim as they may become here."
For a small aside, Martin may have revealed a lot, and we'll get into that in a future article. For now, we're just excited to hear that George is back at work on The Winds of Winter (of course, it's possible he's referencing the script for the upcoming HBO prequel House of the Dragon, but that seems unlikely given the phrasing here).
Winds of Winter was originally scheduled for release in November 2018, but the book got delayed so Martin could focus on Fire & Blood, a "historical" account of House Targaryen that serves as the basis for House of the Dragon. Back in May 2019, he joked in a blog post that if he hadn't finished the book by 2020 Worldcon New Zealand, he should be locked up on New Zealand's White Island until he finished it.
In other words, Martin really wants to be done with Winds of Winter by the end of July when the annual conference takes place.
More recently, however, Martin hinted that the ending of his books wouldn't line up exactly with how Game of Thrones ended, which caused some fans to worry that he might delay the release yet again to rework some key plot points.
Martin's latest update seems to confirm that he's making steady progress on Winds of Winter. Maybe, if we're really lucky, he'll release a couple of chapters even sooner to give everyone stuck at home something to do while we wait out the virus.