To say that George R. R. Martin's Winds of Winter is very, very highly anticipated is putting it very, very mildly — so any micro-crumb of information regarding a release date is going to attract attention. Today's pulse-quickening clue comes courtesy of Amazon's French site, which has a release date for the book listed. The HBO adaptation's plot has already moved beyond the events of Martin's most recent book in the series.
It's 9 March 2017 — specifically noted as being for the paperback, rather than the traditional hardback initial release, which only adds to the sketchy believability of the news. To reiterate: This comes with no confirmation from Martin, who will surely share the good news once he's finally finished working on the thing that's been hanging over his head since July 2011, when A Dance With Dragons was released. The date could just be an Amazon placeholder, or a mistake, a prank or a glimpse into a parallel reality.
Martin's most recent blog post went up September 3, and it's all about the latest Wild Cards novel, High Stakes. A commenter mentions the French Amazon page there, but there's no response from the author, who frequently writes back to his fans when they ask questions in that forum. Obviously, we'll be keeping an eye out for any kind of confirmation or denial... but we don't expect one either way. We do, however, expect to be kept waiting much longer than 9 March 2017 to finally read The Winds of Winter.