Image: Steve Snowden/Getty Images
Remember at the start of the year, when George R.R. Martin told the world he really thought Winds of Winter would be out in 2017, and for a brief moment, your heart was filled with hope that soon the continuation of A Song of Ice and Fire would finally be here? Oh, my sweet summer children.
Taking to his preferred platform of choice, Livejournal last night to offer an update on his writing progress — first, the good news: his work on the first in a now two-volume series cataloguing the full history of House Targaryen is mostly complete, with plans to release the first volume later next year:
Regulars here may recall our plan to assemble an entire book of my fake histories of the Targaryen kings, a volume we called (in jest) the GRRMarillion or (more seriously) Fire and Blood. We have so much material that it's been decided to publish the book in two volumes. The first of those will cover the history of Westeros from Aegon's Conquest up to and through the regency of the boy king Aegon III (the Dragonbane). That one is largely written, and will include (for the first time) a complete detailed history of the Targaryen civil war, the Dance of the Dragons. My stories in Dangerous Women ("The Princess and the Queen") and Rogues ("The Rogue Prince") were abridged versions of the same histories.
No publication date has been set yet, but it's likely that we will get the first volume of Fire and Blood out in late 2018 or early 2019. The second volume, which will carry the history from Aegon III up to Robert's Rebellion, is largely unwritten, so that one will be a few more years in coming.
Now, for the less-good news for those who've been waiting for The Winds of Winter: Martin no longer believes the book will be out this year. Work continues unabated, but there is one glimmer of hope — at the moment, he's unsure whether or not Winds or the first volume of Fire and Blood will hit shelves first, which basically means Winds of Winter could also be out by the end of next year or early 2019:
And, yes, I know you all want to know about The Winds of Winter too. I've seen some truly weird reports about WOW on the internet of late, by 'journalists' who make their stories up out of whole cloth. I don't know which story is more absurd, the one that says the book is finished and I've been sitting on it for some nefarious reason, or the one that says I have no pages. Both 'reports' are equally false and equally moronic. I am still working on it, I am still months away (how many? good question), I still have good days and bad days, and that's all I care to say. Whether Winds or the first volume of Fire and Blood will be the first to hit the bookstores is hard to say at this juncture, but I do think you will have a Westeros book from me in 2018... and who knows, maybe two. A boy can dream...
The delay is disappointing, but it really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone at this point. The book's going to take as much time as it needs to take. Just remember: No one wants The Winds of Winter to be finished more than GRRM at this point.