If there’s a series that has really captured the imaginations of TV viewers and fantasy book readers over the past few years, it’s George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire – a series which has spawned the hugely popular high-budget adult fantasy series A Game of Thrones. Martin has long since advised fans that the final two books in the series – which has been running since 1996 – are forthcoming – however, he has famously missed deadlines and has been keeping many waiting for the next installment since 2011. The next book, entitled The Winds of Winter, is thought to cover a period of history in the lore that has already been seen on-screen – but will be told a little differently.
Martin’s famous delay on the finales to the series may have kept fans waiting but he has also famously kept the public in touch with developments – and, according to a recent interview at a Q&A panel at the Guadalajara International Book Fair, he is still working hard on the penultimate story in the series. He advised attendees that winter is certainly coming in the second-to-last-book, and that some of the characters are in ‘very dark places’. This will certainly work in parallel with what has been a rather dramatic sixth season on HBO, with the controversial show killing off more and more beloved members of its cast by the episode – but there is still no sign of a definite release date for either of the author’s final books.
Martin’s series has been running since 1996 and there was approximately a six year gap between the releases of the previous two books – and if The Winds of Winter was to be released in 2017, Martin will equal his own record for the period of time between books – but with ‘Thrones Mania’ at an all-time high, readers and viewers have grown eager for Martin to finish the final releases. Martin has stood by his writing and releasing schedule, ever ready to advise readers that the final chapters will be ready when they are ready – and has hit back at claims that the series may outlive his own lifespan!
Martin joked that he sometimes wishes he had created the five kingdoms of Westeros as opposed to the seven kingdoms – and while he has certainly set himself a fair stock of work over the years, he has continued to captivate readers with character twists and brutal plot changes – and while the TV series may now be ahead of the books chronologically, there will certainly be enough interest in A Song of Ice and Fire for as long as Martin holds out on releasing the final installments.