The other night, Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin took part in a live stream discussion with writer David Anthony Durham, set up by his publisher Random House. The occasion was the release of The Rise of the Dragon, an updated version of Martin’s book Fire & Blood, which serves as the basis of HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon. During the talk, Martin gave us another update on The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited sixth book in his Song of Ice and Fire saga.
Obviously, Martin gets asked about Winds a lot, and it sounds like he has his answer down pat:
"You know it’s the same update I’ve been giving for a long time. I continue to work on it. It continues to get longer and longer, I mean I was working on it the day before I flew back here for three or four days. I was rereading some chapters that I’d written earlier, and I didn’t like them well enough. So I kind of ripped them apart and rewrote them."
It has been over a decade since the last book in Martin’s series, A Dance with Dragons, was released in 2011. That’s a long time to wait, but at least Martin promises that Winds will be the biggest entry yet. “It’s a big, big book,” he said. “I’ve said that before, it’s a challenging book. It’s probably going to be a larger book than any of the previous volumes in the series. A Dance with Dragons and A Storm of Swords are the two largest books of the series, they were about 1,500 manuscript pages, I think this one is going to be longer than that by the time I finish it.”
"And I think I’m about 3/4 of the way done maybe, but that’s not 100% done so I have to continue to work on it."
George R.R. Martin has “never lied” about The Winds of Winter predictions; he’s just bad at making them
Martin went on to say he’s given up on making predictions about when Winds will be finished, especially because he has blown past all of the deadlines he has set for himself over the years. “I make what I think is the best case estimate, and then stuff happens,” he said. “Then everybody gets mad that I ‘lied’. I’ve never lied about these predictions. They’re the best I can make, but I guess I overestimate my ability to get stuff done, and I underestimate the amount of interruptions and other projects, other demands that will distract me.”
If the novel Martin delivers ends up being as big as he thinks, it’s possible the publisher could split it into two separate books. And then there’s the final entry in the series to think about. “One day it will be done and then it will come out and then, the next day, someone will tweet me: ‘When will we see A Dream of Spring?'” Martin joked. “I can see the future.”