Official Westeros artist mocks up cover for The Winds of Winter


Fans have waited many years for The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. And their wait isn’t over. But thanks to some new artwork, there’s some extra excitement in the air.

Ertaç Altinöz is one of the artists who worked with George R.R. Martin on his illustrated coffee table book The Rise of the Dragon, contributing gorgeous pieces like this one of Aegon the Conqueror with his mighty dragon Balerion the Black Dread. He’s made quite a lot of stunning artwork for the world of Westeros, and last week he unveiled a new mockup for the cover for The Winds of Winter:

The cover is dominated by a piece of dragonglass, one of the substances known to kill White Walkers, called the Others in the Song of Ice and Fire books.

New The Winds of Winter cover art. Is The Winds of Winter on the way?

I’ll be the first to admit that when I saw this artwork I thought it was just a cool fan art that Altinöz had created, not something official; he even uses the “fanart” hashtag in the post.

But for some fans, their hype ran away with them. The excitement surrounding Altinöz’s artwork is palpable on Twitter and TikTok, stoked by some of the artist’s own coy comments. For instance, here he is responding to one fan who asked whether Winds was actually coming: “It is coming.” He also responded to one fan who lamented that this cover may be the only version of the book we ever get: “The winds are winding strong, don’t worry!”

Altinöz went into detail on his process creating this artwork, discussing how he designed this cover to match the rest of the series:

Is The Winds of Winter cover art official?

This all makes it sound like maybe there’s something Altinöz knows that we don’t, or at the very least that it’s a possibility. Alas, the artist returned to Twitter over the weekend to lay that hope to rest:

"It’s just a fan art, unfortunately. Of course, if you guys don’t start a petition for it to be real."

So here we are, still waiting for The Winds of Winter. But hey, at least we’ve got some new artwork to ogle. It certainly is pretty beautiful; notice the hidden Targaryen sigil and wolf on the dragonglass arrowhead, as well as the weeping weirwood eyes in the background. We can only hope that whenever Winds is released, its cover looks this stunning.

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