The sixth season of Game of Thrones may serve as one big spoiler for George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series as the author revealed in a post on his Live Journal that he has not completed work on the next installment of his epic saga. “The Winds of Winter is not finished,” Martin told fans in a year-end update of the much anticipated sixth A Song of Ice and Fire book.
“Believe me, it gave me no pleasure to type those words. You’re disappointed, and you’re not alone,” Martin wrote. “My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed… but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me. For months now I have wanted nothing so much as to be able to say, ‘I have completed and delivered The Winds of Winter‘ on or before the last day of 2015. But the book’s not done.”
Each season of Game of Thrones has corresponded with a book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, but now HBO and the show’s producers are tasked with creating a new season without a sixth book to guide them, resulting in a situation where the television series might ruin some of the surprise from the long-gestating novel.
Writing about whether Game of Thrones‘s sixth season would serve as a “spoiler” for The Winds of Winter, Martin wrote, “Maybe. Yes and no. Look, I never thought the series could possibly catch up with the books, but it has. The show moved faster than I anticipated and I moved more slowly. There were other factors too, but that was the main one. Given where we are, inevitably, there will be certain plot twists and reveals in season six of Game of Thrones that have not yet happened in the books. For years my readers have been ahead of the viewers. This year, for some things, the reverse will be true. How you want to handle that… hey, that’s up to you.”
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In the post, Martin also wrote about his self-imposed deadlines to finish work on The Winds of Winter to complete it before Game of Thrones‘ sixth season: In order to publish the novel by March 2016, a month before the Season Six premiere, the author set a Halloween deadline for himself. When he realized the book wouldn’t be done by October 31st, a depressed Martin then set his completion goal for New Year’s Day. However, on January 1st, he alerted fans of the series that the book wouldn’t arrive as planned.
“Here it is, the first of January. The book is not done, not delivered. No words can change that. I tried, I promise you. I failed. I blew the Halloween deadline, and I’ve now blown the end of the year deadline,” Martin wrote. “Look, I have always had problems with deadlines. For whatever reason, I don’t respond well to them… But I won’t make excuses. There are no excuses. No one else is to blame. Not my editors and publishers, not HBO… It’s on me. I tried, and I am still trying. “
When The Winds of Winter is finally completed – and Martin has stopped making predictions for when that might be – he promises fans it will be worth the wait. “Game of Thrones is the most popular television series in the world right now. The most pirated as well. It just won a record number of Emmy Awards, including the ultimate prize, for the best drama on television. It’s an incredible production with an incredible cast and crew,” Martin wrote. “Winds of Winter should be pretty good too, when it comes out. As good as I can make it, anyway.”