Game of Thrones fans may have their fingers crossed for The Winds of Winter to release in 2020, but did you know the penultimate book in A Song of Ice and Fire was almost published in 2015? The TV show’s sixth season was set to air in 2016 and it was the first time Game of Thrones’ narrative had surpassed the books. As a result, George RR Martin tried to get The Winds of Winter out in time for Christmas 2015.
He told Entertainment Weekly last year: “I felt a tremendous amount of pressure for years now.
“The most pressure I felt was a few years ago when I was desperately trying to stay ahead of the show.
“There was a point when the show was coming out in April and my editors said if I could finish the book by December they’d rush it out.
“And the pressure I felt that fall was the greatest pressure I’ve ever felt and then at a certain point it became apparent I’m not going to finish it by then.”
- George RR Martin says Winds of Winter almost released FOUR years ago?
The 71-year-old added: “I don’t only want to finish it, I want to make it as good as I possibly can.
“Since then there’s been pressure but not like there was at that point.
“There’s no longer a race. The show is over. I’m writing the book. It will be done when it’s done.”
But it’s now been almost five years since then, so what is holding Martin up?
Well, ASOIAF expert BryndenBFish, who has insider sources on the goings-on of The Winds of Winter, has shared three reasons why Martin thought he would finish in 2015.
The first is his insider knowledge and the last two are expert theories.
He wrote: “1. Because he wrote a ton of new material between 2014 and mid-2015.
“2. Theory: Because the TWOW twist inspired him to rewrite some of his extant material.”
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The expert added: “3. Theory: Because he was over-optimistic that he wouldn’t have a lot of rewriting to do of his extant material.”
Despite the five extra years, BryndenBFish has tweeted his confidence that The Winds of Winter will be published this year, a number of times.
Certainly, Martin’s most recent blog post of his progress with the novel is something to lean that confidence on.
The author wrote to reassure fans that he was self-isolating as an older gentleman and had hidden himself away anyway to get on with finishing the book.
Martin wrote: “For those of you who may be concerned for me personally… yes, I am aware that I am very much in the most vulnerable population, given my age and physical condition.
“But I feel fine at the moment, and we are taking all sensible precautions.
“I am off by myself in a remote isolated location, attended by one of my staff, and I’m not going into town or seeing anyone.
“Truth be told, I am spending more time in Westeros than in the real world, writing every day. “Things are pretty grim in the Seven Kingdoms. But maybe not as grim as they may become here.”
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