Although that was certainly the plan of George R.R. Martin and his publisher (not to mention our hope), we won’t read Book 6 ahead of Season 6 of
the last of a series of yearender posts on his Not A Blog, GRRM tackles the issue.
Cold, hard facts: TWoW is not finished, although a lot has been written. Says Martin: “But there’s also a lot still left to write. I am months away still… and that’s if the writing goes well”.
He reveals that he was first planning to be done by Halloween, and then by the end of the year, which would still give the publishers enough time, with an accelerated turn-around schedule (similar to when
But I won’t make excuses. There are no excuses. No one else is to blame. Not my editors and publishers, not HBO, not David & Dan. It’s on me. I tried, and I am still trying. I worked on the book a couple of days ago, revising a Theon chapter and adding some new material, and I will writing on it again tomorrow. But no, I can’t tell you when it will be done, or when it will be published. Best guess, based on our previous conversations, is that Bantam (and presumably my British publisher as well) can have the hardcover out within three months of delivery, if their schedules permit. But when delivery will be, I can’t say. I am not going to set another deadline for myself to trip over. The deadlines just stress me out. I am going back to my stance from last March, before all this. It will be done when it’s done. And it will be as good as I can possibly make it.
Hear Marko Roar: Interestingly, the rumours and optimistic musings that we may yet get to read the next book before April were not unfounded, but the plans fell through as they are wont to do. Will the show “spoil” the novels? Well, that’s inevitable, at least when it comes to the plot’s major beats (which matter most), and we have been preparing for it mentally for a long time. Still, due to the divergences between the books and the adaptation (George goes into more detail on the matter in his post), there should be a whole lot to enjoy and I am looking forward to
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I’m not surprised at all by this news. Not a book reader, used to wish I had read them but now glad I didn’t…the wait for an ending is too long.
It was a very honest piece and well-worth a read. It’s obviously been very difficult for him to realise and admit that the show would catch up to the books. Props to him for doing so, truly, even though it doesn’t change that Winds isn’t done yet.
He also discussed that readers and watchers are able to enjoy both book and show.
I know what the next question will be, because hundreds of you have already asked it of me. Will the show ‘spoil’ the novels?
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. Look, I read Andy Weir’s novel THE MARTIAN before I saw the movie. But I saw the BBC production of JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR NORRELL before I finally got around to reading Susanna Clarke’s novel. In both cases, I loved the book and I loved the adaptation. It does not need to be one or the other. You might prefer one over the other, but you can still enjoy the hell out of both.
Excellent , the level of whine about this on AFOIAF will make for hilarious entertainment over the next day or so .
And wow, a projected 3 months to go from manuscript to hardcover release! I know the the demand for Winds is huge, but that’s impressive. If they needed to fit editing in there and ensure it was done properly, they’d be working day and night.
Well disappointing but not surprising. In a way having the show answer ‘what happens next’ could make the books more enjoyable: it may be easier to concentrate on some of the wider detail without feeling impatient for the next plot development.
One thing I wonder under this process is while the show has the detail of what happens, will we be getting some of GRRM’S great lines from his manuscript into the show?
Yeah, he gets my respect for that. Glad he put the issue to rest for now. Not sure all of what else has been behind the delay but I do know if I were a writer and felt pressured or stressed to hurry it up that would affect my creativity and the final result in a big way. I’m curious though…how long an interval was it between the first 3 books?
Well, shit. I really would’ve preferred to read the Winds of Winter before the show spoils a lot of it. I think it will be pretty frustrating to watch season 6 and try to guess what is book canon and what is not. But George is under so much pressure that I kind of feel bad for saying that.
Well, at least now there’ll be even more to discuss and debate about after every episode!
At this stage it was really starting to become inevitable that TWOW would never be out before season 6. But it is really good to see that GRRM give such an in-depth and open answer about his progress and struggles with the book.
Now he will once again be free to write without the added pressure of that looming deadline. I would presume that these books are quite complicated write, therefore it always seems understandable to me that he takes his time.
The book will be out when it gets done, and in the meantime we can now watch the show again without knowing or presuming what should be happening.
Ygritte: Respect to him for saying that. Glad he put the issue to rest, for now. I know if I were a writer and felt pressured or stressed to hurry it up that would affect my creativity and the final result in a big way.
Completely agree. Deadlines suck in general, but he’s facing a bit more than normal in terms of scrutiny!
Ygritte: I’m curious though…how long an interval was it between the first 3 books?
According to Wikipedia, he started writing ASOIAF in 1991 and the first book was published in 1996. The second and third followed in 2-year intervals.
A Game of Thrones (1996) A Clash of Kings (1998)
”It does not need to be one or the other. You might prefer one over the other, but you can still enjoy the hell out of both.”
My opinion exactly, very well said. (won’t stop crazy people being crazy, but it’s a very resonable/moderate stance)
It’s his life’s one of the biggest work….I think he wants to be patient and give us the best possible story in best possible way….He can write in his own pace in his own way. …I started reading the books after I started watching the show …and it’s so awesome I can visualise things..more clearly. ….so I will read the book whenever it’s published. ..even if it is published after the show concludes ( although I would love to read it earlier than that )…….
16th century. Regarding the painting of the Sistine Chapel.
It was a sad post from Martin really. You can tell he is disappointed with himself and more or less depressed about the whole thing… and once the show has passed the books, there will be even less reasons to write as fast as he can.
Anyway, for me, the answer to “will the show spoil the books?” is a huge YES. All those characters Martin lists whose fates have been different in the books and the show are tertiary characters at best. But what most people mean with “spoil the books” is: will the show reveal the fates of Jon Snow, Daenerys, Tyrion, Arya, Bran, Sansa, Cercei, Jaime? Will the show portray the second (Dany’s Dance of Dragons) and third (Fight againts White Walkers) conflicts before the books? Will the show spoil how the story ends? the answer is YES.
To be honest, I always tought WOW will come out, eventually. Definetly not before S6 tough, never belived that for a second and I have doubts it will be realesed in 2016.
It’s ADOS that I have very little faith it will ever be realesed.
Yes but he barely wrote anything between 1991-1993.At the end of 1993 he had around 150 pages writen, 13 chapters I believe, and the outline he was following was VERY different from the finished product. And in less than three years, the first book came out, perfectly finished.
Don’t fool yourselves. Having more time to write the books doesn’t make them better. (in fact, any writer who needs to eat has to write books “fast”). And the truth is, he still needs to write a seventh book, AT LEAST! The situation doesn’t look good.
Some of the contents on r/asoiaf while they were waiting for this update post were truly hilarious to read.
I guess we will never know that until either D&D or GRRM address this. But I hope the showmakers had access to the TWOW manuscripts while working on S6.
Yeah, I dont think we will get TWOW before 2017. And ADOS will probably never get finished, atleast not by Martin.
All true statements, though I think it’s fair to say he was in a very different headspace back then. He’s facing wildly differently levels of pressure and speculation now, and it’s clearly having an effect. It would on most anyone.
That he’s fully aware of it and still determined to complete the book–and in a way that passes muster–is a good thing.
As said before, everything related to Brann is a Winds of Winter stuff, so I assume that is what GRRM was referring to.
Jaime seems to be heading into his Feast for the Crows storyline, but Asha, Theon and Sansa are totally messed up.
Not to mention the Dumb and Dumber completely screwed over King Stannis.
I totally agree. It was honest and he’s absolutely right. I also watched Jonathan Strange on BBC, then read the book right after. I really enjoyed them both and the order didn’t affect anything. I have several friends who swear up and down that they won’t watch season 6 if TWOW wasn’t out first and it’s silly as shit. As a book reader, one of the exciting things about watching the show for me is seeing how the show handles the changes during the adaptation. And hey, I’ll be the first to admit that some of the changes were horrible
Especially with some of the character development. But in way, the book readers should be rooting for the changes at this point. It’ll make more TWOW exciting to read, especially if season 6 isn’t that great. Not that I’m hoping for season 6 to suck haha.
I’m so over the series, books and show, for different reasons, but as an overzealous fan once upon a time, I just can’t help but stick around and see this thing through.
I’m both excited and terrified D&D is giving us the ending of the story.
And on another note I’m a bit frustrated there ARE fantasy/sci-fi series out there waiting to be adapted, but the gods have willed ASOIAF – an uncomplete series – to become a pop culture phenomenon. One that gets a faithful adaptation in the first 4 seasons, and then just becomes radically different in the last 3-4. I feel a bit cheated, IMO.
Respect to George for telling us the score. In truth I am not surprised just disappointed, I was hoping Winds would be out before season 6 goes out. However my main concerns are for where GOT goes next. We must presume that season 7’s storyboards & scripts are written and they are now setting up shooting schedules which probably means that season 7 will climax with the end of Winds…. but for that to happen D&D must know how George will end the book and where the story goes in a Dawn of Spring…. the trouble is at the rate GRRM is writing GOT will probably conclude 5 years before he publishes his final Novel…. and in TV Land that makes him History. If so that will be a sad way for this to end….
Never really been angry at the wait at just the fact that we didn’t have a release date.
Gape, laugh, whimper, cry, curse, wail, beat breast, gnash teeth, flip table, self harm, simper, entreat Gods, shout at dog, lament, bemoan, self pity, mutter, breathe deeply, reflect, meditate, disambiguate, begin positive reallignment process….
Its not big deal for me, the books and the show are already so much different. We will know how Jon get resurrected and a general direction of main characters, but even there we will have no idea if it is fairly accurate adaptation like Jon´s and Cersei´s season 5 storyline, changed a lot but going into same direction like Dany´s and Arya´s storyline or completely off like Sansa´s and Jaime´s storylines. I just hope the books will be finished eventually, before you know what.
I’m not surprised, and kind of relieved. I started this journey with the show, and after season one or two I started reading the books mostly to avoid reading more spoilers by childish book readers —I did fall in love with the books, but the truth is that, for me, this is still mainly about the show. For once, I wanted to have an unspoiled season, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to avoid TWOW spoilers if it came out, so it’s nice to know that it won’t. Of course, it was incredibly depressing to read that blog post, and I feel for the guy —but I gotta be honest, as far as I am concerned, these are good news.
LordDavos: One thing I wonder under this process is while the show has the detail of what happens, will we be getting some of GRRM’S great lines from his manuscript into the show?
I imagine so. In season four, when Arya killed Polliver, she did so in the same way and with similar lines with which she killed Raff in TWOW’s Arya chapter, which was released by GRRM months or weeks before season four aired. So D&D must’ve had access to it before that.
Probably for the best I suppose. It’ll (hopefully) be more refined as a result of going back to his own (lack of) deadlines. Also, I probably won’t be hating on the show as much now. I had a lot of problems with season 5, but now at least those from the “This Didn’t Happen in the Book!!!!!” category of complaint will cease to crop up. There’s relief to be had in that.
oier: Anyway, for me, the answer to “will the show spoil the books?” is a huge YES. All those characters Martin lists whose fates have been different in the books and the show are tertiary characters at best. But what most people mean with “spoil the books” is: will the show reveal the fates of Jon Snow, Daenerys, Tyrion, Arya, Bran, Sansa, Cercei, Jaime? Will the show portray the second (Dany’s Dance of Dragons) and third (Fight againts White Walkers) conflicts before the books? Will the show spoil how the story ends? the answer is YES.
Agreed. I found that part of his post to be too naive. Most of those are tertiary characters at best —except for Stannis, who will surely die in TWOW. And that’s just the fates of characters —this season, often from the very first episode, we shall see what happens to ALL the major characters post-ADWD: Jon, Dany, Tyrion, Arya, Bran, Cersei, Jaime… and all the rest, truly.
Laughing so hard. Thanks for that. Good to keep things in perspective.
I’ve come to the conclusion that GRRM isn’t writing TWOW anymore and that in fact he has no idea which book the chapters that he’s writing will end up in, which is why no matter how much time he spends on it he never has enough to be released.
Either that or he hasn’t got enough fan favorite characters left to kill and refuses to put out a happy book.
Bending Knee: Not to mention the Dumb and Dumber completely screwed over King Stannis.
Go to other sites for the petty insults —that is not permitted here. Anyway, so you think Stannis won’t die in TWOW? D&D didn’t just invent that.
Bending Knee: Jaime seems to be heading into his Feast for the Crows storyline
The difference is that this storyline will probably have a climax in the show, based on TWOW material. The same goes for Sam. Most storylines, especially those of the “main” characters (Jon, Dany, Tyrion, Bran), will go into TWOW from the very first episode. Others, such as Jaime and Sam and even Arya, will have some AFFC and ADWD material in season six —but before the end of the season, all characters will have gone through TWOW spoilers.
Agree completely with thus post, and came to the books after I had already watched the show too.
I have a lot of respect for George, and I really feel for him, but if this reduces the corrosive atmosphere that surrounded a lot of last season it’s fantastic news. Goodbye Elio and Linda.
Not unexpected in the least as Martin’s writing speed has been getting worse by the year. As was said upthread, he wrote three huge books from 1993-2000, with some early stuff done in 1991 and 1992. In the fifteen years since he’s managed to write 1 book. Yes, one, because
are essentially a single book split for size. You could argue it’s not even one book, because the natural stopping points of those book(s) were cut out and left for
That said, I still think Season won’t be as spoilerific as some believe. Based on all the filming news and what we know of show storylines, I believe Season 6 will cover at best the first half or maybe 2/3 of the book. Those that are horrified by the prospect of being spoiled should take this as some small comfort I guess.
I have a lot of respect for George,and I really feel for him,but if this reduces the corrosive atmosphere that surrounded a lot of last season it’s fantastic news. Goodbye Elio and Linda.
No, this won’t. People will still find reasons to complain and say “so and so event will never happen in WOW”, especially if they don’t like what happens to one of their favorite characters. Stannis last season is a big example of this.
No this won’t. People will still find reasons to complain and say “so and so event will never happen in the books”, especially if they don’t like what happens to their favorite characters. Stannis last season is a big example of this.
Well considering everything, this is a really nice way to start my year.
I didn’t want to read WOW anyway, not before the show ending and reading lots and lots of reviews.(didn’t do this with AFFC/ADWD and I regret it to this day)
I want to watch the show just once, with that sanse of wonder and excitment and not knowing what happens next. Hardhome really convinced me that not reading the next books until the show is done, is the best option.
If WOW would have been published before S6, I planned to stop going too forums like this as not to be spoiled. (people are nice here but there is always that one asshole)
Knew this would be hard, hell you can get a spoiler on a random youtube video or a website that has nothing to do with GOT.
But now I’m even more excited too watch S6. All in all, this is good news for me.
I realized a while ago that GOT would provide us the ending to that story. And I’m fine with that.
Heck, one of the reasons the massacre at Hardhome was so exciting for me last year was that I had no idea what was going to happen, so I’m actually really looking forward to experience GOT as an almost completely unsullied for the first time ever this year.
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