If you were hoping to get your hands on The Winds of Winter before the return of Game of Thrones for its sixth season this Spring, then you were being optimistic, as author George R.R. Martin has revealed that he’s still “months” away from completing his next chapter of A Song of Ice and Fire, and that the TV show will spoil certain parts of the book.
“The Winds of Winter is not finished,” states Martin on his LiveJournal. “Believe me, it gave me no pleasure to type those words. You’re disappointed, and you’re not alone. 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. Nor is it likely to be finished tomorrow, or next week. Yes, there’s a lot written. Hundreds of pages. Dozens of chapters. But there’s also a lot still left to write. I am months away still… and that’s if the writing goes well.”
“Maybe,” he continues, writing about whether the sixth season will spoil the book. “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… When you ask me, ‘will the show spoil the books,’ all I can do is say, ‘yes and no,’ and mumble once again about the butterfly effect. Those pretty little butterflies have grown into mighty dragons. Some of the ‘spoilers’ you may encounter in season six may not be spoilers at all… because the show and the books have diverged, and will continue to do so.”
Game of Thrones season 6 will get underway in April on HBO, while your guess is as good as anyone’s as to when The Winds of Winter will see publication.