After announcing that the sixth book in his A Song of Ice and Fire series would not be arriving anytime soon, author George R. R. Martin has thanked fans for their outpouring of support.
Martin posted the thank-you announcement on his LiveJournal page, where he often goes to give updates on both the book and television series, as well as inform readers what he's working on next.
In the post, Martin said the "outpouring of support to my post on The Winds of Winter has been astonishing," and added that while he was going to close the comment section because there were too many messages flooding in, he appreciated everyone who wrote him.
Martin announced on Jan. 2 that while the plan had been to release the sixth book ahead of the show's sixth season premiere, there was simply no way he was going to meet that deadline.
According to the author, he suffered through a bad bout of terrible writing days, and it wasn't until August of last year that he had the "depressing realization" that he wasn't going to make his first deadline of Halloween.
The plan had always been to release the book no later than the end of March 2016, Martin said, in order to give fans at least a couple of weeks to read the books before the sixth season premiered. In the post, Martin acknowledges that there will be some spoiler moments fans will have to sit through while watching the new season that he's incorporated into the sixth installment.
"Look, I never thought the series could possibly catch up with the books, but it has," Martin wrote. "The show moved faster than I anticipated and I moved more slowly. ... Given where we are, inevitably, there will be certain plot twists and reveals in season six of Game of Thrones that have not happened in the books."
Although he apologized profusely in the post, focusing all the blame on himself and taking it away from HBO and his publishers, he sternly reiterated that the book would be done when it was done. He added that he most recently rewrote a chapter about Theon Greyjoy, one of the series' more popular characters, but it was a revised edit because he had grown unhappy with what he had written so far.
Still, that didn't stop some fans from complaining about the delay and badmouthing the author online. Many were angry that they were going to have to either sit the sixth season out until the book had been completed or spoil the series for themselves by tuning into the show.
HBO has yet to comment on the delay, but Martin did acknowledge in his post that the network was disappointed he hadn't finished the novel.
The show's sixth season is set to air sometime in April.