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Game of Thrones creator suggests fans will be waiting a while longer for sixth book

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George R.R. Martin isn’t leaving people totally empty handed

Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Author George R.R. Martin knows you’re tired of waiting for new material, but he’s asking you to be a little more patient.

Martin responded to fans questions on his LiveJournal page over The Winds of Winter’s status, the sixth book in the popular A Song of Ice and Fire series. Martin said he’s throwing his efforts into Fire & Blood, the two-volume encyclopedia for A Song of Ice and Fire. The plan is to finish the first volume of Fire & Blood before returning to The Winds of Winter, the author said.

“The first volume should be completed soon,” Martin wrote. “The second is hardly begun. Most of Fire & Blood consists of the ‘sidebars’ I originally wrote for The World of Ice and Fire. Abridged versions of some of those pieces appeared as ‘The Princess and the Queen,’ ‘The Rogue Prince,’ and ‘The Sons of the Dragon,’ but these are the full versions, together with some chapters that have never appeared anywhere.”

Martin didn’t tease out when The Winds of Winter is to be expected, but suggested only Fire & Blood’s first volume will be released this year. That means those waiting to find out what happens after A Dance with Dragons, which was released in 2011, will have to wait at least another year before continuing the main saga.

This isn’t the first time that Martin has acknowledged the lengthy wait for fans. In January 2017, Martin wrote that he thought the book would be released soon, but acknowledged he’s said similar things before.

“Not done yet, but I’ve made progress,” Martin wrote. “But not as much as I hoped a year ago when I thought to be done by now. I think it will be out this year. (But hey, I thought the same thing last year.)”

Diehard fans should be happy with some new, canonical and official A Song of Ice and Fire material to work with in the meantime. Martin didn’t hint as to when the book is to be expected, but information should become available in the coming months.

Game of Thrones, HBO’s popular series based on the Song of Ice and Fire series, also returns to the network in 2019. The eighth and final season will end the televised epic that’s been playing out since 2011. Will the release of The Winds of Winter and Game of Thrones’ final season coincide with each other? Who knows, but it’s great publicity for both if that’s the case.