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George R.R. Martin may write episodes for Game of Thrones spinoff, but The Winds of Winter comes first

This could be a hint that the book is coming soon ... but it probably isn’t

Game of Thrones 706 - Daenerys and Tyrion walking among two dragons HBO
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

After yesterday’s news that one Game of Thrones spinoff was cancelled another got a full season order, George R.R. Martin, the architect of A Song of Ice and Fire himself, updated fans today.

Martin took to his notablog website on Wednesday afternoon to share his thoughts and involvement on the upcoming HBO series House of the Dragon. Martin also provided a vague and very tantalizing hint of when The Winds of Winter, the next book in the series, could be coming.

Martin started the post by sharing his excitement for House of the Dragon, and talked about working with Ryan Condal, who is co-showrunner with Game of Thrones veteran director Migeul Sapochnick, to flesh out the concept of the show. Ryan, Martin says, has been working on House of the Dragon, for quite a while. But he and Martin still have to decide on shooting locations, and they have to form a writers’ room, too.

Most interestingly, Martin said that he hopes to write a few episodes of House of the Dragon, just like he did in the early seasons of Thrones. House of the Dragon will focus on the history of the Targaryens and their rule in Westeros some 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. Martin mentions in his post that fans who want a preview of the series can check out his recently published Fire and Blood, which House of the Dragon will be based on. Martin also directed fans to the Dangerous Women and Rogues anthologies, which both tell stories about the same time period in Westeros.

But he tells fans not to worry and that the writing won’t interfere with his ... other project.

“Let me make this perfectly clear,” Martin says, “I am not taking on any scripts until I have finished and delivered Winds of Winter. Winter is still coming and Winds remains my priority, as much as I’d love to write an episode of House.”

While this doesn’t necessarily mean anything to book readers who have been waiting eight years for a new entry in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, fans could be forgiven for taking it as a hopeful sign that Winds of Winter could be done soon. After all, Martin says he may be able to write some episodes of the new show, but the book will come first. That means it’s possible the book could be released before the release of House of the Dragon.

It still isn’t confirmation for ever-patient book fans, and it isn’t much more positive than the things we’ve been hearing from Martin for years.

Martin closed his blog by sharing his condolences over the news that HBO will not be moving forward with another Game of Thrones spinoff, which Martin called The Long Night. The pilot for the (technically unnamed) show was written by Jane Goldman and was filmed last spring and summer. Martin said he doesn’t know why HBO didn’t move forward with the show, but he doesn’t think it had anything to do with House of the Dragon.

“If television has room enough for multiple CSIs and Chicago shows ... well, Westeros and Essos are a lot bigger, with thousands of years of history and enough tales and legends and characters for a dozen shows,” Martin said.

Unfortunately, this was another post from George that didn’t give us a release date for The Winds of Winter. Even if he does write for the new Game of Thrones prequel, there still hasn’t been confirmation from Martin or HBO of when exactly we could expect House of the Dragon to be released.

With the show lacking a writers’ room so far, it’s likely that we wouldn’t see it until the end of next year at the earliest. Still, it’s nice to see Martin at least write the words “Winds of Winter,” which have to count for something.

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