Fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones and the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin got excited when Amazon leaked a release date for the latest book, The Winds of Winter on their French Amazon page. If this date is correct, it marks nearly six years between the last book in the series and this one.
According to a screenshot obtained by The Independent, The Winds of Winter is set to be released on March 9, 2017. However, fans rushing to Amazon now to order their copy will find the date has been deleted, indicating it was likely an error Amazon didn’t really want fans to see.
As The Independent points out, George R.R. Martin’s publisher, Voyager Books/Harper Collins, have gone on record to say that “nothing has been finalized regarding the publication or the date.” Which means fans will have to go back to watching Season 6 of HBO’s Game of Thrones in order to get their fix of Westeros and all the intrigue that occurs there.
To clarify matters even further, in an effort to avoid fans getting too excited about a possible release date for the latest Game of Thrones book, Martin’s publishers issued the following statement via Entertainment Weekly.
“As his publisher, we support George R.R. Martin as he works hard to finish The Winds of Winter. Any on-sale dates currently listed online for the novel are incorrect. Once we have a publication date for The Winds of Winter, the world will know.”
As EW pointed out, March of next year would have made sense, publication-wise, in regard to The Winds of Winter. Not only does it make the release date right before the usual start date for HBO’s Game of Thrones, but, considering Season 7 of the TV series has been delayed, it would also give fans something to do in the interim while they waited for the new season.
Publishers normally release publication dates for books well in advance in order to give plenty of time for publicity and reviews. Having a release date six months ahead of time would make perfect sense from this perspective. However, if George R.R. Martin’s publishers still don’t have a publication date, judging by this statement, fans may not even get to feast on The Winds of Winter in 2017 at all.
The Winds of Winter has had several expected release dates, all of which have come and gone. George R.R. Martin even apologized on his blog back in January for not having The Winds of Winter ready for purchase in time for the Season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones. He also stated that he will endeavor to get the best book published regardless of how long it will take him.
“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.”
This put book fans in a position where they had to decide whether they wanted to watch the TV show and receive potential spoilers about the book series the TV show is based on or, alternatively, avoid watching the show until The Winds of Winter was finally released. Neither proposition is a great one for fans who immerse themselves so completely in the mythical world of Westeros.
Are you looking forward to the latest installment in the Game of Thrones series, The Winds of Winter? Or do you prefer to get your dose of Westeros on television? Let us know by commenting below.
[Photo by Steve Snowden/Getty Images for AMC Networks]