Fans of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, which is the actual name for the Game of Thrones books, have been waiting nearly four years for Martin’s next book The Winds of Winter to get some kind of release date. Many of those fans have joked over the years that Martin will be dead before he finishes the novels, but now the harsh reality of just how far away from publication Martin’s Winter is has come to light.
In an interview with George R. R. Martin’s longtime Game of Thrones editor Anne Groell, Suvudu cut right to the chase, asking when Winds of Winter would be released. Her answer?
I currently have 168 pages that [George] submitted back in Feb 2013 in order to receive a contracted payment, but I know more exists, because he keeps talking about chapter he hasn’t yet sent me. In fact, when we wanted to put an exclusive excerpt on the A WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE app—a magnificent thing which you all should buy and use!—he suggested the second Tyrion chapter, which I then had to remind him was not in the sample I had.
If you’re not sure why this news is so catastrophic for book fans, it’s worth noting that George R. R. Martin’s first five Game of Thrones books have an average page count of 1,066. So while Ms. Groell has hints that more pages exist, the fact that Martin has only sent her 168 out of a probable 1,000+ pages is about as comforting a thought as being put into an arena versus The Mountain That Rides.
Reading her interview, you almost get the impression she thinks the fact that Martin has more, but just hasn’t handed it over, is just peachy.
Martin is currently 65 years old, which has always kept fans fearful that the conclusion of the books would never come to pass. A few people on the planet know pieces of what happens to certain characters of Martin’s, but Groell says that whatever she knows, she’ll never share and that the others who know other pieces likely won’t either.
“In short, like [the fans], I Keep George’s Secrets.” Groell is referring to the fact that book fans kept the secrets of the Red Wedding off the internet for years, before HBO’s show finally unveiled it last season to the shock of millions of show viewers.
According to Vulture, the interview also reveals that Groell thinks that George R. R. Martin will end up writing eight books instead of seven.
And the hits just keep on coming.