There’s plenty to be anticipating about television in 2016, from AMC’s Preacher to HBO’s Vinyl, but for many, the only thing that really matters is the return of Game of Thrones, which will debut its sixth season this April. The long-awaited revalation of what has become of Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) in season 6 of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss‘ juggernaut of a fantasy series was meant to coincide with the release of The Winds of Winter, George R.R. Martin‘s latest installment in the source material for the show, but that’s looking unlikely at this point.
“Unlikely” is perhaps putting it a little too nice; if pigs fly and start speaking the King’s English is a bit closer. According to Martin, who wrote a long blog post on his Livejournal about the hold-up of his new novel, the latest novel in his hugely popular series is still months away from completion, depending on how his writing goes in the coming days and weeks. Here’s what he had to say about the writing:
For months now I have wanted nothing so much as to be able to say, “I have completed and delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER” on or before the last day of 2015.
But the book’s not done.
Nor is it likely to be finished tomorrow, or next week. Yes, there’s a lot written. Hundreds of pages. Dozens of chapters. (Those ‘no pages done’ reports were insane, the usual garbage internet journalism that I have learned to despise). But there’s also a lot still left to write. I am months away still… and that’s if the writing goes well. (Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t.) Chapters still to write, of course… but also rewriting. I always do a lot of rewriting, sometimes just polishing, sometimes pretty major restructures.
Martin’s blog post goes onto detail the long series of deadline pushes and problematic writing issues in trying to get The Winds of Winter finished by the time to precede Game of Thrones‘ sixth season premiere in April. In publishing terms, as the writer explains, that means that the novel would have had to be released by the end of March. And as Martin says, the whole ordeal is disappointing but shouldn’t be reason for too much hootin’ and hollerin’, as the book will likely be finished this year and hey, Game of Thrones is still set to return to HBO in April. If fans want a book as enveloping and resonant as Martin’s other installments, a few more months of waiting isn’t too much of a concession.