Last year, George R.R. Martin promised that The Winds of Winter will come out on July 29, 2020. But given how this year started, is that timeline still on the table?
As the outbreak continues to rage, Martin said in his blog post earlier this month that he has isolated himself, adding that the crisis actually gave him more time to write The Winds of Winter. The award-winning author then said a couple of weeks ago that he remains in quarantine and is still writing the sixth book of the saga.
“I am still up in the mountains, doing the social distancing rag, and writing WINDS OF WINTER. I have good days and bad days, but I am making progress,” Martin wrote.
George R.R. Martin says if 'The Winds of Winter' isn't out by July 29, 2020, fans can imprison him
— Fandom (@getFANDOM) May 22, 2019
Nine years in the making
While this is reassuring, it’s best to lower our expectations for now, especially since the award-winning author has previously failed to live up to his previous promises. To put the delay of The Winds of Winter in perspective, the fifth book of the saga, A Dance with Dragons, came out on July 12, 2011. That’s nearly nine years ago.
Since then, millions of fans have been urging Martin to finish the sixth entry, with the frenzy reaching new heights after the TV adaptation failed to live up to the hype. Hopefully, the book’s ending will do the series justice and provide us with a more satisfying conclusion than what the series delivered.
What’s going to happen in the next book? (Major spoilers ahead)
Despite the series closely following its source material, it’s expected that The Winds of Winter will differ from what’s been seen in the show. For instance, Lady Stark is still alive in the books after Berric Dondarrion gave her the Lord of Light’s blessing.
The bad news is that Catelyn became evil following the events that occurred in the Red Wedding. Gone is the caring mother show watchers have come to love, replaced by a vengeful wraith hell-bent in punishing those responsible for Robb Stark’s death. She even hanged Pod and Brienne by the end of A Dance with Dragons.
Euron Greyjoy vastly differs in the books as well. Where the show portrayed him as a lustful pirate, he’s actually quite formidable in the source material, with Valyrian steel plate, magic, and a few priests and warlocks at his disposal.
Other characters like Victarion Greyjoy and Jon Connington will also be influencing the plotline of The Winds of Winter in varying degrees. Of course, it’s still unclear how these characters will alter the fate of the White Walkers and if Arya will indeed be the blade that will end the Night King’s terror similar to what’s been seen in the TV adaptation. So here’s to hoping that the July target hit’s the mark as a new book from the saga would be a welcome distraction to the ongoing pandemic.