The Winds of Winter will not be released before Season 6 of Game of Thrones

By Tim Lanning on

About Tim Lanning

Tim founded GeeklyInc with Michael DiMauro way back in 2013 when they realized they had two podcasts and needed a place to stick them. Since then, Geekly has grown and taken off in ways Tim could have never imagined.



George R.R. Martin took to his live journal to share some sad news – “The Winds of Winter” is not done. Not only that, it will not be released before HBO’s sixth season of Game of Thrones. And yes, the sixth season will have spoilers, but it also will not. Read Martin’s post to get an unusual look behind the curtain as he shares his personal struggle with completing “The Winds of Winter” and the battle of missing deadlines.

As fans, we have to balance our own sad feelings with the delay with more than a little bit of understanding that “it will be done when it will be done.” I personally didn’t hold out much hope, but even in the corners of my heart where some hope dared to shine lived a surprise announcement that March would be a much more exciting month. And knowing that George himself, along with his editors and publishers, thought that they could hit a March release date for TWoW sends me into an even glummer state. I think I would have preferred not to know… But, what can you do? Martin wants to make the best book possible in order to create a wholly satisfying series.

More troubling is how torn up Martin sounds in his update. It breaks me up reading his thoughts on the process where he expressed “And as spring turned to summer, I was having more bad days than good ones.”  You can almost hear him trying to silence his critics at the same time that he is taking the full blame for the delay. Yes, he is busy. Yes, HBO’s Game of Thrones is a distraction some times. But, as he said, the process just isn’t going as smoothly as he would like.

As a fan I don’t know what to think. On one hand, I want “The Winds of Winter” yesterday. On the other, George R.R. Martin has filled my life with so many… emotions (I was going to say joy…but come on, lets not kid ourselves) that I want him to only have positive thoughts on the whole A Song of Ice and Fire. I also want the best TWoW that could possibly exist so I am willing to wait. But, next season will most likely “spoil” certain juicy bits. I think knowing that the show and the book version have morphed into two separate entities calms me some. Even as a whiny book reader, who thinks that Michiel Huisman’s beard should be dyed all sorts of ridiculous colors, I know that I will have one great book series and one great TV series. Martin also mentions “I can’t think of any other instance where the movie or TV show came out as the source material was still being written.” which I guess means that he isn’t a fan of Anime. So, I will be quietly sitting and waiting for A Song of Ice and Fire: Brotherhood sometime in 2035.

How about you? Where do you fall on the emotional spectrum after reading Martin’s post?


  1. Thanks for saying that. I think all people see from the article is that it won’t be out before season 6. Of course he wasn’t going to have the book out before season 6. But the way he’s talking makes me doubt we’ll see it at all. Like writing the series has become a chore for him. The added pressure of a show that will surpass his story and gaining a new set of readers (myself included) from said show makes writing it even more of a chore. He’s always written at his own pace but I don’t think it’s an issue of pace or deadlines. It seems more of an issue of passion. He’ll finish when he finishes but as for me, I’m tapping out of the series entirely.

    • This is true. A small part of me is a little resentful towards the show for causing this in some part. But, who knows how he would feel without it? Maybe it helped in some way. Blaming the show may be unfair, but I am more than a little emotional when it comes to Game of Thrones.

      • I don’t think the show caused any of his current issues, if anything it seemed to give him a bit of impetus, at least to start with. I think it’s pretty clear that GRRM has lost any fire for writing the series. When you think about it, the last ‘complete’ ASOIF book, a storm of swords, was published in 2000. So long ago that the Simpsons were still making good episodes. (Whatever you think of Crows and Dragons, they were clearly incomplete and awkward books). The so called Meeranese Knot knocked any momentum, any fire out of him, and now he’s spent the last fifteen years painfully working through how to complete the story. It’s no wonder really that he’d rather do other stuff, all the writing on the series he’s done since 1999 have probably been a very unsatisfying experience.

  2. I know from personal experience that what David is saying is true. When I write and I get myself into a part of the narrative that is boring for me to write I start to doubt myself. I say, “If I hate writing this then who is going to want to read it. But for the story it needs to go there.” It can be very hard to move past those slumps and get the story back on a more exciting/ interesting path. George R. R. Martin probably knows where he wants the story to end but getting there is hard. Having the show and all the fan theories probably does not help. I know that if someone correctly guessed the twist in a story I was writing before I wrote it then I would have a hard time seeing the point. Like someone telling the punch line to a joke before you can finish it, it’s just not as funny anymore. I don’t blame critics or the fans but the writing process, it is a cruel mistress, and as with any writing it is very personal. Despite the delay and the show out pacing the books I will still pick up a copy of the book when it is published and still look up to Martin as one of the great fantasy writers who, in my mind, can stand with Tolkien or Rowling.

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