Earlier this month, George R.R. Martin took to his LiveJournal to deliver the bad news: the latest installment in his series “A Song of Ice and Fire” would not hit shelves before “Game of Thrones” returns to HBO this spring. For fans of the book series, the delay of “The Winds of Winter” means we”ll be getting key plot points from the show before Martin himself.
The author apologized for this as well as elaborated on WHY the book is being pushed back. Which is more of an explanation than we”re owed, considering George R.R. Martin is not our bitch. But is “The Winds of Winter” really running behind schedule? Nope.
Way back in 2014, The Washington Post used cold, hard math to estimate when Martin”s epic fantasy series would conclude. Remember, this was nearly two years ago.
When fans lament Martin”s slow and steady pace, other authors like J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis are bandied about as examples of speedy writers. But as The Washington Post points out in the above graph, those comparisons never account for..well…word count. “A Song of Ice and Fire” is a SAGA in every sense of the word. “Game of Thrones” clocks in at 864 paperback pages, and each subsequent entry has been longer than the last. Based on the numbers, Martin has been cranking out about 200 pages a year. If his estimates that “The Winds of Winter” will end up being around 1,150 pages hold up, we shouldn”t even be EXPECTING it until next year at the earliest.
So there you have it. You can”t argue with math.
Side note: Everyone was so focused on when “The Winds of Winter” is or isn”t coming out, I haven”t seen much talk about the OTHER part of Martin”s announcement which confirmed the cover art that”s been circulating is official. The Horn of Winter is coming for The Wall, and that can only end in tears. And war. Definitely war.