Perhaps the most famous as-yet-unfinished novel is The Winds of Winter, the incredibly long-awaited sixth volume in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire. How long has it taken him? In the interim since the fifth book, A Dance with Dragons, the bulk of the HBO adaptation of his series has run its course. But Martin, who let fans know he was safe and away from other humans during the pandemic, gave one of his periodic updates on how he’s faring, and this latest one was a bit more upbeat and promising than usual.
As caught by Entertainment Weekly, Martin dropped onto his blog to inform people that, for some reason, he had plenty of time in the last year to make a dent in his next doorstop. “I wrote hundreds and hundreds of pages of THE WINDS OF WINTER in 2020,” Martin wrote. “The best year I’ve had on WOW since I began it. Why? I don’t know. Maybe the isolation. Or maybe I just got on a roll. Sometimes I do get on a roll.”
If that sounds like good news for those hungry to see how he hopes to wrap up his dragon saga — exacerbated, no doubt, by the divisive way the show concluded — then this has unfortunately been a good-news-bad-news update.
“I need to keep rolling, though,” Martin added. “I still have hundreds of more pages to write to bring the novel to a satisfactory conclusion. That’s what 2021 is for, I hope.”
So you’re going to have to keep on being patient: “I will make no predictions on when I will finish … Every time I do, a*sholes on the internet take that as a ‘promise,’ and then wait eagerly to crucify me when I miss the deadline. All I will say is that I am hopeful.”
So there you go: You might get to see those Game of Thrones spin-offs, including that threatened animated one, before you get your mitts around what’s still only supposed to be the series’ penultimate novel anyway. In the meantime the 10th birthday of A Dance with Dragons rolls by this summer, so maybe an anniversary read?