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George R.R. Martin Promises He Got a Lot of Winds of Winter Written in Quarantine

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Martin holding Game of Thrones’ Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series at the 71st Emmy Awards in 2019.
Martin holding Game of Thrones’ Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series at the 71st Emmy Awards in 2019.
Photo: Robyn Beck (Getty Images)

Will he let you see it, though? Absolutely not.

It’s about time we had our annual-ish update on the status of Winds of Winter—the next book in George R.R. Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire saga. It’s taken so long to come out that literally an entire adaptation of the saga has managed to release, achieve critical acclaim, and then torch most of the goodwill associated with it in the time between it and the most recent release, A Dance With Dragons.

Bad news: you’re still not gonna be reading it any time soon. Good (?) news: Martin took spending nearly a year in isolation thanks to the covid-19 pandemic to really get some work done on the long-awaited novel.


Writing on his personal Not a Blog site yesterday, Martin reflected on a year that has been mostly kind of terrible, because, y’know, global pandemic, political and social upheaval, and all that. But one thing that kept the writer looking for a bright light in it all was the chance to really focus on his writing. “I wrote hundreds and hundreds of pages of The Winds of Winter in 2020,” the writer noted. “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.”

“I need to keep rolling, though,” he 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.”


Given that even with vaccination programs underway across the world, it’s clear that we’re far from done with quarantine measures and social distancing yet, there’s still plenty of time ahead for Martin to keep building on what he sees as his best year of progress on a novel he’s been writing for almost a decade off-and-on. “I will make no predictions on when I will finish. Every time I do, assholes on the internet take that as a ‘promise,’ and then wait eagerly to crucify me when I miss the deadline,” Martin concluded. “All I will say is that I am hopeful.”

So perhaps, if we allow ourselves to hope even a tiny little bit as well, our next annual-ish update on Winds of Winter might actually give us a concrete idea of when to expect those winds to blow.


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