By now all of us fans should now better than to trust anything that doesn’t come directly from the personal LiveJournal of one George R R Martin. It’s rumor mongering and click bait and never tells us anything new.
Does that stop me from letting Google direct me to three new articles speculating release dates every morning? Hell no. I just can’t help it.
Misleading headlines claiming they have new news from GRRM himself. Comments from his publisher on the upcoming line-up of releases. Insider scoop that gives fans the much desired release date. I definitely haven’t forgotten the infamous HBO advertising debacle about the three eyed raven carrying novel news–completely unrelated to anything he was up to of course, and without his consent.
But can you blame fans desperate for more wonderful adventures from Westeros and the surrounding lands? George RR Martin has given us endless fantasies and beautifully complex storylines that we can enjoy for countless hours. And of course, we want more. He’s made it clear that teasing is not in the cards: when The Winds of Winter is finished, he will announce it without pomp and circumstance. He gets how long readers have been anticipating a new release.
He’s always been rather mum on the subject of progress. We’ve truly no clue how far along GRRM is, if the manuscript is a chapter away from completion or leagues to go. Of course, that leaves me (and a slew of others, I’ve no doubt), combing his LJ entries looking for even the slightest of hints.
Upsetting news, both for fans and for George as well, whose work means that he has to skip events that he actually enjoys attending. The kicker comes in at the end, when he tells readers that he might just change his mind should Winds of Winter be completed and delivered. Kind of like it’s a real possibility. Sort of like he’s hopeful that everything will be tied up and typed out come early July.
A single sentence added as more of an afterthought to GRRM’s livejournal entry sent many a fan into a frenzy. Speculation began anew, and while I am hesitant to believe that a finished manuscript is nearly upon us, I do believe that George R R Martin would not throw these possibilities around lightly. If the end was still far, far off, I truly think he would have left well enough alone and not said anything. It goes back to his oft repeated sentiment that he has no desire to mislead or string along his fans. If he plans for no showy reveal or glitzy announcement that the book is finished, why would he tease near-future possibilities just for the sake of teasing?
Comments on the post demanding more information or specific details went largely unanswered, though George did address a few of the more over exuberant commentors, more or less encouraging them to settle down a little bit.
His answers were not without hope, though, and that’s at least something to go by.
Admittedly, I have not been waiting for the books nearly as long as many book fans. I am a relative newcomer to the ASOIAF books, so I cannot pretend to understand the years of waiting that longtime readers have gone through. If the four years I’ve been waiting for a new novel is any indication, it’s been a rough road, and my respect and admiration for those who’ve been following the series from its beginning is beyond words.
In desperate need of more analytic suppositions concerning when we might be seeing Winds of Winter? BryndenBFish has an amazingly in-depth article detailing his own personal SWAG (scientific wild-ass guess) over at Watchers On the Wall that studies his writing style/speed over the past books, details exactly what constitutes as a finished page, and maps a theoretical progression over the past several years, since we’ve gotten very little in way of page count lately. It’s a fascinatingly thorough study of George’s writing process and gives fans a little more technical speculation to go off of.
For now, we have A World of Ice and Fire to give magnificent new details, the prequel-esque tales in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms Collection, and the upcoming 5th season of the HBO adaptation to bask in. No matter how long it takes George RR Martin to finish his next novel, the wait is worth it; fans will be delivered a gorgeous and captivating next installment. It’s just hard to be patient sometimes.