The Winds of Winter

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The Winds of Winter
Author George R. R. Martin
Country United States
Language English
Series A Song of Ice and Fire
Genre Fantasy
Publisher Bantam Spectra/US
Voyager Books/UK
Preceded by A Dance with Dragons
Followed by A Dream of Spring

The Winds of Winter is the forthcoming sixth novel in the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin.

The previous installment, A Dance with Dragons, covered less story than Martin intended, excluding at least one planned large battle sequence and leaving several character threads ending in cliffhangers.[1] Martin intends to resolve these storylines "very early" in The Winds of Winter, saying "I'm going to open with the two big battles that I was building up to, the battle in the ice and the battle at Meereen—the battle of Slaver's Bay. And then take it from there."[2]

A Victarion Greyjoy chapter will begin five minutes after the end of A Dance with Dragons, taking place on the eve of the Iron Islanders' surprise attack on the cities in Slaver's Bay.[3] An Arianne Martell sample chapter that Martin released on his website showed her heading for Griffin's Roost to see the young man who is calling himself Aegon.[4]

Martin said in March 2012 that the final two novels will take readers farther north than any of the previous books, and that the Others will appear in the book.[2]

Viewpoint characters[edit]

George R. R. Martin confirmed the following characters to have point-of-view chapters in The Winds of Winter:

  • Sansa Stark: One chapter was removed from A Dance with Dragons in June 2010,[5] and one sample chapter titled Alayne appeared on Martin's website in April 2015.[6]
  • Arya Stark: One chapter was removed from A Dance with Dragons in June 2010,[5] and one sample chapter titled Mercy appeared on Martin's website in March 2014.[7][8]
  • Arianne Martell: Two chapters were removed from A Dance with Dragons in June 2010,[5] and one sample chapter appeared on Martin's website in January 2013.[4] The latter chapter was read at Harbour Front Literaturfestival in June 2015.[9]
  • Aeron Greyjoy: One chapter was removed from A Dance with Dragons in July 2010.[10]
  • Theon Greyjoy: One sample chapter appeared on Martin's website in December 2011.[11][12] It also appears in the UK paperback edition of A Dance with Dragons (part two).
  • Victarion Greyjoy: Portions of one chapter were first read at TIFF Bell Lightbox in March 2012.[3]
  • Tyrion Lannister: One chapter was read at Eastercon in April 2012,[13] and another one at Worldcon in August 2013,[14] the second of which was later published in the official iOS app on March 20, 2014.[15]
  • Barristan Selmy: One chapter was released in the U.S. paperback edition of A Dance with Dragons.[16]

Background and publication[edit]


The Winds of Winter[5] was originally intended, in the very early stages of the series, to be the final installment of A Song of Ice and Fire (then conceived as a trilogy).[17] Following his expansion of the series, Martin eventually concluded it would be succeeded by one final novel, A Dream of Spring.[18] By June 2010, Martin had finished four chapters for The Winds of Winter from the viewpoints of Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, and Arianne Martell.[5] In July 2010, he added an Aeron Greyjoy chapter that had been moved from A Dance with Dragons to The Winds of Winter, accumulating around 100 completed manuscript pages.[10] Following the publication of A Dance with Dragons in the summer of 2011, Martin announced his return to writing the series in January 2012,[1] having spent the intervening time on his U.S. and overseas book publicity tours and attending various conventions. He continued to work, with his two co-authors Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson, on the planned illustrated series companion guide The World of Ice & Fire concordance and Westeros history, which at one time he wanted to have completed by the end of 2011. He also worked on a Westeros story, the fourth Tales of Dunk and Egg novella, that will eventually find anthology publication elsewhere. A year after that eventual publication, the story and the three previously published Dunk and Egg tales will be collected and published in the U.S. by Bantam Spectra as a stand-alone fix-up novel.[19]

In December 2011, Martin posted a Theon Greyjoy viewpoint chapter from The Winds of Winter; he also announced that another sample chapter would be included at the end of the North American paperback version of A Dance with Dragons,[2][20] released on October 29, 2013.[21] (International paperback editions of A Dance with Dragons published a year earlier did not include a new, as yet unpublished sample chapter.)[22] In the first quarter of 2012, Martin read new chapters of other characters at public events, including the chapters of Victarion Greyjoy and Tyrion Lannister.[13] Martin continued work editing anthologies and completing a large, highly-detailed series atlas The Lands of Ice and Fire, which was published in October 2012.[23][24] Martin published another sample chapter from Arianne Martell's POV on his website in January 2013.[4] On March 27, ten days before the Game of Thrones season four premiere, Martin posted a chapter on his website, titled Mercy. Martin said the new chapter is actually an old one, though never published nor publicly read.[7] In April 2015, Martin posted a Sansa Stark viewpoint chapter from The Winds of Winter titled Alayne.[6]

As of April 2015, a total of 10 chapters from The Winds of Winter have been either read publicly or published as a sample chapter. The point of view characters with released material are Victarion, Tyrion, Barristan, Arianne, Theon, Mercy (Arya), and Alayne (Sansa). Several websites, including Goodreads, have dedicated entire discussion panels to any material that has been released from The Winds of Winter, including plot twists, theories, and speculations.

Publication date[edit]

Martin believes the two last volumes of the series will be big books of 1,500+ manuscript pages each.[25] He does not intend to separate characters by geography again, as he was forced to do because of the unpublishable length of A Feast for Crows' original manuscript. But, as Martin stated in a 2011 interview, "Three years from now when I'm sitting on 1,800 pages of manuscript with no end in sight, who the hell knows".[26]

In April 2011, shortly before the publication of A Dance with Dragons which took him 6 years to write, Martin hoped that "the last two books will go a little quicker than this one has" and estimated that it would take "three years to finish the next one at a good pace".[27][28] By October 2012, 400 pages of the sixth novel had been written, although Martin considered only the first 200 as "really finished", the rest still needing revisions.[29] In April 2013 Martin estimated that he had a quarter of the book.[30] In the past, Martin has angered some of his fan base for repeatedly estimating his publication dates too optimistically; therefore, he has refrained from making hard estimates for The Winds of Winter's final release date.[1] Ultimately the book "will be done when it's done".[17] In January 2014, Martin’s UK publisher, Jane Johnson, declared on Twitter that the book would "certainly" not be published before 2015.[31] In September 2014 Johnson stated that the book was "not a 2015 release",[32] a statement she repeated in January 2015.[33][34] In April 2015 Martin commented on his blog that The Winds of Winter will not be eligible for the 2016 Hugo Award which is awarded for science fiction or fantasy works of the previous year.[35]

In 2012, Martin had acknowledged his concerns about the final novel, A Dream of Spring, not being completed by the time Game of Thrones finally catches up in its story line to the novels.[36] In an April 2015 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Martin said he would like to have The Winds of Winter published before the sixth season of the HBO series Game of Thrones (which would cover material from the book) airs in 2016[37][38] - A Dance with Dragons was published four months after the publisher announced its release date.[39][40] In Autumn 2015, statements made by the Spanish editor and the Polish translator of the novel indicated that it was expected to be published in 2016.[41][42][43][44] In September 2014, Walt Hickey of FiveThirtyEight[45] and Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post[46] estimated the release date sometime between 2015 and 2018, based on extrapolation of Martin's writing pace.

In early January 2016 Martin confirmed on his LiveJournal that he had not met an end-of-year deadline that he had established with his publisher for release of the book before the sixth season of the HBO show. He added that there was "a lot still left to write" and that completion of the book was "months away still...if the writing goes well." Martin also revealed there had been a previous deadline of October 2015 that he had considered achievable in May 2015, and that in September 2015 he had still considered the end-of-year deadline achievable. He further confirmed that some of the plot of the book might be revealed in the upcoming season of Game of Thrones.[47]


  1. ^ a b c Hibberd, James (July 22, 2011). "The Fantasy King". Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "George R.R. Martin Talks Season Two, 'The Winds of Winter,' and Real-World Influences for 'A Song of Ice and Fire'". SmarterTravel. March 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Martin, George R. R. (2012). In Conversation With... George R.R. Martin on Game of Thrones Part 3 – TIFF Bell Lightbox. TIFF Bell Lightbox. Event occurs at 30:50 min. 
  4. ^ a b c Martin, George R. R. (January 27, 2013). "Arianne". George R. R. Martin. Archived from the original on March 29, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Martin, George R. R. (June 27, 2010). "Dancing in Circles". Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Excerpt from the Winds of Winter - George R.R. Martin". 
  7. ^ a b "‘Winds Of Winter’ Chapter — George RR Martin Releases ‘Game Of Thrones’ Excerpt - Hollywood Life". Hollywood Life. 
  8. ^ "The Winds of Winter: Mercy". Archived from the original on March 27, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  9. ^ Martin, George R. R. (2015). George R. R. Martin reads TWoW Arianne @ Harbour Front Literaturfestival 2015
  10. ^ a b Martin, George R. R. (July 31, 2010). "Dancing". Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  11. ^ "The Winds of Winter: Theon Chapter". Archived from the original on June 3, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  12. ^ Sacks, Ethan (December 30, 2011). "George R.R. Martin surprises Song of Ice and Fire fans with free chapter of next book". Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "EasterCon – Eat, Drink and talk SFF!". April 10, 2012. Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  14. ^ Schwartz, Terry (February 26, 2014). "Winds of Winter: Read a new excerpt from George R.R. Martin's next Game of Thrones novel". Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  15. ^ "New Winds of Winter Chapter Coming Out Today". March 20, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  16. ^ Martin, George R. R. (October 29, 2013). "The Dragons Are Here". Retrieved November 2, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Brown, Rachael (July 11, 2011). "George R.R. Martin on Sex, Fantasy, and A Dance With Dragons". Retrieved February 2, 2012. 
  18. ^ Gevers, Nick (December 2000). "Sunsets of High Renown – An Interview with George R. R. Martin". Retrieved January 21, 2012.  (Interview approved by GRRM.)
  19. ^ Harte, Bryant (July 12, 2011). "An Interview with George R. R. Martin, Part I". Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  20. ^ Kepler, Adam W. (January 1, 2012). "‘Game of Thrones’ Treat". The New York Times. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  21. ^ "A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin". Random House. Retrieved February 16, 2013. 
  22. ^ "A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five". Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  23. ^ Martin, George R.R (April 8, 2012). George R.R. Martin Interview. Eastercon. Event occurs at 58:00. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  24. ^ "The Lands of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones)". Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  25. ^ "George R. R. Martin Webchat Transcript". April 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2012. 
  26. ^ Hibberd, James (July 12, 2011). "EW interview: George R.R. Martin talks A Dance With Dragons". Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  27. ^ Flood, Alison (April 13, 2011). "George RR Martin: Barbarians at the gate". Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  28. ^ Miller, Laura (April 11, 2011). "Just Write It! A fantasy author and his impatient fans.". Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  29. ^ Guxens, Adrià (October 7, 2012). "George R.R. Martin: "Trying to please everyone is a horrible mistake"". Retrieved October 9, 2012. 
  30. ^ Game of Thrones - George R. R. Martin Interview. YouTube. April 1, 2013. 
  31. ^ Johnson, Jane (January 24, 2014). "Twitter / JaneJohnsonBakr: @bonefish914 Certainly not this year.". Twitter. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  32. ^ "Jane Johnson on Twitter". Twitter. 
  33. ^ "Jane Johnson on Twitter". Twitter. 
  34. ^ Alison Flood. "George RR Martin’s The Winds of Winter: no plans for publication in 2015". the Guardian. 
  35. ^
  36. ^ Griffin, Bryant (June 13, 2012). "Martin Talks 'Game Of Thrones,' 'The Winds Of Winter'". Airlock Alpha. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  37. ^ "'Game of Thrones' author George R.R. Martin determined to finish book by 2016 -". Entertainment Weekly's 
  38. ^ "Winds of Winter release date: Book to be out before Game of Thrones Season 6". Retrieved June 12, 2015. 
  39. ^ Hibberd, James (March 3, 2011). "Huge Game of Thrones news: Dance With Dragons publication date revealed! – EXCLUSIVE". Retrieved March 3, 2011. 
  40. ^ Martin, George RR. "Good news for old blighty". Not A Blog. Retrieved March 4, 2011. 
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  42. ^
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  44. ^
  45. ^ Hickey, Walt. "Predicting When ‘Game of Thrones’ Author George R. R. Martin Will Come Out With His Next Book". Retrieved September 7, 2014. 
  46. ^ Ingraham, Christopher (June 16, 2014). "Predict when George R.R. Martin will finish ‘Game of Thrones’, using the magic of geometry". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 7, 2014. 
  47. ^ R.R. Martin, George (January 2, 2016). "Last Year (Winds of Winter)". LiveJournal. Retrieved January 2, 2016. 

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