The entertainment landscape has been filled with delay and disappointment as the coronavirus pandemic continues with film and television projects seeing shifts to their release dates or, in some cases, to their actual mode of release but when it comes to the book front there is finally a sliver of good news. Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin says that the self-quarantine against COVID-19 has not only helped him remain healthy but has allowed him to make major progress on the next installment of his "A Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series -- so much so that he hopes the next book will be done next year.
In a new post on his blog, Martin confirmed for fans that he's been keeping himself as healthy as possible -- at 71 the author is in a higher risk category for COVID-19 -- and working steadily on The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series and a volume that will serve as the penultimate chapter in the overall story as well.
"If nothing else, the enforced isolation has helped me write," Martin explained. "I am spending long hours every day on The Winds of Winter, and making steady progress. I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week. But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week. It's going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go."
Martin went on to note that he was "heartbroken" that the pandemic had cancelled his plans for a trip to New Zealand and noted that he "can always visit Wellington next year, when I hope that both COVID-19 and The Winds of Winter will be done." He also explained that in addition to working on the book he's been doing some pre-recording for the upcoming Hugo Awards (which he is still hosting) and WorldCon, but that when he's not doing what he called his "toastmasterly duties" he's been returning to Westeros.
"Of late I have been visiting with Cersei, Asha, Tyrion, Ser Barristan, and Areo Hotah," he wrote. "I will be dropping back into Bravos next week. I have bad days which get me down, and good days, which lift me up, but all in all I am pleased with the way things are doing."
At this point, Martin has been writing The Winds of Winter for many years and while his latest update sounds promising, fans of the series may be reluctant to get their hopes up. Over the years, Martin has offered several updates on the novel that, at the time, seemed like the eagerly anticipated book was getting close to release only for that not quite to be the case. That said, this latest update does reveal progress and is sure to give fans some hope that the book will be in their hands sooner rather than later.
Check back here for more updates on The Winds of Winter as we learn them.
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