While Game of Thrones fans are still wrestling with the ending of the HBO fantasy drama, there may be some good news on the horizon. In a new blog post, George RR Martin — author of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels on which Game of Thrones is based — hints that the long-awaited sixth book in the fantasy saga, The Winds of Winter, may release sooner than fans expect. While Martin did not offer a specific release date or even release window — something he's been burned by before and has been very deliberate in not doing again — he did imply that he may have the book finished by the summer of 2020.
Martin took to his "Not A Blog" on his website to respond to Air New Zealand after the airline released a video inviting him to visit the country as a means of getting away from any other distractions keeping him from finishing his next book. Martin politely declined, noting that he's already visited and loves New Zealand but that staying put is the best way for him to stay focused on the task of completing The Winds of Winter.
Martin did note that he has plans to visit New Zealand in the near future. The World Science Fiction Convention, also known as WorldCon, will be held in Wellington in the summer of 2020. Martin plans to attend and agreed to be imprisoned in solitude if he doesn't have The Winds of Winter in his hand by the time the convention takes place.
"As for finishing my book… I fear that New Zealand would distract me entirely too much," Martin writes. "Best leave me here in Westeros for the nonce. But I tell you this — if I don't have The Winds of Winter in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I'm done. Just so long as the acrid fumes do not screw up my old DOS word processor, I'll be fine."
Martin is being a bit wry and doesn't formally commit to any release date for The Winds of Winter, but that he's even comfortable enough to entertain the thought of having the book ready by next year, even if it is as a joke, is an encouraging sign, suggesting he may believe he's getting close to the end.
Do you think The Winds of Winter will be ready by 2020? Let us know in the comments.