The world waits with eager anticipation for the final season of HBO's Game of Thrones, which is now slated to air in April (watch the teaser HERE). However, that milestone event will also mark the official running out of the clock when it comes to the possibility of series creator George R. R. Martin finishing his "A Song of Ice and Fire" novel series reaching the show reaches its end.
Well, now Geroge R.R. Martin has made the public proclamation that he will be finishing the Game of Thrones books, regardless of when the TV show wraps up. He posted as much on his personal blog recently, while celebrating the chart-topping debut of his Game of Thrones Targaryen prequel book, Fire & Blood:
"...my thanks go out to my fans and readers." Martin wrote. "I know you want WINDS, and I am going to give it to you… but I am delighted that you stayed with me for this one as well. Your patience and unflagging support means the world to me."
He also added a juicy update for GoT fans:
"...I am back in my fortress of solitude, and back in Westeros. It won’t be tomorrow, and it won’t be next week, but you will get the end of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. Meanwhile, you have the final season of GAME OF THRONES coming, and the new show that is not yet officially called THE LONG NIGHT being cast, and a couple more shows still being scripted… and a few other cool things in the works as well.
Winter is not the only thing that is coming."
A month or two ago, thee would have been one obvious question looming over all of this: sure, George R.R. Martin has committed to finishing "A Song of Ice and Fire" eventually - but will it be within a time frame where anybody still cares about the series - especially having seen it play out onscreen? Well, know that Fire & Blood is topping charts as a mere compendium of the Targaryen history, it stands to reason that an actual full-fledged Game of Thrones novel installment would still be a pretty significant pop-culture event.
In the end, as Martin himself points out, the Game of Thrones franchise is in no way shirking out of relevance; to the contrary, it's currently set to explode into a bigger franchise than ever. The final season of the HBO series is going to shut down pop-culture for spring 2019, and the prequel series is getting more and more intriguing with each new casting and story detail that drops. That's not even counting all the ways the books could expand out - so if GoT is a world you like to play in, you'll be set for years to come.
We'll keep you updated about when "Winds of Winter" will drop. Games of Thrones returns to HBO in April 2019.