George R.R. Martin has reluctantly put forth 2014 as a potential deadline for the next book in A Song of Ice and Fire, according to an article from International Digital Times:
“…the sixth volume won’t be released in 2012 or in 2013. I really look forward to publishing it in 2014, but I am really bad for predictions… when I finish this saga I will be judged for the quality of the books, not for the speed of my writing.”
The site speculates that, although the wait time between books has been excruciating in the past (up to a whopping five years for the last two), a 2014 completion for The Winds of Winter could be feasible, noting that “A Dance With Dragons came out on July 12, 2011 at the pleasant easy reading length of 1,510 pages. At that point, Martin supposedly had 200 pages for Winds of Winter already complete, chapters originally intended for Dance but pushed ahead for story and pacing reasons.” In addition to the 200 completed pages, Martin’s revealed that at least another 200 are written in some capacity. This would mean nearly a third of the book has at least been put to paper with TWOW’s predicted total count sitting at 1,500 pages. Personally I wouldn’t get too caught up in the specific dates or predictions – fans who have in the past have been burned repeatedly – but take some relief in the notion that 2014 is even being considered as a possibility; I’d add a two or three years to that just to be safe, and just know that by 2017 there’s a decent chance you’ll be able to read the next instalment.
The 2014 deadline would also serve as a buffer between the HBO series and the source material. The TV show is now hot on the heels of the novels despite the 15 year handicap and 1,500 new pages would prevent the show from overtaking the books for at least another year or two, but this is an issue Martin is very conscious about:
“I am aware of the TV series moving along behind me like a giant locomotive, and I know I need to lay the track more quickly, perhaps, because the locomotive is soon going to be bearing down on me. The last thing I want is for the TV series to catch up with me. I’ve got a considerable head start, but production is moving faster than I can write. I’m hoping that we’ll finish the story at about the same time … we’ll see.”
Martin has to be sick and tired of the constant poking and prodding about The Winds of Winter. I feel for the guy. If you are one of the many who have reached the end of book five and can’t take the wait anymore, there is an excerpt from TWOW available at The Winds of Winter Release (Spoiler warning inside. Duh.). Read that rather than bother the poor man with your insatiable demands. Aside from that there is a wonderful 25 minute interview HBO conducted with GRRM himself and the TV series’ executive producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. All that, and if the episode nine trailer is any indication, we’re up for one Hell of a finale to the third season.
Welcome back to Westeros!