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George R.R. Martin Says ‘Winds of Winter’ Will Not Be Released in 2018

As “Game of Thrones” fans eagerly wait for the seventh and final season the HBO drama to return in 2019, fans of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novel series will have to keep waiting for the sixth installment.

The author wrote on his blog that “Winds of Winter” will not be released this year. “No, winter is not coming… not in 2018, at least. You’re going to have to keep waiting for ‘THE WINDS OF WINTER,'” he wrote.

He did, however, reveal that he does have a book which will hit shelves this year, with the previously announced “Fire & Blood” set for release on Nov. 20. It is part one of a two-volume exploration of  the Targaryen kings of Westeros and will feature 75 pages of black and white illustrations.

“It’s a hefty book, almost a thousand manuscript pages (okay, 989, if you want to be precise),” he wrote. “That’s not quite as long as ‘A GAME OF THRONES’ or any of the later volumes in ‘A SONG FOR ICE AND FIRE,’ but there’s a lot of reading there, and I hope you’ll enjoy it. This first volume covers all the Targaryen kings from Aegon I (the Conquerer) to the regency of Aegon III (the Dragonbane), along with their wives, wars, siblings, children, friends, rivals, laws, travels, and sundry other matters. For those not up on your Westerosi history, that’s Aegon I, Aenys, Maegor the Cruel, Jaehaerys I (the Conciliator), Viserys I, Aegon II (and Rhaenyra), and Aegon III (the regency). Oh, and there are dragons too.”

Martin also hinted at whether “Fire & Blood” would be worked into future TV projects, writing, “as most of you know, HBO is presently developing a number of different prequels to ‘GAME OF THRONES.’ I know I am going to be asked whether those shows are going to be based on material from ‘FIRE & BLOOD.’ It’s a logical question. The only answer I can give is… ah, well, no one is sure yet, and anyway, I am not allowed to say. So let’s move that to the side.”

Fans have been waiting for “The Winds of Winter” since the publication of “A Dance with Dragons” in 2011, making this the longest gap between publications of any novels in the series. The “A Song of Ice and Fire” series was the basis for “Game of Thrones,” with each novel roughly corresponding to each season of the show, although the show has now surpassed the storyline in the books.

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