Why ‘Game of Thrones’ Fans Think the Next Book is Finally Getting Published Soon

Game of Thrones fans are getting hopeful for the next book, The Winds of Winter once again, and some think author George R.R. Martin is intentionally steering them that way. Martin has struggled for years to finish the sixth installment of A Song of Ice and Fire, and has missed many self-imposed deadlines along the way. He tends to avoid making promises these days, but some recent commentary on his blog has fans feeling hopeful once again.

Martin makes regular updates about all his work on his personal blog, and in recent years the outlook on The Winds of Winter has been pretty good. The author reported making great progress in 2020 when the pressure of the TV show was off his back and the the pandemic was minimizing his distractions. In 2022, Martin told Stephen Colbert that he was about three-quarters of the way through the book, and in November of 2023 he told Bangcast that he had maintained that pace ever since. Still, Martin has avoided estimating when he will finish the book or when it will be released, and the latest update that has fans excited is a bit harder to explain.

On May 21, Martin made a blog post about A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, HBO's upcoming Game of Thrones spinoff based on his prequel novellas. In the post, he confirmed that he would be attending The World Science Fiction Convention this August, writing that he is hoping to visit the set of The Hedge Knight "come July, when I swing by Belfast on my way to the Worldcon in Glasgow."

Fans are connecting that off-handed announcement to another blog post from May of 2019 – the last time Martin made a guess at when he would be finished with his book. At the time, the 2020 Worldcon was scheduled to take place in New Zealand, and Martin wrote: "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."

Martin missed that deadline, although, Worldcon 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the author is headed back to the legendary convention, many fans are wondering if they can still hold him to this promise. There are plenty of other even more granular hints to dissect – YouTuber Quinn The GM has compiled them pretty succinctly in one place, while the ASOIAF subreddit goes over them pretty regularly as well.

For now, there are five books in Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series available in print, digital and audiobook formats, as well as the prequel novellas compiled in the book A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, the history book Fire & Blood, and the reference book The World of Ice and Fire. Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon are streaming now on Max, with House of the Dragon Season 2 premiering on Sunday, June 16 on HBO. There is no release date for The Winds of Winter at this time, bug some fans have identified August as the next deadline to set their hopes on.