We’re now coming up on the 11th anniversary of A Dance With Dragons, the fifth—and, at the moment, latest—installment of George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire series of fantasy novels. Those ten-plus years have seen a lot of changes for Martin, who’d already been a big name in the genre writing world on the back of both ASOIAF, and also any number of other projects, but who has since been elevated to much wider fame by the success of HBO’s TV adaptation of his work, Game Of Thrones.
Along with that uptick in fame, though, has come less desired attention: Namely, endless, increasingly high volume requests to know when The Winds Of Winter, the penultimate book in the series, might actually get around to coming out.
Martin—who, to his credit, is openly communicative with frustrated fans through his regularly updated “not a blog”—has tried a number of tactics to deflect these demands over the years, from unrealistic promises, to offering up the distractions of other projects, to reminding people that he’s an actual person, and telling him that you’re worried he’s going to drop dead before finishing some book you want to read is kind of mean.
He ventured a new gambit this week, though, beginning a new post that serves as a round-up of the many, many Westeros-projects he currently has in the works, by noting that he feels “sorry for” anyone who only cares about The Winds Of Winter, when there’s so much other content they could be getting excited for.
“I know, I know, for many of you out there, only one of those projects matters,” Martin writes. “I am sorry for you. They ALL matter to me.”
And while we’ll note that it’s not entirely unreasonable for fans who’ve been hanging with the Starks for decades now to want to find out what happens in the story that got them interested in the setting in the first place—especially in light of the general dissatisfaction levied at the ending the producers of the TV show wrote for themselves—Martin does have a point in so far as there is a shitload of ASOIAF stuff coming down the line at present. Most prominent among these is, of course, House Of The Dragon, the prequel show that wrapped up filming a short time ago, and which is set to debut on HBO some time in 2022.
Martin notes that he’s also working on a second volume of 2018's Fire & Blood, the pseudo- historical novel focused on the Targaryen family, on which the show is based. He also confirmed titles for a series of previously announced projects that will presumably be very exciting for the kind of people maintaining enthusiasm for this series 11 years after the last mainline book came out, including The Sea Snakes, Ten Thousand Ships, and the Dunk & Egg-based show that might end up being called A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms. Oh, and an animated series called The Golden Empire, “set in Yi Ti,” which is a place we will look up someday, we promise.
But, yes, since you asked:
Of course I am still working on The Winds Of Winter. I have stated that a hundred times in a hundred venues, having to restate it endlessly is just wearisome. I made a lot of progress on Winds in 2020, and less in 2021… but “less” is not “none.”