“Winter is coming” are the famous words of House Stark, a grim reminder of what awaits an unsuspecting Westeros. They’ve also probably become a regular catchphrase for A Song Of Ice And Fire’s author, George R.R. Martin. As in, “Yes, The Winds Of Winter is coming,” GRMM’s reminder that a hypothetical book awaits not only his publisher, but the HBO executives who won’t let him write any more episodes, the fans who won’t leave him alone, and presumably celebrity death pool bookmakers trying to figure out the over/under on the series being finished.
Now it appears those words can be clarified with a date…possibly. The Daily Dot reports that Alejo Cuervo, an editor who works for the Spanish-language publisher of ASOIAF, has gone on record as saying that The Winds Of Winter will be released next year:
Radio Host: The sixth book will be?
Cuervo: It is expected next year.
Radio Host: In English, but in Spanish when will it be?
Cuervo: We have been promised the manuscript in advance of the release in English which we will translate, there won’t be a big difference.
Radio Host: But you are equally sure it will be next year?
Cuervo: Well, let’s see, confidant[sic]…but a meteor could fall.
That sounds like quasi-convincing evidence that Martin is on track to have his finished manuscript out for publication next year. The internet’s foremost intelligence gathering agency, Reddit, has it on good authority that Cuervo is well known to Martin, and that this is a trusted source.
Then again, Cuervo could also be hinting at a catastrophic asteroid collision with earth, triggering an extinction-level-event and robbing us of book six in the series. Conversely, Cuervo might be talking about the red comet last spied in A Clash Of Kings coming around for another, closer, more deadly pass (it certainly would be an easy way for Martin to get out of having to write book seven). Most likely, it’s Cuervo’s way of saying, “I’m absolutely, 100 percent sure that The Winds Of Winter will be out in 2016. Unless it’s not.”
One way or another, winter is coming. It is known. In the meantime, we can occupy ourselves with the consistently on-schedule HBO version of the series, the Captain Cosmos thing that might be happening, and rooting for (or against) our own real-life version of Joffrey Baratheon.