Share every sharing choices for: The Winds the Winter, explained: what us know about the next video game of Thrones publication

George R.R. Boy name attends the Season 8 premiere the “Game the Thrones” at Radio City Music room on April 3, 2019 Taylor Hill/Getty
Game the Thrones has concerned a polarizing conclusion through its series finale “The stole Throne” — yet the publications the HBO collection is based on, George R.R. Martin’s A song of Ice and also Fire series, remain unfinished, v no finish in sight.

The Winds that Winter, the sixth publication in what Martin hopes will be a seven-book series, still has no planned relax date. Martin states he will certainly only collection a release day once he is close come finished with the book — and he’s still not finished, he evidenced again on Sunday, not long prior to the display aired the finale.

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Martin’s progress has actually been so sluggish that Game the Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have filmed and also aired seven complete seasons of their HBO adaptation since the last book came the end in July 2011 (the show debuted simply a couple of months earlier, that April). In the process, lock zoomed previous Martin in his very own story and revealed several significant twists that the writer has been planning for years and even years — including, it currently seems, the long-planned finishing for the series.

“I don’t think Dan and Dave’s ending is gonna it is in that various from mine ending,” Martin said 60 Minutes last month. He defined that, year ago, that walked the pair with his plan for how the publications will end. (However, Benioff and also Weiss have actually made changes to Martin’s resource material, so few of what we’ve seen might not be book spoilers in ~ all.)

One little consolation to pan who’ve been wait for years, however, is that a kind chunk that The Winds the Winter has actually already been released. Martin has posted the complete text of seven chapters, and read an additional four great at miscellaneous events.

So here’s a guide to the latest details on the release date, why it’s taking Martin so lengthy to complete writing, which chapters the author has currently published (and where to discover them), and also how much of the publication the display seems come have currently “spoiled.”

1) when will The Winds that Winter come out?

We nothing know.

Martin’s most recent update on the book came Sunday, may 19, as soon as he post on his website that, contrary to current erroneous reports, The Winds the Winter “has no been finished” — and that that is “working on” it.

He has not been specifically forthcoming about his development on the book or how close he thinks he is come finishing. It has now been nearly eight years because the most recent book in the series, A Dance through Dragons, to be released.

2) Why is it taking Martin so long to write The Winds the Winter?

Clinton Gilders/FilmMagic/Getty Martin himself is the just one who can say, and in his telling, the biggest reason for the hold-up is the he has actually been struggling through the creating itself.

”You can blame my travel or my blog posts or the distractions of various other projects and the Cocteau and whatever, perhaps all that had actually an impact,” Martin composed in a lengthy, self-flagellating blog short article all the way back in January 2016. “You deserve to blame my age, and maybe that had an influence too.” But, he continued, “If truth be told, occasionally the writing goes well and also sometimes the doesn’t.”

Indeed, come rebut accusations that he’s shed interest in the series, Martin composed that he to be desperate to acquire The Winds of Winter out prior to Game the Thrones season six aired in feather 2016, and also even collection several deadlines to the effect. “Unfortunately, the writing did no go as rapid or and also I would have actually liked,” the continued. “As the suspicion grew that I would not make it after ~ all, a gloom set in, and I discovered myself struggling even more. The fewer the days, the higher the stress, and also the slow the speed of my creating became.”

It’s worth noting that this slowness is not exactly brand-new for Martin, though no book in the collection has bring away this long. He finished the first three fairly quickly, but then took 5 years to write publication four (A Feast because that Crows) and nearly six years to write publication five (A Dance through Dragons).

I think it’s also noteworthy the in book four and book five, Martin’s writing style seemed to change. The an initial three books were taut, fast-paced thrillers, but beginning with A Feast for Crows, the pace of the main story slowed down. Martin added a plethora of new point-of-view characters and also subplots, and also seemed come grow much more interested in cerebral, complicated explorations the themes like the an obstacle of governance and also the aftermath of war.

Some reader love this brand-new style and also others discover it dull, but whatever the case, it may well it is in slowing under Martin’s writing, as he currently seems much less interested in simply obtaining from allude A that the plot to point B efficiently, and more obsessed with perfecting (in his mind) the job-related that it’s now clear hell be remembered for. (Especially currently that the TV series has revealed countless of his point out B.)

3) however wait, aren’t there some chapters from The Winds of Winter floating around on the internet?

Indeed over there are! Martin has officially released the full text of seven completed chapters together previews because that the book. He likewise read an additional four chapters aloud in ~ conventions — and also their components have to be dutifully summarized and also posted top top the internet by fans that attended those events.

We don’t recognize the order of this chapters in the final book — and also the book will begin with a prologue the Martin hasn’t however released — however if you desire to devour the full-text versions ideal now, here’s wherein to find them:

The various other chapters the Martin has read aloud in ~ events, but not officially released the complete text for, are:

Since Martin’s longest book in the series so far includes 82 chapters, the reality that we’ve already seen 11 indigenous Winds might mean that about a seventh of the book is already publicly accessible in some form.

4) I require my Game the Thrones fix, so ns going to review these chapters, however it’s been years due to the fact that I’ve read the books. Can you remind me just how things left off, in comparison with the show?

Sure — here’s where the significant characters and also storylines were at the conclusion of A Dance through Dragons:

In the north of Westeros:

Jon Snow, still lord Commander the the Night’s Watch, has just been repetitively stabbed by his own brothers ~ vowing come march south with an military of wildlings come fight Ramsay Bolton. His fate is unclear. Melisandre, Stannis’s wife Selyse, and also his daughter Shireen are all alive and still at the Wall, never having actually ridden southern with Stannis’s army.

Stannis Baratheon is likewise alive, and also preparing because that battle against Roose and also Ramsay Bolton near Bolton-held Winterfell. Theon Greyjoy just escaped the Boltons’ abuse together Ramsay’s bride — who isn’t Sansa yet instead a northern girl called Jeyne sheet who’s gift passed off together “Arya Stark.” these fugitives are currently in Stannis’s camp alongside Theon’s sister, Asha (not Yara) Greyjoy. Also, several northern lords ostensibly in the Boltons’ camp room plotting against them. One, lord Wyman Manderly, has sent Davos Seaworth on a mission to uncover the long-missing youngest distinct sibling, Rickon, and also bring him the end of hiding.

Bran Stark has actually traveled north of the wall surface to the cave of the youngsters of the Forest and also the Three-Eyed Crow. He to be last seen trying out his magical strength — skinchanging into animals, speaking through trees, and also seeing visions the the past. Hodor and also Summer stay alive and well, together does Jojen Reed (or go he)? The White Walkers themselves, meanwhile, have not been checked out on the page due to the fact that book three.

In the south of Westeros:

Sansa Stark remains safe — well, fairly — in the Vale v Littlefinger, but due to the fact that she’s a want fugitive from the iron Throne, she’s posing as his bastard daughter “Alayne Stone.” Littlefinger has actually increasingly gained influence end the Vale, and is plot to get married Sansa no to Ramsay Bolton, but to “Harry the Heir,” a strapping young lad who will end up being Lord of the Vale need to anything unfortunate befall the young and also sickly Robert “Sweetrobin” Arryn. Littlefinger has also suggested the he plans to restore Sansa to power in the North.

Jaime Lannister has actually been estranged from his sister Cersei due to the fact that discovering that she had actually had to work with other men. Then, after ~ retaking Riverrun, Jaime to be unexpectedly reunited with Brienne that Tarth, who asserted to have finally uncovered the long-missing Sansa Stark. However this is a lie — Brienne instead appears to be unwillingly top Jaime into a trap collection by Lady Stoneheart, the resurrected Catelyn Stark. Stoneheart is now leading the Brotherhood without Banners and also is hell-bent top top revenge against the Lannisters and also Freys because that the Red Wedding, and also she stop Podrick Payne hostage. (Stoneheart was reduced from the TV adaptation.)

Queen Dowager Cersei Lannister has simply been based on her “walk of atonement” (the one we witnessed onscreen in Game that Thrones’ season five finale) and also is now sidelined from power in king’s Landing and also awaiting attempt by the faith (though she has the undead Gregor Clegane to defend her). Margaery Tyrell is additionally awaiting trial in the capital, however the Tyrell military has occupied the city to shot to ensure her acquittal. Her brother Loras is said to have been badly burned in battle.

King Tommen, Cersei’s son, is tho on the throne, but he’s much younger and also not at every an independent gibbs in the books. Cersei’s uncle Kevan Lannister had really been to run the present in king’s Landing, yet at the conclusion that the 5th book, he to be murdered by Varys, that announced the he hoped to supply the stole Throne not to Daenerys yet to...

Aegon Targaryen! Wait, who that? (Not Jon Snow!) Well, if you’ll recall, earlier during Robert’s Rebellion, Dany’s so late older brother Rhaegar had two young children who were murdered through the Lannisters — or so us thought. Varys is currently claiming the he, in fact, managed to heart baby Aegon to safety and has had him raised and educated in secret, so that he might be prepared to take end Westeros. Aegon is donate by the golden Company, a formidable team of mercenaries. He was claimed to take trip east and also ally with Daenerys, but he instead made decision to turn west and invade Westeros without her. Over there is lot fan debate around whether Aegon truly is that he cases to be, and also this storyline, which was cut fully from the TV show, looks to be a significant part the The Winds the Winter.

In Dorne, Prince Doran Martell had actually a mystery plan come ally through Daenerys Targaryen against the Lannisters, and also sent his kid Quentyn come propose marital relationship to she — however his setup went awry as soon as Quentyn passed away in Meereen. For this reason Doran and also his daughter Arianne Martell (another character reduced from the show) have to now decision whether to ally v Aegon instead. Meanwhile, several of the Sand Snakes room on their way to king’s Landing together Cersei’s daughter Princess Myrcella (who is alive but had her confront badly scarred in one assassination attempt).

Euron Greyjoy — who in the books is a less clownish and much more sinister figure, through seeming wonder ambitions — winner the kingsmoot and was named king of the iron Islands. He says he wants to marry Daenerys and use her dragons to conquer Westeros. But first, he and also his Ironborn space pillaging the Tyrells’ kingdom, the with — and they’re threatening to take over Oldtown, the city whereby Samwell Tarly has just arrived to start his training as a maester. The Faceless male Jaqen H’ghar (Arya’s old friend) has likewise infiltrated the maesters’ headquarters, for reasons unknown.

In Essos, the east continent:

Arya Stark continues to be in assassin training with the Faceless guys of Braavos, having just lugged out her first successful assassination for them. She regularly has desires of she direwolf, Nymeria, that is leading an enormous wolfpack earlier in Westeros.

Daenerys Targaryen, after having actually flown away from Meereen ~ above dragonback, is what in the plains much away indigenous the city. She has actually just been uncovered by a group of Dothraki, yet unlike ~ above the TV show, this conference takes ar while she standing proudly beside her dragon, so she might not end up in your captivity.

Barristan Selmy is alive and well and also trying his ideal to operation the city of Meereen, which is besieged through the servant masters in Dany’s absence. Meanwhile, Euron Greyjoy’s vicious but an easy brother Victarion Greyjoy is sailing toward Meereen with the steel Fleet, hoping to spoil Euron’s to plan by claiming Dany because that himself. He has actually in his possession a magical horn offered to him by Euron that have the right to supposedly control dragons. We’ll see if the works.

As for Tyrion Lannister, he’s at this time in the camp of the slave masters who space besieging Meereen, yet he newly escaped bondage by making a resolve a mercenary company, the 2nd Sons. Tyrion’s companions at this point are Jorah Mormont (who does not have greyscale) and also a mrs dwarf named Penny. Tyrion hasn’t actually regulated to satisfy Dany yet, and also he’s currently trying to convince the 2nd Sons come defect and fight v Dany’s forces throughout the upcoming battle of Meereen.

5) how much the The Winds the Winter has the HBO collection spoiled?

It’s difficult to say. We recognize that Martin called Benioff and also Weiss in part detail around his plans because that the major characters and also the ultimate ending he had in mind for the series. “We sat simply down with him and literally went with every character and said, “So what’s the location for Daenerys? and Arya?” Benioff revealed come Vanity Fair ago in 2014.

(Warning, there room SPOILERS ahead if you have only read the books and haven’t watched recent seasons of the TV show.)

And indeed, Benioff and also Weiss have shown that details twists in current seasons that the display — choose Shireen Baratheon’s death by burning and Hodor’s origin story — came straight from Martin. Jon Snow’s resurrection, his true parentage, and also his love affair through Daenerys are likely in this category too, together is the pair’s can be fried fate.

However, there are three caveats here. First, the context and also specifics of how these twists take place in the publication may be different. For instance, Martin apparently said at an event that the big Hodor expose will happen in a different way in the books.

Second, Martin might not have had actually solid plan for plenty of characters and also storylines as soon as the present was filming. He does comprise a lot as he go along, and also Benioff and also Weiss have shown that when he called them around his future plans for the series, the left specific storylines ”more open” 보다 others. So for part characters, the showrunners can well have actually been making points up themselves, in the absence of a detailed setup from Martin. (Benioff and also Weiss stated in an interview v Deadline that they to be working largely from scrape in season six, the an initial mostly post-books season, “other 보다 a few key things.”)

Finally, Benioff and also Weiss make a good many transforms to the plot of the novels. They’ve dropped part seemingly crucial subplots and also characters (like Aegon “Young Griff” Targaryen and Lady Stoneheart) entirely, and condensed others. Therefore it’s feasible that Martin said Benioff and Weiss of his plans for some storylines, yet that they chose to take it their very own tale in a various direction.

Furthermore, nearly all of the chapters that have actually been released from The Winds that Winter are wildly different from noþeles we’ve checked out on the present to date. The battle of Meereen, for instance, to be dispensed v in around 15 minutes in season six of the TV show, but there are already five sample chapters that The Winds the Winter committed to it, with really different characters taking crucial roles. If all you care around is who wins the battle, well, the present probably spoiled that fact (not that the outcome was seriously in question). But almost every information of just how it will certainly play out in the publications will likely be new.

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So also though some of Martin’s greatest twists may have lost a little of surprise by the time we finally see castle on the page, i’m looking front to reading them nevertheless — and also hopefully we’ll have the possibility to perform so one day soon. Or ever.