– by Joseph Jammer Medina

It’s hard to believe that last year saw HBO’s Game of Thrones series slingshot past the source material, but that’s exactly what happened. Armed with a team of strong writers and a general idea of the where to take the plot, the filmmakers carved their way through Season 6 of the show, proving that the source material isn’t always needed in order to make for a great episode of television. Though while all things seem to be going A-OK on the TV front, we can’t help but wonder just when we can expect author George R.R. Martin to actually finish the next book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter.

The Winds of Winter (Like A Dance With Dragons before it) has been frequently delayed due to author George R.R. Martin’s busy schedule (not to mention the complex nature of the tale he’s spinning), and every so often, we’re treated to another update on its progress. This particular updated was prompted by a request from a fan.

Martin, who’s always been incredibly engaged with his online fanbase, obliged with the following response:

“Not done yet, but I’ve made progress. But not as much as I hoped a year ago, when I thought to be done by now.

“I think it will be out this year. (But hey, I thought the same thing last year).”

In short, it sounds like we should keep a close eye out on the book release…but not tooclose, for fear of being disappointed. Martin certainly has a tendency to be overly-optimistic regarding his output, and as such, I wouldn’t count on 2017 being the year to see the book series’ grand return to bookshelves around the world.

Luckily for us fans, as stated above, the HBO show seems to be doing all right without any extra source material, and with a little luck, the series will be able to surprise us twice: once when the TV series ends, and once when the book series ends. As Martin has said in the past, outlining isn’t really a big part of his process, and as such, the story has lots of room to expand in the telling — meaning there’s a good chance that the endings could be a hell of a lot different when all said and done.

Anyways, we’ll see if Martin will be able to hit those targets in 2017, but if not, they’re always 2018!

Game of Thrones returns to HBO this summer!

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SOURCE: George R.R. Martin

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.