With so much quality television currently available for your viewing pleasure, one would think that fans would become less enthused with their favorite show. But fandom culture has only continued to grow over the past few years, especially for TV hits like HBO's Game of Thrones. Because in addition to the millions of subscribers who have watched the past six seasons pan out, there are also droves of purists who first fell in love with George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels. And now that the fantasy TV series has surpassed the novelization, those purists are anxiously waiting for Martin to finish the latest book and release it to the masses. But when will he finish?

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George R.R. Martin usually communicates with his fans through his LiveJournal page (yes he still has one of those). When asked about when he'd finish The Winds of Winter (the sixth book), Martin said the following:

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).

That's right, folks. George R.R. Martin is hoping that his next book will not only be finished, but also distributed in the year 2017. Sounds like a pretty lofty goal, but I'm going to remain cautiously optimistic.

George R.R. Martin has always taken a great deal of time when writing each installment in the Song of Ice and Fire series. The novels are extremely long and detailed; he describes everything around the narrating characters, so you really get transported into their world. While this makes for an immersive reading experience, his pace when writing can be a bit frustrating for his fans. The first book came out back in 1996, so the OG fans have been invested in Westeros and its residents for over 20 years.

The need for George R.R. Martin to finish his novels is largely due to the massive success of HBO's Game of Thrones. Game is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed shows on television, with a new season airing every summer. But it's now come to the point where the TV show has surpassed the current timeline of the novels. This is problematic because it means that Game of Thrones now has the ability to spoil the novels. With two more (shorter) seasons ahead for the drama, we can assume that the show's conclusions will likely resemble how the books' end.

Alas, we'll just have to wait and see if George R.R. Martin is able to actually finish his penultimate novel before 2017 ends. It's already been 6 years since the last release, so I'm not going to hold my breath.

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