Game of Thrones is a phenomenally popular show, but watching is hardly a stress-free experience. Even readers of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire don't always know what's coming, and it’s difficult not to get too attached to characters. One of the most stressful aspects of being a Game of Thrones fan, however, comes from the fact that hiatuses between seasons always feel much too long. It came as a pretty terrible surprise for fans when HBO recently announced the February premiere of new series Vinyl, which will push Game of Thrones Season 6 back some weeks. Some fans, however, suspect that there’s a different reason for the delay: The Winds of Winter release.

The rumor posed by Uproxx of Season 6 being delayed for the highly anticipated sixth book is actually not out of the realm of possibility. HBO already having a show to fill the time slot is proof enough that there was scheduling wiggle room, and George R. R. Martin has been hard at work to get upcoming book The Winds of Winter ready for the bookshelves. Martin even chose not to write a teleplay for the sixth season so that he could focus on Winds.

Of course, not all fans of the show would be disappointed if this were the case. Season 6 being delayed for the sake of a sixth book being published would undoubtedly be welcome to the legions of book readers who have been dreading that inevitable day when the show would completely overtake the source material. It was all well and good for the first few seasons, but the last couple have been different. When big plots began to twist on screen that hadn’t happened in the books, it was hard not to wonder if the producers were taking creative license…or if they had no choice but to move into major spoiler territory.

There certainly have been small spoilers weaved into the show from time to time that readers couldn’t pretend were just tweaks to the narrative, but Season 5 ended on a cliffhanger that has already had readers torturing themselves and concocting conspiracy theories ever since the publication of the fifth book back in 2011. Could Jon Snow really be dead for good?

Even worse, Jon Snow’s fate is hardly the only one currently in question. Just about every main character of A Song of Ice and Fire has been left on a cliffhanger of sorts, and the years since they were last seen in the fourth and fifth books have not been easy.

All in all, there’s no way to confirm whether or not a new book in the A Song of Ice and Fire saga is the real reason for the delay in the release of a new season in the Game of Thrones series. Unfortunately for both book and show camps, even George R. R. Martin announcing tomorrow that The Winds of Winter will be hitting the shelves in time for the holiday shopping season would not bring Season 6 any faster. Hopefully, readers and spoiler fanatics will be lucky enough for a new book to kill the time.

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