Fans of George R.R. Martin's beloved Game of Thrones book series are used to waiting -- especially at this point. The Winds of Winter, the much-anticipated next installment in the constantly-expanding fantasy novel series, has been promised and delayed for years. Yet, fans are still left waiting. At this rate, the acclaimed and heavily-watched HBO television adaptation of Martin's book series will be finished before he turns in his final manuscript. Or, hell, even his first manuscript, even.

Though the well-regarded author undoubtedly feels tremendous pressure and the constant burn of his adoring fans to finally finish his long-promised next book, Martin once again tells his fans The Winds of Winter will not be arriving in bookstores near them by the end of 2018. We don't know when it'll come out, actually. We might never know, at this ongoing rate. But Martin does have at least some good news to deliver to his hungry fans.

In a recent post on his website, George R.R. Martin let his fans know The Winds of Winter is still in the works, but the writer assured them they'll be able to return to Westeros again (beyond the television series, of course), as Archmaester Gyldayn delivered Fire & Blood, the first half of his extensive history of the Targaryen kings of Westeros. The book will be released by Bantam Spectra and HarperCollins Voyager on November 20th. The author is "thrilled" by the news, and Martin looks forward to fans reading it. Unfortunately, though, they'll still need to wait to read the latest sequel in the series.

Here's what George R.R. Martin said about Fire & Blood in the recent post.

I've seen the archmaester's manuscript. Since it was handwritten on vellum with a quill pen, he required my help in transcribing the text to a more modern format: WordStar 4.0, on a DOS computer. Took a while, but a few weeks ago I was able to ship it off to my editors on both sides of the Atlantic, and to my foreign representatives for all my publishers around the world. Some of my foreign publishers will be releasing their editions simultaneously with the US and UK hardbacks; others may need to wait for translation from the Common Tongue. It's a hefty book, almost a thousand manuscript pages (okay, 989, if you want to be precise). That's not quite as long as A GAME OF THRONES or any of the later volumes in A SONG FOR ICE AND FIRE, but there's a lot of reading there, and I hope you'll enjoy it.

George R.R. Martin went into further details describing what the upcoming book entails. He was also quick to promise one thing in particular that fans should expect to see.

This first volume covers all the Targaryen kings from Aegon I (the Conquerer) to the regency of Aegon III (the Dragonbane), along with their wives, wars, siblings, children, friends, rivals, laws, travels, and sundry other matters. For those not up on your Westerosi history, that's Aegon I, Aenys, Maegor the Cruel, Jaehaerys I (the Conciliator), Viserys I, Aegon II (and Rhaenyra), and Aegon III (the regency). Oh, and there are dragons too. Lots of dragons.

As for the delay in the upcoming Winds of Winter, George R.R. Martin explained in vague detail why it remains in the distance, waiting to be finished.

There is a lot more history to come, and Archmaester Gyldayn will get to all that too, in FIRE & BLOOD, Volume Two. But that one is a few years down the pike. So don't get impatient. Gyldayn will get to it eventually, but he's old, and so am I, and we both have other projects to tend to as well. The Citadel puts a lot of demands on an archmaester's time... Archmaester Gyldayn is hanging up his quill for a while. As for me, I'm returning once again to THE WINDS OF WINTER.

Speculation for The Winds of Winter has been going on for years now. Since the previous book, A Dance with Dragons, was released in 2011, fans and readers have been chomping at the bit for George R.R. Martin to finish his long-promised return to the fantastical world. The book gets delayed with each and every year. It was once promised in 2016, before the release of Game of Thrones season six, but that fell through. Since then, it has been a guessing game as to when it will come out.

This long-standing frustration is so vibrant that it inspired arguably the best scene in Logan Lucky last year. The anticipation is so intense that the author decided to release a chapter or two of the book years before its release date in order to appease them as much as possible. It is the source of great passion and annoyance for fans everywhere that Martin's latest text isn't in their hands as we speak. But it's better late than never, of course, and the book is expected to come... eventually.

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