The Winds of Winter could finally be blowing in our direction after a six-year wait, George RR Martin has hinted.
On his LiveJournal blog, the ever-sprightly Game of Thrones author responded to a fan asking for his progress...
"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," he wrote, "I think it will be out this year. (But hey, I thought the same thing last year)."
Martin’s sixth book in the series, which inspired the epic HBO show, keeps being delayed because of the writer’s packed schedule, including the development of his fantasy series Wild Cards for TV.
Last month, Martin offered a bleak insight into what The Winds of Winter has in store…
"It is called The Winds of Winter, and I've been telling you for 20 years that winter was coming," he hinted. "Winter is the time when things die, and cold and ice and darkness fill the world.
"So this is not going to be the happy feel-good that people may be hoping for. Some of the characters [are] in very dark places."
You can read a chapter of the forthcoming novel here.
Because of Martin's painfully slow progress, the Game of Thrones TV series is now ahead of the books that inspired it. The drama will return to Sky Atlantic in the UK this summer – and the final season will begin shooting next autumn.