In least surprising news ever, George RR Martin has delayed the release of Winds of Winter again

We are, however, getting a 1000-page history of the Targaryen kings from the Game of Thrones author. So there's that

George RR Martin

Put away your woolly Night’s Watch coat: George RR Martin has announced the Winds of Winter will not be blowing through Westeros anytime soon.

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The Game of Thrones author has announced that the long-awaited sixth novel in his A Song of Ice and Fire saga won’t be hitting the shelves in 2018.

However, he has promised that Fire and Blood, a 989-page history of the Targaryen kings and his fantasy world, will be published on 20th November 2018.

“No, winter is not coming… not in 2018, at least,” Martin wrote on his blog. “You’re going to have to keep waiting for The Winds of Winter. You will, however, be able to return to Westeros this year.

“I do want to stress… indeed, I want to shout… that Fire and Blood is not a novel. This is not a traditional narrative and was never intended to be… let’s call this one ‘imaginary history’ instead. The essential point being the ‘history’ part.”

The author explained how this history of Westeros tells the tale of the Targaryen kings from Aegon I (the Conqueror) to rulers such as Maegor the Cruel and Viserys I. And there will be dragons. “Lots of dragons,” according to Martin.

He added, “I love reading popular histories myself, and that’s what I was aiming for here … (Though there are enough stories here for 20 novels. Battles, bloodshed, betrayals, love, lust, horror, religious wars, politics, incest, historical revisionism, all the fun stuff) .… As for me, I’m returning once again to The Winds of Winter.”

So, Fire and Blood tells the action-packed story before the Song of Ice and Fire series. Could this book be the basis for the upcoming Game of Thrones HBO prequel show?

Fortunately, Martin addressed this question in his blog. Just not too helpfully. “The only answer I can give is… ah, well, no one is sure yet, and anyway, I am not allowed to say. So let’s move that to the side,” he said.

In summary: we’re getting a Westeros book this year, just not the one everyone wants, and we’ve still got no idea about the Game of Thrones prequel series. It’s just the sort of mysterious and teasing news we all love George RR Martin for, right guys?

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Guys?