Game of Thrones author reveals how close he is to finishing Winds of Winter
The update comes following Sunday's dramatic House of the Dragon finale.
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin has said that progress on the next A Song of Ice and Fire novel is "creeping forward" amid continued questions about when it will be released.
The Winds of Winter will be the sixth entry in the fantasy series, which has been eagerly anticipated since A Dance with Dragons hit bookshop shelves back in July 2011.
Martin spoke about the book on a livestream arranged by his publisher, Random House, explaining that it is truly mammoth in scale, even when compared to the chunky preceding entries.
"It’s a big, big book, I’ve said that before," he began. "It’s a challenging book. It’s probably gonna be a larger book than any of the previous volumes in the story.
"[A] Dance with Dragons and Storm of Swords are the two largest books in the series, they were both about 1,500 manuscript pages. I think this one is going to be longer than that by the time I’m finished with it and I think I’m around three-quarters of the way done, maybe."
Martin warned that even when his manuscript is finished, the book won't immediately be ready for release as his publisher will have to assess the best release strategy for the title.
"I have to continue... And of course, then there's the issue here of my friends at Random House, when I deliver this monstrous book that will be as big as a dragon, are they going to try to make me cut it in two? We'll find out about that but first I have to finish it, I have to get it all done," he added.
The author went on to voice his disappointment at being branded a "liar" by toxic fans, who have criticised him for missing the several possible completion dates he has suggested over the past decade.
"I've given up making predictions, because people press me and press me: 'When is it going to be done?' And I make what I think is the best case estimate, and then stuff happens," explained Martin.
"Then everybody gets mad that I 'lied'. I've never lied about these predictions. They're the best I can make, but I guess I overestimate my ability to get stuff done, and I underestimate the amount of interruptions and other projects, other demands that will distract me."
In addition to writing on The Winds of Winter, Martin has been juggling a number of other projects, including the recently wrapped Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon – which is returning for season 2.
Martin ended the talk by acknowledging that he will get no peace from demanding readers until such time as his A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels has completely wrapped.
"One day it will be done and then it will come out and then, the next day, someone will tweet me: 'When will we see A Dream of Spring?' I can see the future."
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