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George R.R. Martin Just Dropped a Major Bomb About The Winds of Winter Release Date

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While HBO confirmed that Game of Thrones will return for its eighth and final season in 2019, George R.R. Martin remains less than forthcoming about the release of the long-awaited sixth book in his A Song of Ice and Fire book series, The Winds of Winter.

In response to a fan who asked about the timeline for Fire and Blood—a new spinoff series exploring the history of House Targaryen—GRRM revealed that it would be released as two separate volumes. However, this explanation included a detail that may have ASOIAF fans pulling their hair out.

“F&B will be in two volumes. Vol 1 before [The Winds of Winter], vol 2 after,” he replied in the comments of his LiveJournal blog. “The first volume should be completed soon. The second is hardly begun…Most of FIRE & BLOOD consists of the ‘sidebars’ I originally wrote for THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE. Abridged versions of some of those pieces appeared as ‘The Princess and the Queen,’ ‘The Rogue Prince,’ and ‘The Sons of the Dragon,’ but these are the full versions, together with some chapters that have never appeared anywhere.”

Considering Martin apparently isn’t one to rush his work, this likely means that even if we get the first volume of Fire and Blood in 2018, The Winds of Winter could potentially still be years away.

All we have to say is, sigh.

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Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com