"The Winds of Winter" is now six years in the making and there's no telling when the book is coming out. Author George RR Martin has elected to keep silent on the subject of TWoW release date and rightly so. In the past years, he made the mistake of promising fans that manuscript of the book is but some pages away but to date it remains unprinted. What really is holding up GRRM?
Truth be told, Martin himself is unhappy that he has failed to deliver on previous deadline commitments. Not a few times he hinted that TWoW was nearly finalized, that the volume will see publication and it's just a matter of months. But in the end, Martin was forced to admit his type is not one to be governed by deadlines. He just could not meet self-imposed time limit, more so the target dates demanded by publishers.
In his recent blog posts, Martin admitted projects have been pouring in lately. HBO wanted him to develop "Game of Thrones" spinoffs in preparation for the show's exit presumably in 2018. Then there's the Wild Cards project that demands some editing and rewriting tasks. These, the GoT creator said, are welcome distractions - things that refresh his mind so he can take on The Winds of Winter with renewed motivation.
Besides, Martin has made clear TWoW is his top priority. He wrote in his blog that while his heart would want to do something else delivering the last two books of "A Song of Ice and Fire" will happen first before anything else. TWoW and "A Dream of Spring" will see print before Martin will move to new endeavors.
As he had declared, "I AM STILL WORKING ON WINDS OF WINTER and will continue working on it until it's done." That was the most solid update that Martin can provide as he explained it's not his style to flash regular progress report, chiefly because there was nothing relevant to shout out about.
True TWoW is delayed and there were distractions but Martin was clear on one thing - he did not stop working on the book not even for projects that bear the GRRM brand, like in the case of Nightflyers. In one of his latest tweets, Martin said he can't be part of the project as he is exclusive with HBO. That should dispel rumors of further delay attending The Winds of Winter.
So what's causing the delay? It could be the way Martin works. One can only guess that TWoW is practically finished but the book author just opted to review the opus first before letting the public to see it. And that could mean some form of reworks, bits of rewriting here and there and making sure the flow is what's intended to be.
For now it's fairly certain Game of Thrones Season 7 will start and complete its 2017 airing and TWoW will remain out of sight. The current consensus is it will be a 2018 release date for The Winds of Winter, and the only question is when exactly is the book will see publication next year.