Recently, George RR Martin provided an update on the progress of his work for "The Winds of Winter," saying it will be completed for sure but the author did not commit to a specific deadline. It seems likely that the book release date will be delayed to 2018 but aside from that: What really to expect from GRRM as far TWoW is concerned?
For one, the timing of the book publication is far from being finalized. The idea that TWoW is delayed until next year stemmed from Martin's refusal to provide a definite printing time. And it's completely understandable as the Game of Thrones creator would not want to repeat his mistake in the past.
As early as 2015, Martin teased that delivering the TWoW manuscript was doable but nothing materialized. So at the start of 2017 and to avoid raising false hopes from fans, GRRM thought it wise to just issue general updates on the book's progress and held off on the specifics.
So in his last announcement, Martin simply said the book will again be delayed if the expectation was it will be out before July 2017. And he has valid reasons. The author revealed he is working on other books aside from the sixth instalment of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" novel. And more prominently, Martin is preparing five pilot scripts that could lead to a number of Game of Thrones spinoffs.
Hopefully, the GoT successor shows will come into fruition immediately after the Game of Thrones Season 8, which HBO said will be aired in 2018 or 2019. These workloads, Martin admitted, will possibly delay the arrival of The Winds of Winter.
And it goes without saying that since GoT Season 7 will end its 2017 run and TWoW remains unavailable, there will be book spoilers that will be seen on the HBO fantasy-drama series. But Martin gave assurance there will be TWoW servings that will be absent from the show.
One is the Robert's Rebellion arc that many GoT and ASOIAF fans believe is the precursor to the Game of Thrones storyline. In his blog, GRRM confirmed the spinoffs he's working will not include Robert's Rebellion. For sure, it will be included on the ASOIAF series and since The Winds of Winter is not yet completed there is a chance the history will be inserted in the volume.
As what exactly The Winds of Winter will actually offer, Martin has been hinting of the things to expect by providing glimpses of unfinished chapters of the book. These clues so far indicated that GRRM will use around 21 characters as different point of views for TWoW, GoT-focused blog site Winter is Coming reported.
Many of these characters are included in Game of Thrones but some will remain exclusive to TWoW, further indicating that while GoT will include spoilers for the book there will be story arcs found only in The Winds of Winter. As the same WiC report pointed out, Jon Snow remains dead in the book that should serve as proof GRRM is making sure there will be marked distinction between TWoW and the Game of Thrones.