It seems obvious not to expect "The Winds of Winter" release date anytime this 2017. After all, author George RR Martin has refused to commit to a deadline the last time he gave an update. He simply assured work on the book is ongoing and the time of completion is anybody's guess. Could it be that the publication is set in 2018?
That is if Martin intends to finish the book before the "Game of Throne" wraps up. HBO has already indicated Season 8 will not air per the usual schedule. That's because GoT showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have been given leeway to ensure that the last season of the fantasy-drama series will turn out a cinematic masterpiece. And the duo can take their time as HBO said Benioff and Weiss can take two years to finish filming of Season 8 and they wouldn't mind at all.
And that appears to be the exact path Game of Thrones is taking now. Blog site Watchers on the Wall has reported filming of GoT's last season will take place around Spring of 2018. This was hinted by the recent reported dealings HBO has with the Spanish government. Specifically, the company has asked permission to shoot in Andalucía, Spain next.
The scheduling indicated that Game of Thrones "will probably still be in the middle of production at the time of the year it traditionally airs," the report said. And the actual airing on HBO will only be possible either in late 2018 or early 2019 given the post-production works and other polishing required before the show's final cut is cleared for release.
Now going back to GRRM's release date plans for TWoW, it seems unthinkable that he'd let Game of Thrones run its full course before the printing of its book source. As everyone knows, the original target was for the book to be finished before Season 6 but GoT proved faster than Martin can write. And as things stand now, the same thing will happen - the seven episodes of Season 7 will air and the book will remain unavailable.
But things could change for Martin in the months ahead. As observed by Inverse in a related report, the delayed broadcast of Game of Thrones Season 8 will mean the GoT creator has nearly two years to finalize the sixth volume of his "A Song of Ice and Fire" novel. And if he meant his earlier hints that TWoW was nearing completion (the teases were posted as early at the start of 2016), then time is on his side as far as the project is concerned.
There is no reason now for GRRM to delay any further and in the process allow the Game of Thrones source book to see print following HBO's airing of the show's last episode.
By estimates provided by the Watchers on the Wall report, Game of Thrones Season 8 - all six episodes - "should arrive in late 2018 or early 2019." If Martin hopes to publish The Winds of Winter ahead of the GoT final season then a book release date in the early second half of 2018 is a good bet for TWoW fans.