Well, that’s a surprise. According to Entertainment Weekly, George R.R. Martin will not have The Winds of Winter finished in time for Game of Thrones’ April premiere. Quoting GRRM’s blog entry from this morning, EW reports that Martin missed a key October deadline, making a Spring 2016 publication date impossible.

“Unfortunately, the writing did not go as fast or as well as I would have liked,” he wrote. “You can blame my travels or my blog posts or the distractions of other projects and the Cocteau and whatever, but maybe all that had an impact… you can blame my age, and maybe that had an impact too…but if truth be told, sometimes the writing goes well and sometimes it doesn’t, and that was true for me even when I was in my 20s. And as spring turned to summer, I was having more bad days than good ones. Around about August, I had to face facts: I was not going to be done by Halloween.”

Does this mean that Season Six will substantially spoil plot points from the new novel? The answer, Martin says cryptically, is “yes and no,” since elements from the future books have already cropped up on Game of Thrones, and the books and the show will continue to evolve into two separate entities:

“When you ask me, ‘will the show spoil the books,’ all I can do is say, ‘yes and no,’ and mumble once again about the butterfly effect,” Martin wrote. “Those pretty little butterflies have grown into mighty dragons. Some of the ‘spoilers’ you may encounter in season six may not be spoilers at all… because the show and the books have diverged, and will continue to do so.”

Anyway, we all know how it’s going to end, so the issue of spoilers is probably entirely moot at this point:

Happy New Year!

Illustration by David Hughes, from “Just Write It!”, The New Yorker, April 11, 2011 issue.

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