The novel is set 300 years before the events of "A Song of Ice and Fire" and will detail "the Targaryen civil war that almost ended their dynasty forever", according to Martin's publishers, Bantam and Voyager. The new book will simply be a history of the Westeros fans know and love.
Instead of finishing Winds of Winter, it seems that Martin is more preoccupied with helping to produce and work on the TV show as well as adding to the Ice and Fire universe without actually progressing the main series. Though showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff have said that Martin shared his endgame with them, which they are building to, there are plenty of ways for Martin's stories to continue to differ from the show (as has already been the case in the series so far). His blog post even acts as though Archmaester Gyldayn is a real person, which, hey, Martin's written a lot of books, we probably shouldn't be concerned about this. "Archmaester Gyldayn has at last completed and delivered the first half of his monumental history of the Targaryen kings of Westeros, FIRE & BLOOD, and Bantam Spectra and HarperCollins Voyager will be releasing the hardcover on November 20, I am thrilled to say". But Martin fans have gotten used to waiting. The good news is that fans will get a little something to tide them over: "Fire and Blood", which Martin described as "imaginary history". "This is not a traditional narrative and was never meant to be ... let's call this one "imaginary history" instead".
If you were hoping to see The Winds of Winter this year, now's the time to re-align your expectations. I love reading popular histories myself, and that's what I was aiming for here ... Winds of Winter could come out in 2030 for all we know.
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At least there is another story set in the world of Game of Thrones to look forward to. According to the notorious author, the first volume of Fire & Blood will follow some of the Targaryen kings, namely Aegon I and Aegon III.
What do you think of having to wait another year for The Winds of Winter?