Has George RR Martin finished Game of Thrones' The Winds of Winter book and will it be released in 2018?

Martin's most recent work was released in 2011 – and he is yet to even finish his next instalment yet. He's been working on a spin-off series Fire and Blood. Here's what you need to know.

When is Winds Of Winter coming out?

George R.R. Martin is notorious for taking his time when writing his Game Of Thrones series.

The release date for The Winds Of Winter is not set in stone but it has been theorised that could possibly be released to coincide with the final series of the HBO show based on his books – although this would take us all the way into 2019.

Ultimately, this would come as nothing but a disappointment to die-hard fans but it should be noted that the longer he takes, the better the next chapter in his magnum opus will be.

George revealed in a blog post that he planned on giving himself a lot of time to write in 2017 – and according to AV Club, the notoriously sneaky author hinted he may have finally finished the book.

On January 20, 2018, a bookshop accidentally revealed a possible release date – September 6, 2018.

Strand Bookstore stated the release date in a list titled '20 New Books To Look Forward to in the New Year'.

However, the date has now been deleted, and in its place is written "The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin (fingers crossed!)".

With September being long gone, fans are left to speculate when the release date will be once again.

Recently, George RR Martin spoke to The Guardian about his struggle to finish writing the book, saying: "I've been struggling with it for years. The Winds of Winter is not so much a novel as a dozen novels, each with a different protagonist, each having a different cast of supporting players, antagonists, allies and lovers around them, and all of these weaving together against the march of time in an extremely complex fashion.

"So it's very, very challenging. Fire and Blood, by contrast, was very simple. Not that it's easy – it still took me years to put together – but it is easier."

But the author recently addressed rumours that he was finished with the fantasy novel, writing on his blog: "I am still working on it, I am still months away."

He's also working on a Westerosi encyclopedia, called Fire and Blood, at the same time.

But George has whipped up a Thrones frenzy by teasing a very vague release date on his blog.

He wrote: "I do think you will have a Westeros book from me in 2018… and who knows, maybe two. A boy can dream.”

In December 2017 fans began speculating after George sent out a tweet suggesting that 2018 would be a better year, alongside a picture showing a dragon’s silhouette.

This will be the sixth book in the series followed by the seventh and final instalment called A Dream of Spring.

GRRM himself, however, has denied the book will come out this year. George says we will get a Westeros book this year, but it will be from his side project, Fire and Blood.

How will it relate to the HBO series Game Of Thrones?

Martin has teased that The Winds Of Winter will "parallel" Game Of Thrones.

Fans of the series have waited six years for the sequel to A Dance With Dragons, which now means that the HBO programme will overtake the books.

In response to a fan who said they disliked Game Of Thrones because it deviates from the books, Martin said: "Winds will be different in some ways, but will parallel the show in others.

When does Game Of Thrones season 8 start? And what can fans expect?

Fans desperate to find out who takes the Iron Throne are counting down to the start date of the final GoT series.

The eighth season will air in April 2019 following months of filming since October 2017.

We do know the final series will be the shortest in Game of Thrones' history with just six episodes, following on from the seven in season seven.

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