'Winds of Winter' Delay: 2017 Release Unlikely; New Westeros Short Story & 'Game of Thrones' Season 7 to Precede Novel?

George R.R. Martin
Co-executive producer George R. R. Martin arrives for the season premiere of HBO's "Game of Thrones" in San Francisco, California, March 23, 2015. |

George R. R. Martin has provided an update on "The Winds of Winter," the long-awaited sixth novel in his bestselling series, "A Song of Ice and Fire."

It turns out that he took a break from working on "The Winds of Winter" to contribute to an upcoming short story collection, "A Book of Swords," by his friend and long-time anthologist Gardner Dozois.

Martin's contribution there is "The Sons of the Dragon," a Westeros-set tale that focuses on the Targaryens. The author believes that fans who were fascinated by the politics of the land will enjoy this story.

According to him, it "chronicles the reigns of the second and third Targaryen kings, Aenys I and Maegor the Cruel, along with their mothers, wives, sisters, children, friends, enemies, and rivals."

It is important to note that "The Sons of the Dragon" was pulled from the "sidebars" he got carried away writing for the illustrated worldbook "The World of Ice and Fire."

"A Book of Swords" is set for release on Oct. 10. Together with the new season of "Game of Thrones," the short story collection should help fans get by the wait for "The Winds of Winter," which still has no release date at the moment.

Thankfully, "The Winds of Winter" is once again Martin's focus after working on "A Book of Swords." He said last month that he has made significant progress, but he is not entirely happy about that.

The author said that he imagined himself to have already written more than what he was actually able to around this time. This means that while there is progress, it is slow. On his blog, he said that "I think it will be out this year," but reminded that he "thought the same thing last year."

That being said, it looks like "The Sons of the Dragon" will serve as more than just a sweet treat to fans who just can't get enough of "Game of Thrones."

It should also help those who have been waiting for new "A Song of Ice and Fire" material and "The Winds of Winter" get by the waiting game, which has just entered its sixth year.

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