Last year, George RR Martin set himself a personal deadline of July 29, 2020 for The Winds of Winter’s completion. However, earlier this summer the 71-year-old Game of Thrones creator admitted on his blog he still has a long way to go, despite much recent progress in lockdown. As it stands, the author hopes that The Winds of Winter’s release date will be in 2021.
And now a popular new fan theory argues that Martin is in the final round of editing The Winds of Winter ahead of publication next year.
ASOIAF Reddit user Joshikins29 wrote: “Will 2021 finally be the year we get TWOW after a 10 year wait?
“After a spate of Not A Blog updates by GRRM, I’m feeling a bit more confident.
“Specifically, I think it’s possible that George has written a full draft of TWOW and is now doing a final round of editing before submitting the book for publication.”
They commented: “This is a very fast pace of writing, and suggests to me that George is editing and finalising existing chapters rather than writing completely new ones.
“One could object to this argument by pointing out that George said he finished ‘new’ chapters, but in the past George has explicitly clarified that when he said ‘completed three new chapters’ he meant that he finalised chapters that had already been written (to some extent) in the past.”
Secondly, the theorist pointed out the geographic scope of characters the author has been writing for The Winds of Winter.
They wrote: “In the last several Not A Blog posts, George has mentioned that he has been writing characters located in Northern Westeros (Asha and Melisandre); Southern Westeros (Cersei and Areo); Braavos (Arya); and Slaver’s Bay (Tyrion, Barristan, and Victarion).”
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The fan continued: “If George was still dealing with a Meereenese Knot, Northern Knot, etc, then we would expect George to be focused narrowly on characters located in a specific area as opposed to characters scattered across Westeros and Essos.
“Therefore, I think it makes more sense that George is going through and editing the chapters one-by-one in the order they’ll appear in the completed book.”
And thirdly, the theorist commented on the specific characters Martin has been writing in Victarion and Arya in Braavos, quoting the author’s August blog post which read: “I am spending the days in Westeros with my pals Mel and Sam and Vic and Ty.”
They wrote: “The inclusion of ‘Vic’ (i.e., Victarion Greyjoy) was especially eyebrow-raising because most theorists expect him to die early on in TWOW. Surely George has completed at least the first half of TWOW after all of this time, and so why in the world would he be working on a Victarion chapter? The answer, I believe, is that George has completed a full draft of the manuscript and is now circling back to earlier chapters in the novel in order to do a final round of editing.”
The fan added: “Another piece of evidence for this is that George has said repeatedly in recent weeks that he is working on Arya chapters set in Braavos. This is curious because George has talked about how he has already written a lot of Arya material in the past (a short novella’s worth!), and, ostensibly, Arya’s Braavos chapters should take place in the beginning to middle of TWOW since she will likely return to Westeros at some point during the novel.
“Again, I think the explanation that makes the most sense is that George is doing a final round of editing rather than writing completely new Arya chapters.”
Before concluding, they quoted Martin in June saying, “It’s going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go”, and then argued: “I think this statement combined with his optimism about progress on TWOW is consistent with George doing a final round of editing on the novel, but only being in the initial stages of said revisions.
“That would mean he does have a long way to go in terms of the number of chapters to revise (i.e., 500+ pages), but that he believes the manuscript is generally in good shape and so doesn’t need any more major revisions. That being said, even if I’m right George could still find major problems with the manuscript that require significant revisions, delaying the release of the book further. However, I’m hopeful 2021 will be the year that winter does indeed come.”