George RR Martin reveals that Winds of Winter won't be released on time

The next Game of Thrones book will now not be released head of the premiere of the new series on HBO

George RR Martin, Game of Thrones,

Image: Matt Sayles / AP/Press Association Images

The author of the Game of Thrones series has revealed that the latest book will not be out ahead of the premiere of the latest series airing on HBO. 

Speaking on his website, the author stated that he hadn't met the deadline that he had been set, which was the final day of 2015. 

"THE WINDS OF WINTER is not finished," wrote Martin, adding "believe me, it gave me no pleasure to type those words. You're disappointed, and you're not alone. My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed... but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me. For months now I have wanted nothing so much as to be able to say, 'I have completed and delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER' on or before the last day of 2015".

The original deadline set by the publishers had been Halloween, but when he missed that it had been changed to the end of the year. 

However, he was unable to meet that deadline either, which is why he took to his site late on New Year's Day to tell fans of the series that he had missed that one too.

While he did state that he had "hundreds of pages [and] dozens of chapters" written, there was no timeframe for when he would have the book finished. 

"I can't tell you when it will be done, or when it will be published. Best guess, based on our previous conversations, is that Bantam (and presumably my British publisher as well) can have the hardcover out within three months of delivery, if their schedules permit. But when delivery will be, I can't say". 

For now, he stated that it will be "done when it's done", and he also addressed the question of how things will work now that the novels are running behind the show for the first time. 

"Will the show 'spoil' the novels? Maybe. Yes and no. Look, I never thought the series could possibly catch up with the books, but it has. The show moved faster than I anticipated and I moved more slowly [...] Given where we are, inevitably, there will be certain plot twists and reveals in season six of GAME OF THRONES that have not yet happened in the books. For years my readers have been ahead of the viewers. This year, for some things, the reverse will be true".