It's been revealed that the sixth instalment in George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, which HBO's Game of Thrones is based on, will not be released this year.
Martin's publisher HarperCollins said it had "no information on likely delivery" for The Winds of Winter, which is now only going to be released in 2016 at the earliest.
"These are increasingly complex books and require immense amounts of concentration to write," said Jane Johnson of HarperCollins.
"Fans really ought to appreciate that the length of these monsters is equivalent to two or three novels by other writers."
Books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series tend to be over 1,000 pages long, with gaps of half a decade between publication dates.
1996: A Game of Thrones
1998: A Clash of Kings
2000: A Storm of Swords
2005: A Feast for Crows
2011: A Dance with Dragons
2016? The Winds of Winter
2020? A Dream of Spring
While we always expected as much, this means that Game of Thrones the TV show, will certainly finish before the seventh and final book in the series, A Dream of Spring, is released.
Season five of the show, based on books four and five, begins in April, and due to the pressures of child actors growing up, TV viewers have already seen events yet to take place in the books, while certain characters have had their story arcs accelerated.
The normal schedule for the show is it to be filmed in autumn and broadcast in spring, meaning the final two series are likely to be broadcast in 2016 and 2017 - potentially years before Martin finishes the final planned novel, while he could also always - as he has done in the past - expand the series with new books.
So, winter is definitely coming, but it's probably going to be at least another five years until it does, and in the meantime, people who have waited 25 years for a book series to conclude will have the ending broadcast on one of the world's most popular TV shows.
Source: The Guardian
Watch the leaked trailer for season five of Game of Thrones below:
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