George R.R. Martin has hinted The Winds of Winter will be the longest A Song of Ice and Fire book yet, which is both necessary and inevitable.
George R.R. Martin has suggested that The Winds of Winter could be the longest A Song of Ice and Fire book yet, and that not only makes sense but may well be inevitable for the Game of Thrones-inspiring novel series. To say it’s been a lengthy wait for Martin’s sixth and (as it stands) penultimate entry in A Song of Ice and Fire would be an understatement. The fifth book, A Dance With Dragons, released back in 2011 (the same year Game of Thrones debuted), and The Winds of Winter‘s release has taken over a decade and counting
The Winds of Winter has been through various release date predictions and delays, with Martin pushing it back several times over the years. Now, while the author is committed to finishing the novel – and its planned sequel, A Dream of Spring – he is no longer offering any kinds of promises or teases for when it might release. As such, The Winds of Winter‘s release date remains a great point of uncertainty as the writer struggles to finish the book, and the sheer scope of it gives some indication as to why.
Martin has said that The Winds of Winter could be the longest book yet, surpassing A Dance With Dragons, which holds the record with 1,016-1,040 pages (varying by different versions), with A Storm of Swords the next longest at 973 pages. Martin notes that he “usually trims” books when finished, so The Winds of Winter‘s page count is by no means decided given there’s no indication he has completed it, but it running to such an epic length would not only make a lot of sense, but may be inevitable. With only two books remaining, then The Winds of Winter has big questions to answer and a lot of story to get through, needing to resolve elements of A Dance With Dragons, set up A Dream of Spring‘s endgame, and tell its own cohesive story too.
Even just from a look at what’s been left hanging alongside what The Winds of Winter‘s preview chapters have teased, then the sixth book’s story will have to include Jon Snow’s resurrection, Stannis Baratheon and Ramsay Bolton’s Battle of Ice, the capture of Brienne of Tarth by Lady Stoneheart (and the former’s possible betrayal of Jaime Lannister), the arrival in Westeros of the alleged Aegon Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister arriving in Meereen and meeting Daenerys Targaryen, and perhaps Dany herself then heading to Westeros, the machinations of Sansa Stark and Littlefinger in the Vale, Arya Stark’s time in Braavos, Bran Stark’s transformation into the Three-Eyed Crow, the looming threat of the Others, and much more besides. That’s before getting into the great detail Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books get to, nor does it truly cover the sheer amount of characters he involves or others who may well be point-of-view characters. There is enough plot and character work here to fill two books, which means The Winds of Winter‘s length will be necessary.
Martin had previously suggested that The Winds of Winter could be over 1,500 manuscript pages [via Not A Blog], which is similar in length to what he had for A Storm of Swords and A Dream of Spring before cutting, but given the sixth book is over a decade in the writing, it’s reasonable to assume that has swelled even beyond that figure. With the endgame being lined-up, then trimming down also becomes harder because there are so many more decisive factors involved. Game of Thrones‘ ending faced problems without Martin’s books because of how much there was to get through, and the biggest criticism faced was because of rushing through elements. It’s clear Martin won’t do that, but it does further explain why The Winds of Winter must be his longest A Song of Ice and Fire book.
Next: The Winds Of Winter: Biggest Game of Thrones Questions GRRM Must Answer
Tom Hardy’s Taboo Season 2 Finally Has A Planned Filming Start Date
About The Author