Winds of Winter: George RR Martin ‘to release Game of Thrones book THIS year', bookies say

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It’s been reported that bookmakers 22Bet were recently offering odds of 2.7 that the next book in A Song of Ice and Fire would be released before the end of 2019. Although this seems somewhat ambitious, it may not be impossible: George RR Martin recently hinted that he aims to have the book done by mid-2020, after receiving an offer to go to New Zealand at that time. He’ll be at the World Science Fiction Convention in the country in the summer of next year, and strongly implied that he should have it done by then.

To convert 2.7 to a fraction-style figure would put it just below the 7/4 mark – i.e. better than 2/1.

It’s worth noting that these odds were reported by Gamingzion.com but do not currently appear to be searchable on the 22Bet website for fans to actually put money on. But the odds are a useful way of gauging when exactly readers are predicting the publication date will be.

They also suggest 6.0 odds (5/1) that the book is released by August – which, now only two months away, seems to be a big stretch.

Martin wrote on his site last month, when offered the chance to be flown to New Zealand to finish The Winds of Winter: “As for finishing my book… I fear that New Zealand would distract me entirely too much.

“Best leave me here in Westeros for the nonce.

“But I tell you this — if I don’t have THE WINDS OF WINTER in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done.

“Just so long as the acrid fumes do not screw up my old DOS word processor, I’ll be fine.”

Once TWOW is finished and published, he will still have one more book to write in A Song of Ice and Fire: the seventh and final instalment, A Dream of Spring.

The end of the Game of Thrones TV show has revitalised anticipation for Winds, which is already set to arrive at least eight years after its predecessor, 2011’s A Dance with Dragons.

Martin wrote of the differences between the show’s ending and his own ending: “How will it all end? I hear people asking. The same ending as the show? Different?

“Well… yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes.

“I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget. They had six hours for this final season. I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3000 manuscript pages between them before I’m done… and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I’ll add them.

“And of course the butterfly effect will be at work as well.”

He added: “How about this? I’ll write it. You read it.

“Then everyone can make up their own mind [over which ending is ‘real’], and argue about it on the internet.”

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