'The Winds of Winter': New 'Game of Thrones' book could be released next year

George R R Martin said he is making progress on 'The Winds of Winter' and that the 'enforced isolation' has inspired him to write

'Game of Thrones' author George RR Martin revealed he is making progress on the next book in the series. AP 
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The coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent social distancing restrictions may have caused many to shelve plans, but it has inspired George R R Martin to finally get around to writing the next Game of Thrones book.

"I am spending long hours every day on The Winds of Winter, and making steady progress," the author wrote on Twitter, on Wednesday, June 24.

In his blog, Martin said the enforced isolation was helping him get into the spirit of writing and that he is "making steady progress" with the new fantasy novel, saying he hopes to have it finished by next year.

Fans have been eagerly awaiting the penultimate book in the series for almost a decade. The fifth and most recent volume, A Dance with Dragons, was published in 2011 and took Martin six years to write.

Many fans of the fantasy series – which is set in the Kingdom of Westeros and nearby lands – were dismayed by how the TV adaptation concluded in May 2019. An online petition was even drafted trying to convince HBO to remake the final season, which finally showed the character that claimed the Iron Throne.

Martin has previously said that he believes the last two books of the series – the seventh is said to be called A Dream of Spring – will be well over 3,000 pages and take readers farther north than ever before.

During the 2016 Guadalajara Book Fair, Martin revealed that The Winds of Winter will be a darker and more uncomfortable read than the titles before it.

"I've been telling you for 20 years that winter was coming. Winter is the time when things die, and cold and ice and darkness fill the world, so this is not going to be the happy feel-good that people may be hoping for," he said.

"Some of the characters [are] in very dark places. Things get worse before they get better, so things are getting worse for a lot of people."