Back in 2011 Game of Thrones debuted, as George RR Martin published his latest A Song of Ice and Fire book, A Dance with Dragons. Jump forward to 2019 eight years later and the award-winning TV show has ended, with the last few seasons having to go on planned narrative outlines for the books that the author has yet to write. Meanwhile, the penultimate book in his epic fantasy series, The Winds of Winter, still doesn’t have a release date. Although Martin himself has a personal deadline of summer 2020.
But what is taking Martin so long aside from the distractions of the Game of Thrones TV show and its two (for now) spin-offs?
Well, a popular new fan theory argues that the key for The Winds of Winter’s delay is found in the author’s 1993 outline for A Song of Ice and Fire.
Reddit user bh1981, who has had over a thousand upvotes on their post, argues the difference between this and the finished product reveals the truth.
They wrote: “The outline that George submitted to the publisher in 1993 is a fascinating document for a number of reasons, not least of which is that, because of the sheer volume of differences between the outline and the finished text, we get some great insights into how he writes.
“These insights go a long way to explaining why the books take so long, and why the showrunners of GoT had a nearly impossible task once they ran out of books to adapt.
“Comparing the outline to the finished books, we can surmise that GRRM is very willing to deviate from an outline if following it does not feel natural.”