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'Winds of Winter' not coming in 2018, 'Thrones' author Martin says

FILE PHOTO: Co-executive producer George R.R. Martin arrives for the season premiere of HBO's "Game of Thrones" in San Francisco, California March 23, 2015. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/File Photo

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Winter is not coming, author George R.R. Martin said on Wednesday, disappointing "Game of Thrones" fans who have been waiting since 2011 for his next book in the epic saga.

Martin said in a blog posting that his "The Winds of Winter" novel would not be ready for publication in 2018.

"You're going to have to keep waiting for 'THE WINDS OF WINTER,'" Martin wrote.

But Martin, whose "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels were adapted into HBO's hit medieval fantasy series, said he would be publishing an illustrated 1,000-page history of the kings of Westeros on Nov. 20.

"Game of Thrones" follows warring families in a multi-generational struggle for control of the Iron Throne, which rules over the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. The last season in 2017 was watched by some 30 million U.S. viewers.

Martin's fictional history, "Fire & Blood," the first of two planned volumes, will cover all the Targaryen kings from Aegon I to Aegon III, along with their wives, siblings, wars and travels, he said.

"Oh, and there are dragons too. Lots of dragons," he added.

Martin said he was now turning his attention back to "Winds of Winter" but did not say when he hoped to finish it.

The television series, which returns for a final season in 2019, has already moved beyond the events of Martin's five published books.

Time Warner Inc's (TWX.N) HBO network has said it is working on three to five possible "Games of Thrones" spinoffs but Martin was coy on whether material from "Fire & Blood" would be used.

"I know I am going to be asked whether those shows are going to be based on material from 'FIRE & BLOOD.' It's a logical question. The only answer I can give is ... ah, well, no one is sure yet, and anyway, I am not allowed to say," he wrote.


(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Tom Brown)