George R.R. Martin fans still don’t know when to expect The Winds of Winter, the highly anticipated sixth installment of the Song of Ice and Fire book series, but one thing is certain: It will be a dark day in Westeros.
During a recent Q&A at the Guadalajara International Book Fair, the author teased that his upcoming novel will feature some grim business.
“There are a lot of dark chapters right now in the book that I’m writing,” Martin said. “It is called The Winds of Winter, and 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. Some of the characters [are] in very dark places.”
He added, “In any story, the classic structure is, ‘Things get worse before they get better,’ so things are getting worse for a lot of people.”
Martin also addressed on the eventual conclusion of his saga, which is currently slated for the seventh book, A Dream of Spring. Explaining that he’s not a fan of pat happy endings, he said, “I’m not going to tell you how I’m going to end my book, but I suspect the overall flavor is going to be as much bittersweet as it is happy.”
And in one of the Q&A’s funniest moments, Martin acknowledged that his series has grown into a much bigger undertaking than he originally imagined.
“Sometimes I look back and say, ‘Did it really have to be Seven Kingdoms?'” he said. “The Five Kingdoms of Westeros, that would have been good, right?”
Watch Martin’s full Q&A above.