By James Hibberd
December 11, 2018 at 09:57 AM EST

George R.R. Martin knows you’re worried. His seven-year struggle to finish his next A Song of Ice and Fire novel, The Winds of Winter, is pretty legendary at this point. “Finish the book, George” is a meme. And there’s still yet another novel, A Dream of Spring, that he hasn’t started yet. But the author is making an unusually firm pledge to fans that he absolutely will finish his saga.

Writing on his blog, Martin thanked fans who stuck with him as he recently published the 700-page House Targaryen history Fire and Blood (read EW’s review).

“I know you want Winds, and I am going to give it to you,” Martin wrote, “but I am delighted that you stayed with me for this one as well. Your patience and unflagging support means the world to me. Enjoy the read. Me, I am back in my fortress of solitude, and back in Westeros. It won’t be tomorrow, and it won’t be next week, but you will [emphisis Martin’s] get the end of A Song of Ice and Fire. Meanwhile, you have the final season of Game of Thrones coming, and the new show that is not yet officially called The Long Night being cast, and a couple more shows still being scripted… and a few other cool things in the works as well. Winter is not the only thing that is coming.”

The author listed his “current mood” as “excited.”

The final season of GoT is arriving in April, which will finish, in televised form, the tale Martin began with his 1996 book A Game of Thrones.

In a recent EW Q&A with the author, Martin expressed his despair about trying to finish Winds. “I know there are a lot of people out there who are very angry with me that Winds of Winter isn’t finished,” he said. “And I’m mad about that myself. I wished I finished it four years ago. I wished it was finished now. But it’s not. And I’ve had dark nights of the soul where I’ve pounded my head against the keyboard and said, “God, will I ever finish this? The show is going further and further forward and I’m falling further and further behind. What the hell is happening here? I’ve got to do this. I just got the [Fire and Blood] copy and, holding it in my hand, it’s a beautiful book. The illustrations by Doug Wheatley are great. It’s been a long while since I had a new Westeros book and nobody knows that as well as I do. I know that just as much as the angriest of my hardcore fans. And I have continued to publish other things. It’s not like I’ve been on a seven-year vacation. I have Wild Cards books coming out every six months. But not like this, one that’s entirely my writing. So to finish a book that I’m proud of and excited by was emotionally a big lift for me.”

As for the prequel series, here is everything we know so far about the HBO project.

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Game of Thrones

HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series 'A Song of Ice and Fire.'

  • TV Show
  • 8
  • 73
  • TV-MA
  • David Benioff
  • D.B. Weiss
  • HBO
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