George RR Martin
George RR Martin, author of the "Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series that is the basis of the television series "Game of Thrones," gestures during his masterclass at the Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) in Neuchatel, July 10, 2014. Reuters/Denis Balibouse

The delay in the release date of “Winds of Winter” has caused much frustration and heart ache among the fans, but one theory suggests there is a strong reason for the slow progress of the book. While the TV series may have spoiled some of the plot elements of the next book, George R. R. Martin has come up with a new twist, which may have led to substantial rework, according to a fan theory.

In a thread posted on Reddit, one of the fans points out that Martin revealed in an interview last year that he has come up with a new twist for his upcoming book. The fan points out that although this new change could be something exciting to read, for the moment it could mean substantial changes to the material that has already been written. Given the connected nature of the vast world, any major change will lead to changes in the other storylines and events.

The changes may have been necessary after Martin realised that he couldn’t deliver “Winds of Winter” before the premiere episode of “Game of Thrones” season 6. This led to many of the elements of the plot being spoiled for the fans. From the meaning of the name Hodor, Daenerys’ future, to Jon Snow’s fate- the show revealed all the major events.

So, the fan contends, Martin may have thought of a way to keep his books fresh and entreating for his readers. The twist that he has thought of can’t be done on the show now because the character involved in the change is already dead in the TV series. The theory expects the new deviation to be ground breaking, something on the lines of Mance is actually Rhaegar in disguise.

Whatever the twist actually is, the substantial rework that Martin has taken upon himself could mean an extra year or two of writing, according to the fan. The big change could not only have an impact on the other storylines, but also the ending that Martin has in mind.

Is the new twist delaying the release of “Winds of Winter”? This may only be a part of the reason, as one of the fans commenting on the post points out that the author has also said that this is not something he came up with recently, and has been thinking about it for a very long time. It is only now that he has finally decided to go ahead with it. So, the fans may not have to wait too long for the book to be completed, despite the new changes.