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

The books in “A Song of Ice and Fire” are massive in size. There are seven kingdoms in the continent of Westeros, and many free cities to keep track of in Essos. Each location has multiple characters and back stories to remember. With the delay in the release of the next book in the series, many of the fans are finding it hard to keep track of everything that is happening in the fantasy world.

In many ways, “A Feast for Crows” and “A Dance with Dragons” are actually a huge book split into two. There were many cliffhangers in the former that were left unresolved in the 5th book in the series. Instead, the book that was released in 2011 had more cliffhangers that has the fans eagerly waiting for the next installment.

However, with every new book the release date is getting delayed, making the wait a little more difficult. A fan on Reddit has complained about finding it difficult to keep track of all the stories, while still reading “A Dance with Dragons.”

The books are so massive, and the stories so complex that sometimes it becomes difficult for even Georg RR Martin to keep track of all the moving parts, and slipups are understandable. To add to this, if a fan has not read the books for over 5 years, it will be challenge to remember everything when the next book is finally released.

The best a fan can hope for is follow the storyline of a particular main character. But, if that character dies, which has happened many times in the past, the reader will find it difficult to cope, having invested so much time and energy in that character.

An easy way to get through the long wait for the next book is watching the HBO TV series that is based on the books. However, the TV series and the source material have diverged to such an extent that it feels like the fans have to keep track of two parallel universes. Besides, Martin is not writing scripts for the show any more, so that he can focus more on the book.

The fans will have to do some rereading just before the launch of “Winds of Winter” in order to refresh their memories. Martin is yet to make an announcement about completing the book. The author has said in the past that he is close to finishing it.