'Winds of Winter' theory: Popularity of HBO TV series may have caused delay in release

By @sachintrivedig on
George R.R. Martin
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

There are a lot of reasons for the delay in the release of “Winds of Winter” novel by George R. R. Martin. A fan theory now looks at another possible reason why the author hasn’t been able to complete it, and it has to do with the popularity of the HBO TV series.

The theory posted on Reddit examines how publisher Random House previously had a way to at least try and keep Martin on track to complete his books. That power, the fan points out, has slowly been eroded away with the popularity of “Game of Thrones.”

The fan points to comments made by Martin’s editor Anne Groell, which suggest the publishers had something to do with pushing two major battles to the next book. Earlier, the author had hoped to keep them in “A Dance with Dragons” to wrap up the book nicely. However, since that was taking too long, the publishers asked the author to move one battle to the next book, and Martin apparently moved the second battle voluntarily. This, the fan suggests, was done in order for the publishers to ride the wave created by the “Game of Thrones” premiere.

Since the launch, Martin has been unable to complete “Winds of Winter” because he has other distractions that include writing for the TV series, his books about Westeros, other books, and his hectic tour schedule.

The fan explains that Random House has an agreement with Martin when it comes to the mode of payment. The author has to submit a portion of his work in order to receive the next installment of his pay. But with the success of the HBO TV series, the money the author receives from the show may have increased substantially, leaving the publishers with little power to incentivise the author to complete this book quickly.

The fan doesn’t begrudge the well deserved success of Martin but simply points out that his publishers may no longer have a way to compel him to submit what he has for publication. The fan also points out that the delay in writing the two previous books in “A Song of Ice and Fire” series resulted in some of the best work by the author to date.

There have been issues with an early release of “A Dance with Dragons,” the fan said. According to the post, some of the later chapters in the book seem rushed, and the missing battles make the book feel incomplete.

Despite the delay and challenges, the fan believes the wait for “Winds of Winter” will be worth it. With most of the work already done, it is only a matter of time before Martin announces a release date for the book.