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While show fans are just learning about the anxiety of waiting over a year for the next installment of their fave series, book readers are used to this level of hardship. It's been five whole years since last published a book in series, and there's still no word on when the next one will hit shelves.

We might not know exactly when to preorder , but George R.R. Martin is (probably?) hard at work as we speak. He stopped by the Guadalajara International Book Fair to drop some tantalizing teasers about what he's written so far. Just in case you thought that "The Winds of Winter" might actually be code for an uplifting book about fun in the snow, he's here to tell you, it's really, really not:

Theon Greyjoy 'Game of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]
Theon Greyjoy 'Game of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]

"There are a lot of dark chapters right now in the book that I’m writing. 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. In any story, the classic structure is, ‘Things get worse before they get better,’ so things are getting worse for a lot of people."

Not exactly sure who was expecting a "feel-good"story from this guy, but hey. Dare to dream.

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The ending isn't going to be all sunshine and puppies, but it won't be 100% grim, either:

Cersei Lannister 'Game of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]
Cersei Lannister 'Game of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]

"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."

This is the second time he's thrown out the idea of a "bittersweet" ending, the first time happening back in 2015 as part of a discussion for the Northwestern Medill School of Journalism:

"I think you need to have some hope... we all yearn for happy endings in a sense. Myself, I’m attracted to the bittersweet ending. People ask me how Game of Thrones is gonna end, and I’m not gonna tell them... but I always say to expect something bittersweet in the end... You can’t just fulfill a quest and then pretend life is perfect."

Alright, George. I think a bittersweet ending is something we can all get behind. Now, when can we expect to read it?

Poll

Place your bets! When do you think GRRM will finally publish The Winds of Winter?

(Sources: EW, Time)


While we're waiting for The Winds of Winter, why don't you brush up on one of the most important Game of Thrones theories with Azor Ahai: 101.

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