The sixth season of Game of Thrones, with its final episode The Winds of Winter, came, conquered and went away, leaving the fans cacophonous as always. In its wake, it leaves behind a trail of unsolved questions, feverish speculations, and confusion over the show now looking forward to leaving the books behind.
Among the many questions being thrown up, the most pertinent is, what will the exact relationship dynamic be between Jon Snow and Sansa Stark? Why did Sansa not reveal to Jon Littlefinger’s intentions?
Also, what is Cersei Lannister now going to do, having changed the course of many of the bloodlines and crowned herself the new Queen of the Seven Kingdoms? What will be her exact relationship with Jamie Lannister? Will she end up killing everybody? Also, with Jon Snow’s parentage finally revealed in this last episode, what is his equation going to be with the Starks and Daenerys?
Add to that Martin’s confirmations regarding his upcoming book- there will be three more deaths in The Winds of Winter, at least. In an interview with John Oliver, Martin had said, “I just killed three of your favorite characters. “
These and others have led many to predict the plot for the new book, including suggestions for shortening Arya’s interactions with the Faceless Men and Jon’s resurrection episode, but this only brings the power equations of the two media back to mind.
For the avid fans of the series who are also readers, the days of turning up the collars are over, what with many plot points from the yet-to-arrive book, The Winds of Winter, already introduced into the show.
Not only that, some things have been exceedingly slow at keeping up- for instance, where we last left her, Sansa Stark was comparatively happy taking walks with Petyr Baelish and Ramsay Bolton was yet to appear on the horizon. Jon is still lying stabbed, something which is now almost comical for the viewers of the show, and Arya is still training with the Faceless Men.
This brings us to the disappointment over Martin ‘losing control’ over his creation. For the fans who make the effort to go through seemingly endless pages just for the pleasure they derive out of his writing and his surprises and his attention to detailing, the role-reversal, with the possibility of the books now being dominated by the events in the show, the time may just not be worth it henceforth. Besides, exactly how much can Martin let the series and the books differ if he is to preserve the integrity of the story?
The consequent desperation on the part of the fans has led many to speculate on the possible date for the announcement of the release of The Winds of Winter, with quite a number of theories doing the rounds- will George R. R. Martin announce the date of release of the next book in the upcoming Worldcon to be held in August?
He will be there for a meet-and-greet, and a book-signing, as he had written on his LiveJournal. Another possibility, though less likely, is that he would be releasing The Winds of Winter then.
There have also been speculations over him releasing the last two installments of the series, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, together, as compensation for keeping fans hanging for more than the stipulated five years (the last book released in 2011).
This seems unlikely, what with Martin being a famous patient of what is known as Writer’s Block (something which has led to increasing impatience among the fans, who have expressed everything ranging from a desire for co-authors, better editors, and fear of him dying before being able to finish the books).