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George R. R. Martin admits to another delay for latest Game of Thrones novel

It was the new year announcement Game of Thrones fans were hoping to avoid.

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The Winds of Winter, the sixth book of the hugely popular A Song of Ice and Fire series, was due to be released before the start of the sixth series of the HBO program in April 2016.

Yet in a candid blog post on Saturday, author George R. R. Martin admits that he has missed two deadlines for the book, which means it will not be released before the new season.

Not good at deadlines: Author George RR Martin.
Not good at deadlines: Author George RR Martin. 

Though much of the book is written, he said that it will not be released for months, "and that's if the writing goes well".

The original deadline was October last year, but Martin revealed that the mounting pressure of the due date stalled his writing.

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"As the suspicion grew that I would not make it after all, a gloom set in, and I found myself struggling even more. The fewer the days, the greater the stress, and the slower the pace of my writing became," he said.

He then missed a second deadline that his publisher had set for the end of December.

Kit Harrington as Jon Snow in <i>Game of Thrones</i>.
Kit Harrington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones

The announcement has disappointed many fans, who have raised concerns that publishing after the premiere of the new Game of Thrones TV series will spoil major plot points of the sixth novel.

While Martin agrees, he has told readers that they can "still enjoy the hell out of both".

Though Martin noted the disappointment of his editors, publishers, agents and TV HBO, he refused to be hurried in his writing and will not set a third deadline.

Martin seemed sure that whenever he finishes The Winds of Winter, his publishers will be able to have it on shelves three months after the transcript is submitted. Until then, he writes, "it will be done when it's done. And it will be as good as I can possibly make it."

The new series of HBO's Game of Thrones will premiere in late April regardless.