New GRRM book, not Winds of Winter, but Fire and Blood

Fire and BloodGeorge R.R. Martin revealed to fans today that a new volume about Westeros will be hitting the shelves this November. Sadly, it won’t be The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, but Fire and Blood, a daunting history of House Targaryen.

“No, winter is not coming … not in 2018, at least. You’re going to have to keep waiting for The Winds of Winter. You will, however, be able to return to Westeros this year,” Martin said.

In news that surprised no one in the ASOIAF fandom, GRRM has not yet completed The Winds of Winter but he has managed to put together a nearly thousand-page book about the backstory of the Targaryens.

The last book published in the ASOIAF series was A Dance with Dragons, way back in 2011 when Game of Thrones premiered. We’re now approaching the eighth and final season of the television adaptation in 2019 and the sixth book is nowhere to be seen.

According to The Guardian, Fire and Blood is set 300 years before the events of ASOIAF and “will chronicle the Targaryen civil war that nearly ended their dynasty forever.”

GRMM talked more about the book on his blog, calling it “the GRRMarillion (or the first half of it, at least); that is to say, my version of Tolkien’s mammoth history of Middle Earth.” This will be the first of two histories of Westeros.

He also clarified that Fire and Blood is not a novel set in Westeros, describing the book thus:

“I do want to stress… indeed, I want to shout… that Fire and Blood is not a novel. This is not a traditional narrative and was never intended to be… let’s call this one ‘imaginary history’ instead. The essential point being the ‘history’ part. I love reading popular histories myself, and that’s what I was aiming for here…

“So: not a novel. Everyone clear on that? (Though there are enough stories here for twenty novels. Battles, bloodshed, betrayals, love, lust, horror, religious wars, politics, incest, historical revisionism, all the fun stuff).”

The scope of the book is vast, covering

“all the Targaryen kings from Aegon I (the Conqueror) to the regency of Aegon III (the Dragonbane), along with their wives, wars, siblings, children, friends, rivals, laws, travels, and sundry other matters…Oh, and there are dragons too. Lots of dragons.”

So, if you’re up for burying yourself deep in Targaryen timelines and Westerosi lore, don’t miss the release of Fire and Blood on November 20.

Meanwhile, GRRM did confirm that he will get back to working on The Winds of Winter.