George R.R. Martin, the author of the book series "A Song of Ice and Fire" on which HBO's television show "Game of Thrones" is based, has been faithfully providing his fans with periodic updates on his upcoming sixth installment, "Winds of Winter."
Not often enough, but he does get word out through his blog as well as his website. By his own admission, though, the best-selling author has been working at a snail's pace either due to his self-professed difficulty dealing with deadlines or all the traveling and blogging he does, among other things.
As a result of this unintentional delay, the TV series has overtaken the book series in terms of storyline. Some months back, Martin had prefaced his announcement on his blog with, "You wanted an update. Here's the update. You won't like it," before declaring that he was not done with the "Winds of Winter."
The 67-year-old wordsmith continued, "You're disappointed, and you're not alone. My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed... but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me."
The status of the novel has not changed up to now, according to the latest word on it from his blog. There has been no announcement for the release of the sixth novel. But Martin did give his audience at the recent Balticon 50 a generous helping from "The Winds of Winter" by reading a never-before publicly revealed chapter from it, "The Forsaken." It told the story of Aeron Greyjoy and his sufferings at the hands of his own brother, Euron.
Last mention of Aeron had been at Euron's kingsmoot where he had tried to get away so he could form a resistance against his brother's rule. In this latest unveiling, fans found out that Aeron had been kidnapped by Euron's men and placed in deplorable dungeons, while the latter subjected him to torture.
Aeron's recollections in earlier books have him fearing the sound of a gate or door opening whenever he encountered his brother. And he had good reason. The reading finally uncovered Euron to be an abuser and kinslayer. The latter's rape of his younger brother was confirmed by the taunting words that accompanied his physical torture of the former.
"I could hear you praying from outside the door. I always wondered: Were you praying that I would choose you or that I would pass you by?"
Euron also boasted of his murdering Balon and two other brothers as well. The chapter also gave a glimpse of horror of him as a Dark Lord and the New Night's King forging a pact with the ice-zombies. The chapter ends with him gearing up for battle against the fleets of the Iron Throne, but looking very much like he expected to win. Perhaps because he had all those priests from different faiths festooned on the prows of his long ships.
Despite these terrors, Aeron keeps his faith in his Drowned God. Somebody has to.
The release date of "The Winds of Winter" still has yet to be announced.