Such is the power of Game of Thrones – When HBO announced the premiere date of Martin Scorsese’s new period drama Vinyl earlier this week, all anyone cared about was how it’s Feb 14 premiere date is gonna delay Season 6 of Game of Thrones.
For a Game of Thrones fan, the 10 month hiatus between seasons is always a frustrating period and now this terrible surprise from HBO- the debut of Vinyl and the season premiere of Girls a week later, which has possibly increased the hiatus to 11 months. Some fans are however speculating a different reason for delay- The Winds of Winter (TWOW).
Uproxx first posted this speculation and it is actually very much possible that HBO purposely delayed the Season 6 premiere to give George R.R. Marin (GRRM) more time to complete the sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire (ASOIAF) saga.
GRRM has been trying hard to complete TWOW as soon as possible. He chose not to write an episode last season and he won’t be involved with Season 6 either, as he wants to focus on completing the book.
There is more evidence to these rumours. GRRM met his publishers and agents in August this year and his editor also posted a tweet earlier this year about how busy her schedule has become. Moreover, the polish translator of ASOIAF series was reportedly asked by the publisher to reserve his time at the end of this year to translate the new book.
Not everyone is of course disappointed by this news of the delay. Fans who prefer the books have been dreading the inevitable day when the source material will completely be overtaken by the show and therefore, no one will be happier than the book readers if TWOW is released before Season 6.
Season 5 already had some major scenes which never happened in the books and it is not known whether the showrunners were being creative or Martin’s slow pace left them no choice but to include the plots from the next book (Stannis’ and Shireen’s deaths for example). However, it ended on the same cliffhanger as the last book which is not the usual pattern for the show.
Is it possible that GRRM is indeed planning to release TWOW during spring next year and HBO has no choice but to let him be the first one to tell us if Jon Snow is coming back or not and finally confirm/debunk the most popular fan theory R+L=J?
On the other hand, this may impact show’s viewership when Season 6 finally airs next year and HBO might not want that to happen because Game of Thrones will eventually overtake the books, sooner or later. So financially, it makes more sense that show should be the first one to answer these questions.
On the whole, there’s actually no concrete evidence to whether The Winds of Winter is the real reason for delay or not. Even if the book does come out before, it won’t bring Season 6 any sooner.