George R R Martin
George R.R. Martin, author of the "Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series that is the basis of the television series "Game of Thrones", gestures during his masterclass at the Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) in Neuchatel July 10, 2014Reuters

"Game of Thrones," which is based on George RR Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, has surpassed its source material, with Season 6 of the HBO series entering uncharted territories. But there seems to be no update on "The Winds of Winter," the sixth book in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series.

The media has been speculating on the release date of "The Winds of Winter," which has now become one of the most awaited books for close to five years, and the latest reports claim that the book will be released in the first half of 2017. But Martin has been keeping mum regarding a possible release date. He has also warned his fans from believing these false reports, saying he would announce the release date on his blog when he was done with the book.

Martin had earlier promised fans that he would finish the book before "Game of Thrones" Season 6 aired in April 2016. But Martin, who is a slow writer, could not keep his promise. Taking to his blog in January 2016, Martin apologised for the delay, writing: "Unfortunately, the writing did not go as fast or as well as I would have liked. You can blame my travels or my blog posts or the distractions of other projects and the Cocteau and whatever, but maybe all that had an impact... you can blame my age, and maybe that had an impact too...but if truth be told, sometimes the writing goes well and sometimes it doesn't, and that was true for me even when I was in my 20s. "

Since then he has stayed away from a number of social events to complete "The Winds of Winter." He was also absent from the recently concluded San Diego Comic-Con. When several reports claimed that Martin was spotted at the convention, the author took to his blog to explain his absence, writing: "It's not me. It's some other old fat guy in a Greek sailor's cap and pair of suspenders, maybe. Who may or may not be consciously cosplaying as me."