Game of Thrones author George RR Martin has confessed that he should have finished the next book in the hit series four years ago.
The 70-year-old has struggled to finish The Winds Of Winter – the sixth epic volume in a planned series of seven called A Song of Ice And Fire.
The fifth book in the series – A Dance With Dragons – was released back in 2011, and took him six years to finish.
Many fans have been vocal in their impatience, with many desperate to see what happens.
Martin told Entertainment Weekly : "I know there are a lot of people out there who are very angry with me that Winds Of Winter isn’t finished. And I’m mad about that myself. I wished I finished it four years ago.
"I wished it was finished now. But it’s not. And I’ve had dark nights of the soul where I’ve pounded my head against the keyboard and said, ‘God, will I ever finish this?’"
Since A Dance With Dragons was released, the Game Of Thrones TV series – which is based on the novels – has become one of TV’s most popular and most expensive drama series.
The TV show’s story caught up with the plotline in the books two seasons ago, and has now overtaken it.
And while it is likely that the plot of the TV show and the books will have significant differences, some big reveals which could have shocked in The Winds of Winter have already been shown on the show.
Martin’s latest book Fire And Blood is not part of the regular series
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While Martin has told of his struggles to finish The Winds of Winter, he has released other books set in the same universe that aren’t part of the main series.
His most recent book, Fire and Blood, was released this week and is set hundreds of years before Game of Thrones.
The 736-page epic charts the history of the Targaryen family – familiar to fans of the series as Daenerys Targaryen’s ancestors.
It is written as a history book with a linear story, rather than the complicated multi-character format of the Song Of Ice And Fire novels.
And Martin says that is why he found it so much easier than writing Winds of Winter.
He added: "In Winds, I have like 10 different novels and I’m juggling the timeline — here’s what’s happening to Tyrion, here’s what’s happening to Dany, and how they intersect. That’s far more complicated."
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