Huge 'Game of Thrones' news: 'Dance With Dragons' publication date revealed! -- EXCLUSIVE

a-dance-with-dragonsAre you ready for the biggest fantasy news since HBO decided to make a TV show called Game of Thrones?

The next book in George R.R. Martin’s bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire series has a publication date.

Yes, we swear, after waiting six long years since the release of the last novel in the saga, the fabled Book 5 A Dance With Dragons is close enough to being finished* for Martin’s publisher to set a release date. We have that date, exclusively, along with a first look at the book’s cover art and an interview with the man himself.

A Dance With Dragons will be published by Bantam on July 12, 2011. The manuscript is huge — the publisher estimates the hardcover edition will run more than 900 pages, putting it about the same length as the longest book in the series, A Storm of Swords. Schedule your summer vacation accordingly.

Plus, if that weren’t enough, there’s a new HBO Game of Thrones trailer out today that’s exclusive to EW — full-length, new footage (The Wall!) and slightly NSFW.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What took so long?
GEORGE R. R. MARTIN: I’m not sure I have a good answer. If I did, I would have taken less time. It’s enormous. It’s as long as A Storm of Swords. It’s very complicated. I have a lot of characters and points of view. And I’ve been doing a ton of rewriting, trying to get it where I wanted it to be. Some of these chapters I’ve rewritten more times than I can count before I’m satisfied with them.

Can you tease something from the book?
I don’t want to spoil any surprises. I can say all the characters people have been waiting for are there: Daenerys, Jon Snow, and Tyrion. There’s also new characters, and viewpoints from characters who did not have viewpoints before.

For more of Martin’s interview — where he compares Dragons to the previous four books, and weighs in on the HBO adaptation — pick up this week’s print edition of Entertainment Weekly.

*That the author is still writing might worry some longtime fans (giving Martin a deadline is a bit like making a photo request of J.D. Salinger) but his publisher assures us the date is firm. Winter, and A Dance With Dragons, is coming.

Also: ‘Game of Thrones’ on Facebook

Comments (157 total) Add your comment
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  • Tyrion

    July 12 of what year!!!???

    • Rachel

      2013 probably. Longest half of a book ever.

      • okbuy

        I won’t believe it until I physically have the book in my hot little hands. Besides, how many times have we seen DwD on with a release date, a price, and photo of the cover?I am an Air Force and single at present .I need a woman who can love me back ..I also uploaded my hot photos on Uniformedmate .C oM under the name of hoho212..It’s the largest and best club for seeking Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Police Force, and the admirers of those who wear the uniform.I just hope you don’t mind me being a soldier …Please Check it out!I’m serious.

      • Mole

        Anybody else disturbed that the spammers have now taken to copying other comments from further down to mask their spammy-ness?

      • BigBOO

        Now here for the bad news:

        If it took Martin SIX YEARS to “finish” a book that was supposedly mostly done back in 2005, how long do you think you’re going to have to wait for BOOK 6 “The Winds of Winter” and BOOK 7 “A Dream of Spring”???

    • James Hibberd

      This year

      • Josh

        Will it be available in ebook format?

      • Person

        Probably, Josh. I think the current books are and every new book seems to come out in ebook nowadays

      • Sezgin

        Do you use La Vergne labriry? I do not went there one time and did not get good vibe from there.I go to Smyrna labriry or to the boro, great people and I have fines too, but as long as it is not over $7.00 they don’t care.

    • DarthBek

      Hilarious. And possibly true.

    • SciyuFiyu

      It makes me sad how much all of you are not appreciating the work that he is doing.
      The book of those epic proportions and marvelous storytelling can’t be written in a short period of time.
      Quit complaining. Start the countdown.
      I am absolutely sure it was worth the wait.

      • meg

        Trust me, we appreciate it greatly. I am so excited right now I can hardly breathe! You can be appreciative of something and still crack a joke about it. :)

      • formerly interested

        You so naive. He hasn’t spent 6 years slaving over this book. How many other books and promotions did he write during this time. More than 2 if you count short stories. The timing of this book has everything to do with the HBO Miniseries. If I remember correctly, there is one more book after this one. If it takes 6 more years, there is a legitimate possibilty of a Robert Jordan situation happening. I wouldn’t have minded the wait if he was being straightforward with us, but he has been playing you.

      • AC

        playing fans for what? To get more excited about the HBO series? I’m pretty sure the people that have been reading GRRM for over a decade would be excited for the miniseries regardless of the book’s release date. Yeah it was kind of crappy how it took 6 years to come out after numerous promises in 07,08, and 09 that it was right around the corner. But I don’t think it was some grand conspiracy, I believe it when he says he got stuck with a terrible case of writers block and ended up re-writing almost the entire book. Sure the Robert Jordan situation is something to worry about, but it’s not like the guy is a terminal cancer patient, the odds are in his favor for him to finish the series.
        PS there are 2 more books left.

      • Adam Whitehead

        I don’t understand why a wait of another 6 years would result in GRRM contracting a vanishingly rare blood disease. A very bizarre statement.

        As for how many books GRRM wrote between AFFC and ADWD, that would be 0. How many he co-edited? A few. But since AGoT was published in 1996 GRRM has written exactly three pieces of non-ASoIaF-related fiction, all of them short stories.

      • guy

        All I can say is it’s about time. At first I used to defend him, now I don’t. The delay isn’t about the scope of the story, he’s
        had 6 years to finish his ‘epic’.
        His problem is that he can’t focus. Completely unacceptable as far as I’m concerned.
        I’ll never read another of his books until he finishes the story he’s started, whether it’s Game of Thrones or another series.

      • Nick

        The HBO series is certainly going to up the book sales. Intention or coincidence? Who gives a hoot, it’s finally here (we hope).

      • Ben

        Nobody is forcing you to read the books. George never signed a contract with you to write one book a year. I absolutely love the books and eagerly but humbly await the new ones. I don’t read books to know how they are ending but for the joy of the yourney towards it. No matter how long it takes.
        But I think it’s OK that so many people complain about his speed of writing: George should consider it a compliment. The complainers seem to feel really hurt and let down. No way they would feel that way if they didn’t love the books even more than I do!

      • shim

        actually we are being fair as he released a book a year until he got to the last one. The reason it has taken so long is he is a lazy f*** and wanted to release the book around the same time the tv series comes out. more money for mr Martin at the expense of six years of waiting. Poor show in my opinion.

      • D

        don’t hate; appreciate!!! It could have just been the four books and been completely unfinished!!! What then?

    • Larry

      The Spider, that was a classless comment to both authors and decent humans in general. Poor taste.

    • The Internet

      The Internet weighs in saying… The Spider’s post was also truthful. Fair game. (And beteedubs: Props to Sanderson for coming through. He churns out 900 pages yearly.)

      • Nick

        Sanderson also has little Korean boys making shoes in his basement.

      • IUU

        Yep — the ultimate goal of any author should be to “churn out” an industrial quantity of pages per year. Breathtaking.

        It’s no wonder the lion’s share of fantasy is dreck — with fans like these, who needs enemies?

      • Elga

        IUU, well said. I’d rather wait years for a quality story then have an author pump out two mediocre books a year just to get something on the shelves. If you can’t wait for a good story, don’t read series.

      • Axis

        In all honesty you are correct in the normal scheme of things. That being said, Martin is not operating inside that venue. Do a little digging, read his blog, get a load of the myriad of stuff he has intertwined himself into as I have over the last 6 years. This is not your typical 6 years of uninterrupted genius at work theory going on. This is more akin to the guy you work with who loafs off and doesn’t quite man-up to his responsibility and is certainly capable but doesn’t produce, all the while making excuses and ultimately letting the people down around him. I, of course, want Martin to produce his best effort but come on, there is something else at work here and to ignore it is just plain stupid. You do that AFFC was just half a book and this one should have been completed alot sooner by all accounts since it was the other half? Ok, I will give him that maybe he chucked it all into the fire and started over but 6 years? If he sat at home and truly worked on this instead of everything and anything else in his field of vision we would have had a book 3 years ago. I am all for throwing off the shackles of routine but this dude’s only regularly scheduled consistent moments are missing his deadline.

      • Adam Whitehead

        An…intresting analysis. I’m not surprised Martin took six years, since you quite clearly were standing there in his office watching his every move and can comment on it, which probably freaked him out a little.

        The truth of the matter is that there are books far shorter than ADWD which the authors have taken a lot longer than six years to produce (Jean Auel, Susanna Clarke, Dan Brown and David Gerrold immediately come to mind). The average writing speed for a 300-page (in paperback) novel is about 2 years, so given that ADWD will be around 1,200 pages long in paperback that’s not a bad hit rate. A tiny number of authors can produce books of that size much, much faster (Steven Erikson comes to mind) but usually only at the cost of good editing and redrafting.

        The biggest problem with these kind of criticisms is that we know the editing and writing problems Martin faced in writing ADWD, even down to some of the specifics, but none of the most vocal complainers have ever offered a viable, sensible solution to them that could have been reached in less time than Martin has managed.

      • Mo

        I don’t know… I understand both sides. I only discovered the series last year, so I haven’t had the long wait. Maybe six years from now I’ll be screaming about how the man is a lazy bastard and WHERE’S THE NEXT BOOK! And I agree that promising a book in a few months, no, wait, a couple of years, oops, two more years now, would get incredibly grating. But on the other hand, if he was unhappy with how the book was turning out, or had a case of writer’s block, this isn’t like manufacturing something where, if you’re tired and out of ideas, it doesn’t matter, because it’s a mechanical process, not a creative one. Otherwise, you get James Patterson and his James Patterson-caliber books (*shudder**vomit*). Ugggggh, that guy was a bad enough writer when he put out one book a year and wrote it all by his lonesome. Actually, his new ones may be better thanks to his “collaborators”. They sure can’t get worse.

      • Ray

        If you’re suffering from writer’s block or having to work out a great big Meereenese knot that isn’t instantly solving itself, sometimes taking a break and doing other things greatly helps in the long run. If you just beat your head against the wall trying to get it done ’cause someone wants it now (!), how does that allow you to write the story that would satisfy you and all your readers instead of something that’s crap?!?

    • azgaz

      hahahaha good question

      • Gail

        I find some of the best books take a few years to write. It is all in the research and detail

  • DarthBek

    I am going to wait to be excited until GRRM says he’s actually done. However, the next Dresden book comes out a couple weeks later. July will be a GOOD month. And I sure as hell will pick up this week’s EW for this whole article. I see what you did there….

    • James Hibberd

      For whatever this is worth: The publisher says it’s shaping up to be the best book in the series … as for skepticism about the date, keep in mind the cliffhanger format of the books, it’s not like Martin is required to reach a certain point in the story, he’s just trying to make what he’s already turned in ever bigger and better, so this is all good news …

      • DarthBek

        Oh, I have no doubt when the book comes out it will be worth the wait – that’s why I’ve never really complained about the wait. It could possibly top Storm of Swords in epic scope and events. And GRRM has confirmed the date, so now the excitement begins! Between this and the new Harry Dresden book coming out July 26th? July is turning out to be an awesome month.

    • dave

      On his website this morning he posted that this date is real.

    • chad

      Thats exactly what I was thinking when i saw the July release date.

  • STEP



  • Yaxara

    I quote Tyrion. And respecting deadlines is not Martin’s best… and July 12 looks so near…

  • Temp

    Well holy crap. I am stunned. STUNNED. I didnt think I would live to see this day. O glorious day!…

    Now we should start the complaining about how long book 6 will take (My bet: 15 years)

    • mamasand

      Book 6!!! Did someone say book 6, no way, i might be dead in 6 more years

      • Maxi Andrews

        so true, and if not dead, no memory of what a the heck is going on. As it it is i need a refresher course for books 1-4….

  • Robb

    Oh boy maybe this will be the book where Jon finds out he’s the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna and therefore secret royalty. I hope Arya is still blind. There will never be a sixth book.

    • AC

      You should try and not be so bitter about a fantasy series.

  • Matt N

    Yes yes yes! I can’t wait for this.

  • Michelle

    Thank the gods!

  • Tiberias

    Martin has in the past told fans that his publishers like to decide on deadlines regardless of whether or not they can actually be met, and that the second the book is actually done, he’ll put up a notification on his blog.

    There’s no notification on his blog. Until there is, I’m not getting my hopes up.

    • OhDanyBoy

      There is now!

    • Job Snow

      There actually is a notification on his site, look at Ice & Fire News on his site…

  • Josh

    So is this week’s EW out now or is the interview in next week’s?

    • James Hibberd

      Out tomorrow …

  • sad

    quoting Martin: “There’s also new characters, and viewpoints from characters who did not have viewpoints before.”

    If Song of Ice and Fire needs anything desperately, its LESS characters and points-of-view. The series main – but horribly growing flaw – is spawning more and more viewpoints to the point, where you readers become indifferent to them all. Sadly, I saw this kind of magalomania happen to so much authors already…

    • DarthBek

      I would agree with this, except a PoV character doesn’t always stick around long enough to weight it down. AFFC was the roughest book because it diverted from the format, by splitting characters. He also, originally, was going to skip some years, but was pressured to keep the timeline intact. I think Feast would have been a much better book if he had gone with his original intentions. ADWD will make up for it, though.

    • Mo

      I agree up to a point. I felt AFFC went off the rails in being far more far-flung than I wanted it to be. My heart sank every time the story went back to the Greyjoys. I get it, he’s writing a sweeping fantasy based on medieval history, so he needed to have the Vikings somewhere in there, but I kept feeling the whole situation could have just been summarized in a few words by another character in any chapter. For some reason, the whole Martell detour didn’t bug me as much, maybe because it feels as if they will have a bigger role in the book’s ultimate outcome. But I did end up enjoying AFFC, just not as much as the other books.

      • SciyuFiyu

        Are you kidding me?
        The final Greyjoy & the final Dorne chapters were fantastic. They just made everything more interesting.
        And no, the Victarion’s final thoughts couldn’t have been summarized in a few words by some random character nor could have the dialogue between Doran and his daughter Arianne. Those chapters made the book, in my opinion and Doran easily became one of the most beloved, intelligent and almost as amazing as Tyrion character. Just thanks to that chapter alone and The Captain of Guards. And we weren’t even in his head.
        So no, those chapters weren’t wasted and couldn’t have been summarized in a few words.

      • Josh

        I’m not a fan of the Greyjoy chapters either. I’m more of a fan of the less is more in terms of number of pov characters.

      • Mo

        Sciyufiyu, no, I’m not kidding you, but then, as my mom always says, “no wonder war exists”. I actually agree with you about the final Dorne chapter, that’s why the Martell stuff didn’t bug me as much. But I still feel somebody could easily have explained that Euron had become the king, that Victarion was his rival, and that the latter hated the former because he had been cuckolded by him. What happens when he gets to Daenerys (if he does) can be explained then without laying down so much backstory. Don’t get me wrong, it was all well-done, but at the same time unnecessary and exhausting when you already have so many characters (many of the most beloved ones getting completely neglected) and so many plot strands. But that’s just my opinion!

    • m.

      I agree 100% that some PoV-s in previous books thete where not necessary. Especially if the character doesn’t even “stick around long enough to weight it down” it makes even less sense that they were included in the first place.
      This is the problem with several fantasy series, the author just keeps expanding the universe and it’ll get harder and harder to wrap it up.

      • DarthBek

        I would most definitely disagree that characters who don’t stick around are not necessary. Case in point: Ned. Certainly there are chapters I skim or skip, especially in AFFC. But, since AFFC was a departure from the original structure, it is hard to use that as an argument. It was filler. It is forgivable. I am interested to see what characters he’ll PoV now. Barristan the Bold would be fascinating. I can’t think of any I would just dismiss out of hand though.

  • Anne

    great news! Finally!

  • Solamente Dave

    Call me cynical, but I’d bet that ADWD has been in the can for at least a couple of months. This announcement can only help the hype of the HBO show. And the timing of the release of the book is perfect to draw in newly converted fans of the new show.

    Still, pretty awesome, and also, totally rad.

    • Jane Johnson

      Promise you it’s not been ‘in the can': the Anne at Bantam and I are still awaiting the final chapters! If it were ‘in the can’ I’d be sleeping a whole lot better at night, that’s for sure!

    • Alison

      I agree. It takes more than four months to get a book from manuscript to shelves.

      • Adam Whitehead

        Not really. The last few WHEEL OF TIME books went from manuscript to the shelves in about 10 weeks. A STORM OF SWORDS was delivered in April 2000 and on the shelves in July.

        In addition, Martin has been submitted chapters from ADWD for editing and typesetting for many months. The last couple just need to be slotted in and the book can be sent off to the printers (er, after final line-editing, of course). The Jane Johnson posting above is GRRM’s UK editor, so she knows of what she speaks :-)

  • Sebastian

    It’s just lies. Absolute surprise lovemaker.

  • Warda

    I won’t believe it until I physically have the book in my hot little hands. Besides, how many times have we seen DwD on with a release date, a price, and photo of the cover?

    • pepi

      where can i buy this book

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