Fans of HBO's Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire, the series of books on which it is based, will be disappointed to learn that we won't be seeing a new book any time soon.

The last ASOIAF novel, A Dance With Dragons, came out in 2011, and people have been eagerly awaiting The Winds Of Winter, initially slated for a 2014 release, ever since. Fantasy maestro George RR Martin had previously hinted that The Winds of Winter would be out some time this year, but fans of the writer have learnt by now not to get their hopes up.

Now Martin has revealed that he has been busy working on a spin-off about the Targaryen family, called Fire And Blood, and that those pesky dragons have been getting in the way.

The first volume of Fire and Blood "should be completed soon" and will come out before The Winds of Winter, which is expected to the penultimate novel in the main ASOIAF series. Meanwhile the second volume of Fire and Blood "is hardly begun".

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Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones. Photo / HBO
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones. Photo / HBO

So the good news is that fans will get siginificantly more Westeros-based content overall, but they will have to wait longer for the continuation of the main series.

The ASOIAF books are notoriously intricately-plotted books with a richly detailed cast of over 2,000 main characters, and The Winds of Winter had previously been slated for release in 2014. Its predecessor, A Dance With Dragons, took six years to write and is so hefty that it is usually split into two volumes.