The Winds of Winter” finally arrived, but not quite in the form fans expected. That was the episode title of the “Game of Thrones” Season 6 finale, but it’s also the title of George R.R. Martin’s highly anticipated entry in “A Song of Ice and Fire.” With a long wait for Season 7, many fans are wondering if “The Winds of Winter” is finished. But a release date may not be happening any time soon.

Martin has dubbed “The Winds of Winter” the “Son of Kong” because it is inescapable. Fans have been asking for the next novel in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series since “A Dance with Dragons” was released July 27, 2011. There was a time when “The Winds of Winter” release date might have been closer to when Martin finished “A Dance with Dragons.”

At that time, Martin said he was riding a hot streak. Every idea was working, and the author was writing with ease. “I was so into it. I was pushing so hard that I was writing very well. I should have just gone on from there, because I was so into it and it was moving so fast then,” said Martin in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

There were renewed hopes just last year of an imminent “Winds of Winter” release date. Martin canceled appearances and dedicated himself to finishing the sixth novel in “A Song of Ice and Fire,” spurring hopes the novel could be out before “Game of Thrones” Season 6.

Even Martin was optimistic. But another year went by, and no new novel came from the author. Prior to the latest season of “Game of Thrones,” Martin sat down with his publishers to figure out a way to get “The Winds of Winter” into stores before the show aired in April in order to avoid spoilers, the author revealed in a blog post published in January.  

A Halloween date was proposed, but Martin needed an extension. The final deadline was the end of 2016 for a March release date, but Martin was unable to deliver the novel. “You're disappointed, and you're not alone. My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed ... but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me,” wrote Martin.

Close to six months later, Martin is not finished with “The Winds of Winter.” Martin mentioned the Son of Kong in passing, but no concrete updates came on its completion. Martin did premiere a new chapter, from the perspective of Aeron “Damphair” Greyjoy, at Balticon 50 at the end of May. For Martin, there’s close to a year before “Game of Thrones” Season 7, which means there’s hope “The Winds of Winter” could be released before the premiere.