Warning: The following contains spoilers for season five of "Game of Thrones" and book five "A Dance with Dragons."
Author George R.R. Martin is as good at keeping his fans waiting as he is at ruining weddings. But the wait for the sixth book in his "A Song of Ice and Fire" series may (hopefully) be coming to a close.
There are rumors sprouting up that Martin has already completed "The Winds of Winter." These rumors came about after "Game of Thrones" season six director Jack Bender hinted that he had read an advanced copy of the novel.
Bender replied with a succinct "yes" when asked by one of his followers if he had read an unpublished "copy of Book 6 of Game of Thrones to prepare for directing next season's episodes."
Many fans took this as a confirmation that Martin had indeed finished writing. However, a report posted on the Watchers on The Wall fan site claims that the director's response was taken out of context. They suggest that Bender was referring to the season six script outline and not the highly anticipated novel. Martin himself has warned his fans not to believe rumors in the wake of Bender's comments.
Martin has canceled several public appearances this summer to focus on his writing. He also declined the option to write an episode script for "Game of Thrones" in each of the last two seasons in order to focus on finishing the book.
One reason fans are so eager for the next book is the unknown fate of Jon Snow. In both the novels and the HBO adaptation, Jon is betrayed by his Night's Watch Brothers and stabbed repeatedly. While many fans have their own theories about Jon's fate, only Martin and the showrunners know for sure.
Martin has previously said that the book won't come out until 2016. The hope is that it will be published before season six of "Thrones" debuts.