IT is a bloodthirsty, fantasy drama that became a global TV juggernaut, keeping fans enthralled for eight years. Now author George RR Martin has revealed he is close to finishing a new “Game of Thrones” book that the series was based on.


The show ended, though?

Game of Thrones, chronicling the bitter and bloody struggles of opposing noble families for the Iron Throne in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, debuted on TV screens in April 2011, with the finale of its eighth season airing in May last year.


Fans were not keen on the finale?

Left reeling by the entire last season, a petition launched on calling for producers to "remake Game of Thrones season 8 with competent writers”; garnering 1.8 million signatures. The episode was written by show co-creators, David Benioff and Daniel Weiss, and was not based on original content from the books.


And the books are written by Martin?

George Raymond Richard Martin, 71, who also goes by GRRM, is a New Jersey-born fantasy novelist who penned the series of epic fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, which were adapted into Game of Thrones.


It was filmed in Europe?

US TV giant, HBO, purchased the rights for the series in 2007, and filming took place in Croatia, Spain and regularly across Northern Ireland, with Doune Castle in Stirling used in the original pilot. Locations for some of the programme’s most well-known scenes are now tourist magnets, with one third of Northern Ireland’s tourists last year said to have been drawn to the country due to the programme.



With the largest ensemble cast on TV at the time, Game of Thrones’ line-up included British actors Sean Bean, Charles Dance, Kit Harington, Iain Glen and Rose Leslie.


So what is the new book?

The Wind of Winter is the long-awaited sixth novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, one of two final novels planned in the series, to be followed by A Dream of Spring. Fans have been kept waiting for the work - with Martin believing the final two books will total more than 3000 pages - as the deadline has been pushed back time and again. The author has faced criticism from his avid fans in the past for the long periods between books, dismissing calls for the series to be the only thing he works on.


Now, though?

From his hideaway in "an actual cabin the the mountains", Martin has updated his blog to advise fans that he is making "steady progress" with the Winds of Winter, adding that "enforced isolation" is helping him to do so. He wrote: "I am spending long hours every day on the Winds of Winter and making steady progress. I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week.”


To further whet the appetite?

Having already said that “The Winds of Winter is not so much a novel as a dozen novels”, he added in his blog that he has been writing about "Cersei, Asha, Tyrion, Ser Barristan, and Areo Hotah" and closed by saying: "Now you will have to excuse me. Arya is calling. I think she means to kill someone”.