With the Game of Thrones final season still in production, fans of George R.R. Martin's book series A Song of Fire and Ice, which the show is based on, got some shocking news today. The author revealed that there will be a new Game of Thrones book coming this year. But it is not the long-awaited sixth book The Winds of Winter. Instead, fans will be treated to the first volume of Fire & Blood, a two-volume companion book that provides a written history of House Targaryen. Here's what he had to say about the book below.

"Yes, most of Fire & Blood consists of the 'sidebars' I originally wrote for The World of Ice & Fire. Abridged versions of some of those pieces appeared as The Princess and the Queen, The Rogue Prince, and The Sons of the Dragon, but these are the full versions, together with some chapters that have never appeared anywhere."
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The World of Ice & Fire that the author mentions is a 2014 companion novel, and it seems that the pieces he wrote about Daenerys Targaryen and her family will now be used for this Fire & Blood book. The author added that the first volume of Fire & Blood, "should be completed soon," although the second, "is hardly begun." There is some encouraging news, though, since George R.R. Martin indicated that the second volume of Fire & Blood won't be released until after The Winds of Winter.

Still, since the author said that Fire & Blood is the only book he has planned for 2018, then it seems fans won't be getting The Winds of Winter until at the very earliest, 2019. HBO confirmed last month that the final season of Game of Thrones won't air until 2019, so there is a possibility that the release of The Winds of Winter could very well coincide with the final season of the hit series. There is no confirmation that both sixth book and the final season will both be released at around the same time, but even if that does happen, there is no timetable released for the final book, A Dream of Spring, which may not be ready until beyond 2020.

While HBO has offered no plot details for the final season, there have been some interesting details to surface thus far. A video taken near a set in Belfast, Ireland revealed a massive spoiler, that the set being used for the Northern stronghold Winterfell, has essentially fallen, with the entire city set ablaze. When this scene takes place during the season is unclear, and there is no indication that this fire killed any members of the Stark Family. You can head on over to GRRM LiveJournal and take a look at the comments section for George R.R. Martin's latest updates on his Game of Thrones book series.