The characters of Game of Thrones wait for winter. Fans of the show wait for a new season. Book readers wait for the next installment, which is increasingly the longest wait of all.
A Song of Ice and Fire now spans almost 20 years over the course of three decades, with A Game of Thrones being published back in 1996, and the most recent - A Dance with Dragons - coming in 2011.
There was just a three-year gap between the first two books, and the third (A Storm of Swords) came along just a year later. Since then, however, George R.R. Martin has taken longer and longer to write: a five-year gap until A Feast for Crows, and then a six-year wait was suffered until ADWD.
The wait for the sixth book, The Winds of Winter, is four years and counting, although it is widely believed that itll be out next year at the latest, and hopefully before season 6 of the show begins around the beginning of April. Martin has even stopped writing for the TV series and cancelled a host of event appearances in order to get it finished.
Somewhat inevitably, however, the show has overtaken the book in parts. Sometimes this has meant diverging away from storylines, while others it has simply been forced to tackle, and thus quite possibly spoil the book - a complete reversal from the inside knowledge books readers have had over show watchers the past few years.
Admittedly nothing is confirmed until the next book is finally published, but theres a good chance much of what was seen on screen will make it into the book, including these notable examples
NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far.
A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.