As we ascend into 2016, anticipation only grows for the upcoming sixth season of Game of Thrones, itself the furthest beyond author George R.R. Martin’s published works yet. It had seemed increasingly unlikely Martin might publish sixth novel The Winds of Winter ahead of the HBO series, sparing literary readers some potential spoilers, though the author at least hints an update will arrive soon.

Take this one with a grain of salt for now, as Martin has long-spoken of “distractions“ that” prevent his writing, specifically the constant hounding for updates, though the revered author recently gave some intriguing comments over his ever-faithful LiveJournal account (h/t WinterIsComing). Weary of responding to Song of Ice and Fire questions in the comment threads of unrelated posts, Martin nonetheless hinted he might have something to say around New Year’s:

I know that each individual who asks that question thinks it is just one question… but the questioning is endless. Every day. From many sources. Blog comments, livejournal messages, emails, sometimes snail mail, interviews. No matter how often I update (I used to, you know, several books back), someone else will be along the next day to ask for another one. It wears me out.

I may do a year’s end post tomorrow though, so…

Even if Winds of Winter manages not to beat Game of Thrones Season 6 to the public, it’s worth keeping in mind that HBO’s rendition may well diverge on some key plot points, in particular the most burning question of the sixth season (as well Martin’s prior novel, A Dance With Dragons).

Still, might the new year at last bring news on The Winds of Winter? Figuratively, but also literally? It’s way too warm out there.