Will George R.R. Martin Release an Elden Ring Novel Before Winds of Winter?

Elden Ring's possible expansion into a multimedia franchise has us wondering whether the Winds of Winter hopeful may be disappointed by what George R.R. Martin works on next.

Elden Ring
Photo: Bandai Namco

In a recent press release, Bandai Namco president and CEO Yasuo Miyakawa surprised many by suggesting that the upcoming Elden Ring game may just be the start of what the company hopes could one day be a much larger Elden Ring universe.

“I am very happy and excited to announce the release date of Elden Ring, a new game created by Mr. Miyazaki and Mr. George R.R. Martin, two creators that I truly admire and have a passionate fan base around the world. I am very happy and excited to be able to tell you about it,” Miyakawa says. “We will continue to develop Elden Ring not only as a game but also in a variety of other areas in order to deliver the worldview and charm of this title to our fans around the world. We look forward to your continued support.”

While that statement could easily be taken as the kind of generic thing an executive says whenever they feel like they might have a hit franchise on their hands, it really sounds like Bandai Namco is already committed to expanding the Elden Ring universe (which is probably separate from the Dark Souls universe) beyond the realm of video games.

Of course, that idea raises the hilarious question: “What if George R.R. Martin actually writes an Elden Ring book before Winds of Winter is released?”

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Now, to be very clear, we do not know if George R.R. Martin is working on an Elden Ring book. We also don’t know if there will be an Elden Ring book. Furthermore, there is also some doubt as to whether or not anything related to Elden Ring will actually be released outside of the Elden Ring game. For that matter, Elden Ring could still miss its scheduled January 21, 2022 release date. There are a lot of unknowns still in play.

Having said all of that, it’s not actually all that crazy to think that George R.R. Martin could be working on something related to Elden Ring as part of this multimedia expansion of the game. After all, his involvement with the series so far reportedly focused on crafting the basic lore and premise of the game’s universe, so it feels like he’d be the perfect guy to turn to if you’re looking to expand that lore and universe via multimedia adaptations.

Truth be told, the idea of George R.R. Martin working on some kind of Elden Ring-related book also fits the writer’s M.O. over the last several years. While it’s been roughly ten years since A Dance With Dragons was published, it’s not like Martin has been sitting on his hands during that time. Along with assisting in some capacity on projects like the Game of Thrones series and Elden Ring, Martin has written, published, or edited several smaller works related to the Song of Ice and Fire franchise as well as the Wild Cards series and others.

That’s what makes the prospect of Martin writing an Elden Ring novel (or reference book, short story, or whatever format he may choose) so interesting. While the popular version of the George R.R. Martin narrative since Dance with Dragons was published typically focuses on the fact that the sixth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series (Winds of Winter) still hasn’t been published, Martin has been fairly prolific during that time. It’s just that it almost feels like he’s at this point in his life where he’s more interested in publishing smaller works that expand a universe rather than locking himself in a room and not emerging until Winds of Winter is ready to be printed.

While it’s highly unlikely that Martin is going to abandon Winds of Winter and somehow make Elden Ring the next big fantasy franchise he fully commits himself to, it’s really not that crazy to suggest that Martin could take a detour into something Elden Ring related before that book is published. At the very least, it feels like a near certainty at this point that the Elden Ring game will be released before Winds of Winter is published.

So if you’re someone who was left feeling…unsatisfied with the Game of Thrones HBO series’ controversial final seasons and are still desperately waiting for George R.R. Martin’s next chapter in the fantasy franchise, don’t be too surprised if you see the author’s name on a couple of Elden Ring-related works before you get to read a book that (let’s be honest) may or may not ever come out.

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