Winter is coming… soon. In fact, it hits this spring when Game of Thrones returns for its sixth season. While the fate of Jon Snow is still being speculated (he does figure prominently in a Game of Thrones season 6 promo), the HBO series has confirmed its season 6 premiere date via Twitter. Fans can tune in on April 24th at 9 p.m. ET.
Season six marks a significant departure in the series’ approach. Previously, the show adapted material from George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy novel series, A Song of Ice and Fire. While the TV series left out some plot lines, it did stay faithful to some of the major moments that the characters encountered. This time, the TV version will have to unveil significant plot lines that are currently not available in book form since the show’s timeline has surpassed the timing of Martin’s sixth book, The Winds of Winter, which will not be published before the series launches its next season.
“Believe me, it gave me no pleasure to type those words,” Martin said in an interview about his not-yet-completed novel. “You’re disappointed, and you’re not alone. My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed… but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me. For months now I have wanted nothing so much as to be able to say, ‘I have completed and delivered The Winds of Winter’ on or before the last day of 2015. But the book’s not done.”
Several characters’ fates hang in the balance following the show’s bloody June finale and the book series’ most recent publication, including Jon Snow, who was stabbed by members of his own brotherhood, the Night’s Watch, and Daenerys Targaryen, who was left surrounded by a horde of Dothraki with only her wounded rogue pet dragon, Drogon, nearby.
Martin’s previous book, 2011’s A Dance with Dragons, left readers wondering about the aforementioned characters, too, but come April the answers to what happens next for them and others should soon be revealed.