'House of the Dragon' or 'The Winds of Winter'? Deux Moi's George R.R. Martin Rumor, Explained

A viral rumor is contributing to fans' renewed hope that 'The Winds of Winter' will be published soon.

House of the Dragon Season 2 is just hours away, but fans of Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire have been looking forward to other big releases for years now. Their heartstrings may be getting played in a new rumor from the Instagram account Deux Moi, which publishes blind item celebrity gossip. The rumor suggests that George R.R. Martin's long-awaited novel The Winds of Winter might be published soon at last, but this could easily be the latest case of wishful thinking.

Last week, Deux Moi published an anonymous tip from an insider who named themselves "Winter Wolf." They said: "A prominent author from New Mexico has hired catering for an upcoming event at his house, likely celebrating the impending release of his long-awaited book. Allegedly, a big dragon-shaped cake is gonna be served at the party." For those unfamiliar, Deux Moi publishes anonymous tips like this about all kinds of celebrities and entertainment, with no verification or journalistic deep-dives to follow up. Tips may come from publicists, household staff, celebrities themselves, or simply online trolls.

For the ASoIaF fandom, grasping at straws is a bit of a specialty, so this story hit hard in online circles. That doesn't mean it was widely believed, but it was thoroughly discussed and dissected on social media, Reddit and dedicated fan forums. Those that don't follow celebrity gossip had to discern how much they can trust Deux Moi for the first time ever, looking back at previous stories where the rumors have been completely wrong.

In this case, the story about Martin seems perfectly plausible – but that's part of the problem as well. The author might very well be hosting a party at his house in Santa Fe, New Mexico with a thematic cake, whether that's to celebrate the long-awaited publication of his book or simply the premiere of House of the Dragon Season 2. While fans' first hope would be the book, Martin has plenty to celebrate right now including the renewal of House of the Dragon Season 3, the production of the other spinoff, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight or progress on other projects behind the scenes.

Fans are also stacking this rumor up with other hopeful evidence that The Winds of Winter might be finished soon. Martin famously suffered from writer's block throughout the run of Game of Thrones on HBO, but starting in 2020 he reported major progress on his book. He even predicted at one point that it would be done in time for WorldCon 2020, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, fans are fixated on the fact that Martin will be attending WorldCon 2024 – his first appearance at the event since he promised to have the book finished before the 2020 convention.

The concept of synergy in marketing makes all this guesswork more frustrating, as it is circular in logic. One the one hand, if Martin were to announce The Winds of Winter at last it would make sense for him to do so around the release of House of the Dragon Season 2 in the hopes of generating maximum publicity. At the same time, it would make sense to allow rumors about The Winds of Winter to proliferate around the premiere of another TV season to capitalize on that viral anticipation. Unfortunately, this factor works two well in any direction for it to contribute much to fans' final conclusions.

We know for sure that House of the Dragon Season 2 premieres on Sunday, June 16 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and Max. Any news that may or may not accompany that announcement will have to be a surprise. Martin's books are available now in print, digital and audiobook formats.