George R.R. Martin’s The Winds of Winter is possibly one of the most awaited books for avid readers. Millions of fans are now excited  to get some updates on its release date. The latest buzz reveals that the American author plans to shock fans by releasing the book during the upcoming 20th anniversary of the first book that initiated the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

If this is true, then it can be expected that The Winds of Winter is scheduled for an October 18 release. Reports say A Game of Thrones: The Illustrated Edition will be released on the 20th anniversary of the Game of Thrones book.

There are also speculations that The Winds of Winter could possibly be ready by now since George R.R. Martin has been releasing some chapters of the much-awaited book these past few months.

Via his Live Journal, the 67-year-old author has announced that there will be a special edition book on the 20th anniversary of the Game of Thrones book.

Quoting the official announcement from his friends at Bantam Spectra, R.R Martin wrote:

“First published on August 1st, 1996, A ‘Game of Thrones’ marks its twentieth anniversary today. In celebration of the fantasy masterpiece that started a cultural phenomenon, we’re excited to announce the publication of a special illustrated edition.”

Many fans were surprised by the New Jersey-born author’s announcement. Will the illustrated GoT Book be a freebie with The Winds of Winter book ? Only time will tell.

There are also talks that The Winds of Winter will be released prior to HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere, reports GamenGuide.

Of course these are just speculations. Therefore, fans should take this news with a grain of salt and wait for an official announcement by George R.R. Martin on The Winds of Winter book.