George R.R. Martin Talks Winds of Winter Release Date and Unexpected Twist

Well we didn't get a release date, but we got a pretty optimistic prediction as to when we could expect The Winds of Winter from George R.R. Martin.  In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, George pushes forward with his intention to publish The Winds of Winter before the premiere of season 6 of Game of Thrones.

I wish it was out now.  Maybe I'm being overly optimistic about how quickly I can finish.  But I canceled tow convention appearances, I'm turning down a lore more interviews - anything I can do to clear my decks and get this done.

When asked about any regret when looking back at not continuing his writing on Winds of Winter after finishing A Dance with Dragons in 2011, George said:

I was red hot on the book and I put it aside for six months.  I was so into it.  I was pushing so hard that I was writing very well.  I should have just gone on from there, because I was so into it and it was moving so fast then.  But I didn't because I had to switch gears into the editing phase and then the book tour.  The iron does cool off, for me especially. 

Knowing how a writers mind works, and from the sounds of George's mind especially, its good to hear that he is taking a step back from the conventions and interviews.  As well as taking a step back from scripting an episode for the sixth season of Game of Thrones.  George elaborated more on the decision to step back from the scripting process for the sixth season on his Not a Blog:

After wrestling with it for a month or so, I've decided not to script an episode for season six of GAME OF THRONES.  Writing a script takes me three weeks, minimum, and longer when it is not a straight adaptation from the novels.  And really, it would cost me more time than that, since I have never been good at changing gears from one medium to another and back again.  Writing a season six script would cost me a month's work on WINDS, and maybe as much as six weeks, and I cannot afford that.  With David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Bryan Cogman on board, the scriptwriting chores for season six should be well covered.  My energies are best devoted to WINDS.  

And in an exciting reveal, George teased a new twist he has come up with for the Winds of Winter.  He doesn't give any concrete evidence who it will involve, or even what it might be, but it is very interesting nonetheless.

This is going to drive readers crazy, but i love it.  I'm still weighing whether to go that direction or not.  It's a great twist.  It's easy to do things that are shocking or unexpected, but they have to grow out of characters.  They have to grow out of situations.  Otherwise, it's just being shocking for being shocking.  But this is something that seems very organic and natural, and I could see how it would happen.  And with the various three, four characters involved...it all makes sense.  But it's nothing I've ever thought of before.  And it's nothing they can do in the show, because the show has already - on this particular character - made a couple of decisions that will preclude it, where in my case I have not made those decisions.

So what do you think of George's comments on publishing Winds before the sixth season?  Think it will happen, or is it just an overly-optimistic comment?  And what do you think this new twist might be, if he decides to go with it that is?