'The Winds of Winter' release date news, plot rumors: Sixth book will allegedly be released before 'Game of Thrones' season 7

(Reuters/Denis Balibouse)George R.R. Martin, author of the "Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series that is the basis of the television series... DENIS BALIBOUSE July 25, 2014 06:48pm EDT

The sixth book in George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series — titled "The Winds of Winter" — has been one of the most highly anticipated novels to ever come out for the past few years.

It has been five years now since the last installment was released, and by the looks of it, eager fans might have to wait even longer.

Word has it that there is a good chance that "The Winds of Winter" will get released right before HBO premieres the much-awaited "Game of Thrones" season 7 sometime later next year. The reason behind this speculation is the fact that the next season of the show will cover most of the details included in the sixth book, according to reports.

If this turns out to be true, it would seem quite logical for "The Winds of Winter" to come out first before the television adaptation. But since everything is still up for debate, fans are advised to keep an open mind until HBO and George R.R. Martin officially release a statement.

Meanwhile, one fan theory has recently emerged on the internet claiming that the White Walkers are not exactly evil like what has been portrayed in the books and in "Game of Thrones."

According to the theory — which was posted on Reddit by user We Are The Shadows — the White Walkers (also known as the "Others") were originally created by the "Original Pact" as some sort of Vanguard or perhaps a last resort that will prevent the unity of Ice (Stark) and Fire (Targaryen).

We Are The Shadows suggests that the White Walkers were created to prevent a Stark and Targaryen alliance, which could easily dominate the whole continent of Westeros. The Stark's are capable of Warging – taking control of an animal's mind – and the Targaryen's can hatch Dragon eggs.

Meanwhile, there is no official word yet on the release date of "The Winds of Winter" but many believed that "Game of Thrones" season 7 will premiere in the Summer of 2017.