Anne Groell, editor of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, teases the series’ future – and The Winds of Winter – in a new interview.

Groell, an executive editor at Penguin Random House, recently answered questions from fans at Suvudu.com, where she admitted that Martin may exceed the promised seven books of his wildly popular fantasy series.

Anne Groell

“I begin to wonder,” Groell writes, in response to a question of whether Martin could wrap up A Song of Ice and Fire in seven books. Though, “seven [books] is what we currently have under contract,” the editor teases that she had long been convinced that the story would be bigger than Martin anticipated. Though Groell had always championed the idea of “Seven books for Seven Kingdoms,” she hints that the matter may not be quite so clear-cut.

“As I recently learned while editing The World of Ice and Fire… there are really technically eight kingdoms,” Groell reveals. “So, maybe eight books for Seven Kingdoms would be okay.”

Groell also adresses the highly-anticipated release date for The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in Martin’s series.

“When I have a date, you will have a date,” she assures readers. “I promise you we will put the word out as soon as we know. All I can say is that George is hard at work, and we hope to have it reasonably soon.”

But whenever The Winds of Winter does arrive, Groell promises that the story will not disappoint. “It’s amazing,” she writes. “In fact, when I first read the partial back in 2013, I immediately wrote George an impassioned plea to please not let the show get out ahead of him.” Though Groell refrains from any predictions regarding Game of Thrones and the book series, she is firm on her preferred outcome on a race between the two mediums.

“I definitely want [Martin's] version to be my first version,” she writes. “And I think a lot of you want that, too. His vision started this; I very much want his vision to end it, too.”

Still, Groell is enthusiastic about Game of Thrones. “I love it,” she writes. “It’s the only show I treat like a movie… we turn off all the lights and pretend we are in a movie theater, and that nothing else exists.”