If you’re chomping at the bit to read Winds of Winter (…of course you are!), George R.R. Martin has a little treat for you.
The Song of Ice and Fire author released a new chapter, “Arianne,” from Winds of Winter on his official website on Wednesday, replacing a previous selection that had been on the site for a while. Worth noting: This new Winds of Winter chapter has been read by Uncle George at conventions past, so it may not be entirely new to everyone. Here’s how the chapter begins:
All along the south coast of Cape Wrath rose crumbling stone watchtowers, raised in ancient days to give warning of Dornish raiders stealing in across the sea. Villages had grown up about the towers. A few had flowered into towns.
The Peregrine made port at the Weeping Town, where the corpse of the Young Dragon had once lingered for three days on its journey home from Dorne. The banners flapping from the town’s stout wooden walls still displayed King Tommen’s stag-and-lion, suggesting that here at least the writ of the Iron Throne might still hold sway. “Guard your tongues,” Arianne warned her company as they disembarked. “It would be best if King’s Landing never knew we’d passed this way.” Should Lord Connington’s rebellion be put down, it would go ill for them if it was known that Dorne had sent her to treat with him and his pretender. That was another lesson that her father had taken pains to teach her; choose your side with care, and only if they have the chance to win.
Martin also offered a brief update on his progress on Winds of Winter, which he had originally intended to publish before Game of Thrones season 6 started airing.
“You want to know what the Sand Snakes, Prince Doran, Areo Hotah, Ellaria Sand, Darkstar, and the rest will be up to in Winds of Winter? Quite a lot, actually. The sample will give you a taste. For the rest, you will need to wait,” Martin said.
“And no, just to spike any bullshit rumors, changing the sample chapter does NOT mean I am done. See the icon up above? Monkey is still on my back… but he’s growing, he is, and one day…”
Many questions about future plot points may be answered in the current season of Game of Thrones, which has now surpassed Martin’s progress with the books. For example, we now know what happened with Jon Snow. Of course, it’s possible that Martin’s and the show’s paths to the finish line don’t align.