Winter is coming. Author George R.R. Martin just released an excerpt from book six in his Song of Ice And Fire series, entitled The Winds of Winter. Though there’s no firm release date on the next book in the Ice And Fire series, there’s been speculation we could see it as early as next year. The chapter was released on Martin’s website yesterday, and is titled simply “Arianne” after the Dornish Princess Arianne Martell.
It takes place on Cape Wrath, where Arianne has landed with her crew and is attempting to rendezvous with Lord Jon of House Connington. The mission is especially dangerous because Lord Connington is in revolt against the crown, thus, Arianne cannot let anyone in King’s Landing find out she is with Jon in case his rebellion fails. Martin makes an interesting note that the banner of King Tommen still hangs in Cape Wrath. He adds that it might indicate Cape Wrath is one of the few areas still loyal to the crown.
As IGN discovered, Martin also posted the Winds of Winter excerpt on his LiveJournal account, along with a note highlighting some changes he’d made to his author website regarding the sample.
“We’ve [changed] the WINDS OF WINTER sample on my website, replacing the Alayne chapter that’s been there for the past year with one featuring Arianne Martell.”
The note references a chapter in which a woman named Alayne Stone was seen nursing a baby (presumably a young Aegon Targaryen VI) and was asked to make a song for the child.
Alyane replies that our could-be Aegon already has a song, the Song of Ice And Fire. This is obviously pretty central to the series’ plot, so could we potentially see some more information about what the Song of Ice And Fire means? Is it possible this baby is Aegon’s heir, and/or the Prince That Was Promised? Only time will tell.
Fans have been clamoring for Winter for quite some time, even before Season 6 of Game of Thrones premiered on HBO on April 24. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss announced that the plot of Thrones would be altered in Season Six so as to avoid spoiling book six. There are also likely to be more events and characters in the books than the show has time or scope to discuss, so hopefully this will make Season 6 anti-spoiler.
The fact that Arianne’s chapter is so jam-packed with information might suggest Martin is on the home stretch of finishing The Winds of Winter, but there’s no surefire news on the novel just yet. Martin’s personal blog has, though, discussed that he’s been busy going to cons and tour appearances, which might stall the novel’s release further (as he puts it, “who would turn down free trips around the world?”).
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Arianne’s chapter might also be able to tell us about what we can expect in the future as well. It’s a pretty well-known fact that the Dornish were stubborn and resisted Targaryen influence during their time in Westeros, at least until Prince Rhaegar Targaryen married the Dornish Princess Elia Martell.
There is a passage in the new chapter that talks about a possible marriage between Danerys Targaryen and Arianne’s brother, Quentyn. Is history repeating itself? Arianne’s thoughts mention that Dany needs SunSpear if she is going to sit on the Iron Throne, possibly foreshadowing another marriage alliance.
Arianne also says she hopes Danerys will be more gentle with Quentyn than she was with her brother Viserys, whom she allowed to be killed. Could that foreshadow another war between Dorne and the Targaryens? Let us know your thoughts below, and feel free to click over to Martin’s website if you want to check out the chapter for yourself.
[Image Via bat2mayur89, Deviantart.com]