“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,” George R.R. Martin tantalized on his “not a blog” blog earlier today. It wasn’t merely a means of baiting his more desperate, impatient fans, but rather as an introduction to actual new material from his upcoming follow-up to 2011’s A Song of Ice and Fire novel A Dance of Dragons. The excerpt — which is nearly 6,000 words long — was previously read at conventions, according to the author.
“The sample will give you a taste,” he continued, referring to a whole new chapter he’s shared on his official website. (Of course, this isn’t to say that the post was devoid of anticipation-baiting: “For the rest, you will need to wait,” he adds.)
As many of you well know, the Game of Thrones HBO series, in its sixth season, has finally started being released before corresponding parts of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, and while the creators and Martin are in communication over the goings-on in both, creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss told Entertainment Weekly that the details of this season particularly deviate from the books. So the series won’t necessarily be spoiling as much as everyone might assume, but now fans will also have all the more reasons to gripe about what’s missing or changed from either.
The chapter Martin just shared is a prime example of such deviation — given that it focuses on Princess Arianne Martell, who’s been notedly absent from the series, and who is the daughter of Prince Doran Martell, who [season 6 spoiler alert] was killed by Ellaria Sand in the first episode of the new season, but is still alive and kicking in the books. Arianne’s missing plot in the series has been noted especially since she is the heir apparent to her father’s status and wealth. The chapter sees her traveling to check in on a potential uprising — in a plot that the Telegraph says “readers believe that the showrunners will omit…altogether.”