Something amazing happened last night. While the night was dark and full of snorers, George R. R. Martin, supreme overlord of Westeros (since he wrote the book), gave Game of Thrones fans a big old treat, without so much as a warning whisper.
He just released a sample of his upcoming novel The Winds of Winter, on his website. A 3000-word sample, to be specific.
This comes at a time when fans have been baying for a little more juice from A Song of Ice and Fire, especially considering the fact that the TV show hasn't just surpassed the books, it's gone off a tangent of its own as well, separate storyline et al.
This little snippet works to placate the anxious masses, what with the last release being A Dance with Dragons back in 2011.
“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.
The excerpt is from one of the chapters based in Dorne, and follows Arianne Martell, a character who isn't on the show, at least not yet.
That night Arianne dispatched the first of her ravens back to Dorne, reporting to her father on all they’d seen and heard. The next morning her company set out for Mistwood, as the first rays of the rising sun were slanting through the peaked roofs and crooked alleys of the Weeping Town.
It was time to sleep. They had long leagues to ride upon the morrow. It was only as she settled down that Arianne realized Elia Sand had not returned from her explorations. Her sisters will kill me seven different ways if anything has happened to her.
As you can imagine, reactions have been rabid, with the Twitterati exhibiting their usual passion for all things Game of Thrones. After such a long wait, who can blame them?
Well, I guess the plus side of being up at 4am is that I can now brace myself for all the "omg GRRM posted a new DORNISH chapter" comments— Samantha (@SamDianeK) May 11, 2016
tfw grrm quietly drops a winds of winter preview chapter pic.twitter.com/bbWDfktLGc— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) May 11, 2016
You can sift through the whole sample here. Happy reading!