(There are spoilers for Season 6 of Game of Thrones in this post.) Since announcing that The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited (to put it mildly) sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, would not be released before Game of Thrones’s sixth season began, George R.R. Martin has been emphatic that he has been making progress and that he does, in fact, have pages.
On Tuesday, he provided evidence of said progress by placing a new sample chapter from the novel on his website. The sixth season of the television show, which premiered on April 24, seems to have inspired Martin, who is now essentially in competition with it. On his blog, Martin was lightly troll-y, writing, “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.” Many of those characters have either been killed by the TV show or were never a part of it and the chapter itself is narrated by Arianne Martell, a character who isn’t in the show and whose main plot line in the books revolves around the so-called Dornish Master Plan, which also isn’t a part of the show. In other words, this sample chapter is an emphatic reminder of just how different the books and the show are.
Unfortunately, one of the things the show and the books have in common is that Dorne is essentially a giant bog where plot and entertainment go to die. That said, the chapter posted by Martin shows the Dornish plot moving forward, which is good because that’s something the Dornish plot does not often do. And it’s even better because it shows Martin moving forward, though, as he indicated in his blog post, “just to spike any bullshit rumors, changing the sample chapter does NOT mean I am done.”