Fantasy novelist George R.R. Martin posted an excerpt from long-awaited The Winds of Winter on his website. The sample from the sixth installment of his acclaimed A Song of Ice and Fire series focuses on Arianne Martell, a noblewoman from Westeros' southern-most peninsula, Dorne, who hasn't yet featured on HBO's Game of Thrones.
"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," Martin writes on his blog. "The sample will give you a taste. For the rest, you will need to wait."
Martin notes that he's previously read the nearly 6,000-word excerpt at fan conventions. The author also jumped ahead of potential chatter that he's finished with the book. "And no, just to spike any bullshit rumors, changing the sample chapter does not mean I am done," he wrote, referencing a picture of himself with a monkey. "See the icon up above? Monkey is still on my back."
The Winds of Winter delay has created an awkward scenario for HBO, as Game of Thrones Season Six could potentially spoil the book. Each season of the series has corresponded with an installment of A Song of Ice and Fire, but now the show's producers are forced to create new episodes without a novel to guide their creative choices.
"Maybe. Yes and no," Martin said of the spoiler potential in a January blog post. "Look, I never thought the series could possibly catch up with the books, but it has. The show moved faster than I anticipated and I moved more slowly. There were other factors too, but that was the main one. Given where we are, inevitably, there will be certain plot twists and reveals in season six of Game of Thrones that have not yet happened in the books. For years my readers have been ahead of the viewers. This year, for some things, the reverse will be true. How you want to handle that ... hey, that's up to you."