To tide his relentlessly restless fans over until The Winds of Winter is officially published, George R. R. Martin has spent the last two years releasing excerpts of the newest installment of his epic A Song of Ice and Fire series on his website.
With a Winds of Winter publication date still not in sight, and after releasing a teaser for Wild Cards, an upcoming anthology he edited, Martin took to his LiveJournal on Tuesday night to announce the release of yet another chapter from his intensely anticipated book.
“Because I know how much bitching I’d get if I offered a new sample from Wild Cards without also doing one from A SONG OF ICE & FIRE...” the author wrote, “we’ve also changed the WINDS OF WINTER sample on my wesbite [sic], replacing the Alayne chapter that’s been there for the past year with one featuring Arianne Martell.”
Some fans may already be familiar with the material, as Martin has read it at conventions before. But for those who weren’t lucky enough to be in attendance when those readings happened, the chapter delves deeper into who Prince Doran’s first-born daughter and heir of Sunspear, Arianne Martell, is.
Show-only fans aren’t familiar with Arianne, as the HBO series never incorporated her—a move that angered some back when Dorne and its major players were first revealed. Books fans, however, know Arianne for her expected inheritance of the desert region’s throne—and her thirst to exact revenge on the Lannisters after Oberyn Martell’s death.
The latest chapter posted to Martin’s site is a continuation of Arianne’s complicated story, which previously centered on intricate plans of vengeance and failed marriage plots. The excerpt follows Arianne, joined by her younger cousin Elia Sand, as she secretly travels north to meet with Connington and Aegon, and begin executing her part in House Martell’s impending betrayal.
You can read the chapter here, but don’t misconstrue this new tease as a sign that the book’s release is anywhere near at hand. Martin made a point to say that the release of this new material doesn’t signal the book is publication-ready. All we can do for now is savor the TV show—which happens to be in top form lately—and wait for the Winds.