THE WINDS OF WINTER by George R.R. Martin

The king’s voice was choked with anger. “You are a worse pirate than Salladhor Saan.”

Theon Greyjoy opened his eyes. His shoulders were on fire and he could not move his hands. For half a heartbeat he feared he was back in his old cell under the Dreadfort, that the jumble of memories inside his head was no more than the residue of some fever dream. I was asleep, he realized. That, or passed out from the pain. When he tried to move, he swung from side to side, his back scraping against stone. He was hanging from a wall inside a tower, his wrists chained to a pair of rusted iron rings.

The air reeked of burning peat. The floor was hard-packed dirt. Wooden steps spiraled up inside the walls to the roof. He saw no windows. The tower was dank, dark, and comfortless, its only furnishings a high-backed chair and a scarred table resting on three trestles. No privy was in evidence, though Theon saw a champerpot in one shadowed alcove. The only light came from the candles on the table. His feet dangled six feet off the floor.

“My brother’s debts,” the king was muttering. “Joffrey’s too, though that baseborn abomination was no kin to me.” Theon twisted in his chains. He knew that voice. Stannis.

And so it begins. It’s a Theon chapter (who starred in many of the best chapters from A Dance with Dragons and the series, for that matter.) It’s probably one of the few tastes we’ll get of Westeros for the next few years, barring the next Dunk & Egg story and other excerpts from The Winds of Winter. Enjoy it. Savour it.

  • BCsmith December 30, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Hello and happy new years, Aidan:)

    I know you’re on vacation but I need some advice. I have (like some others I note) watched the first full season of game of thrones WITHOUT having read any of the books. But now that I have a lovely 4-book box set of the series waiting for me, I have this question to ask: can the books still be read and enjoyed if you were introduced to via the TV series?


  • aidan December 30, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Hi Brandon!

    Yep, you can absolutely still enjoy the novels even if you’ve first experienced the story through the HBO series. The first season is very faithful to A Game of Thrones, but I’d still recommend starting right at the beginning if you’re looking to jump in. Don’t skip to book two!


  • Ivo March 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Heya Brandon!
    I started reading the books after watching Season 1 of “Game of Thrones” too. I must say, I did it same way with “Lord of the rings”. That’s the best thing to do for me, if reading books that will live as movie. That way I had the faces ready in my mind while reading, and I must say, HBO made great work, character choices, everything … Now Season 2 starts in few days, no matter I have read the book, I am happy to see it on the screen. As you have seen (I see, is a bit old that post, but others might have the same question), there are some differences so I am curious how they will make the second book. The bad thing is … after book five there comes a long period of waiting :D