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Summaries of New Chapters from 'The Winds of Winter'

So far we've had two chapters officially released by George R. R. Martin for his next novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter.  The first 'Theon' was later taken down and replaced by a new chapter on his site, 'Arianne', to be released with the paperback of A Dance with Dragons.

But he has also performed readings of other chapters at various conventions, the most recent readings were from the first chapters for Tyrion and Selmy, plus an earlier one from Victarion.  This is a long post, so summaries and links to official chapters (plus obviously spoilers) can be found after the break...

From the tumblr blog of an attendee last week, descriptions are his from memory.  If you use tumblr, head over to the link and offer him a like or reblog for sharing.

Barristan Selmy

Ser Barristan Selmy leads a calvary charge out of the gates of Mereen riding on the back of Dany’s silver to challenge the Yunkish army surrounding the city. He feels very tense with knots in his stomach but knows it will pass once the fighting starts and the “world slows.” He hopes to destroy the six trebuchets firing plague infested bodies into the city in an attempt to spread disease amongst the population. Barristan is worried about how the battle will go, and acknowledges the fact that he might not survive the day. He holds onto the hope that his queen will return to defend the city soon.
As his troops charge Barristan takes note of the sellswords bravely following him into battle, and vows to never doubt their prowess or honor again. Despite taking casualties from the Yunkish arrows and bolts raining down on them, Barristan’s troops manage to charge the camps. The pit fighters of Mereen charge naked and screaming terribly into the Yunkish lines, chained together at the heel preventing any of them from retreating. The Unsullied come streaming out of the gates of Mereen marching six by six and join the fight. Barristan believes they are the only hope for victory in the battle. With the sun rising directly in their faces, the Yunkish sellswords are blinded as Barristan’s men slam right into them, causing the sellsword companies to retreat after sustaining heavy casualties.
As the battle rages, Ser Barristan suddenly notices there are thrice as many ships in the harbor than there were the day before. After a closer look, he realizes there is a massive fleet attacking the Yunkish and Qartheen ships. Due to his weak eyesight, Barristan asks one of his men to tell him what sigil this new fleet is flying. The man replies, “Squids!” It only takes him a moment to realize this is a Greyjoy fleet from halfway around the world come to join the fight. He is puzzled for a few moments as he tries to remember who was now the leader of the Greyjoys (was it Balon, or his heir, that ward of Ned Stark’s?) but rejoices when he sees the enemy fleet burning and the iron men landing on the beaches. “We have them!” he shouts.


Tyrion Lannister is in a tent amongst the Second Sons in the Yunkish camps when he hears the fighting erupt all around him. He comes out and makes jokes and conversation with some of the Second Sons while they wait for Brown Ben Plumm to return to them with orders. They order Tyrion to return to his tent to prepare for battle. Tyrion laments the fact that although he was not built for battle, the gods keep putting him in the middle of them. Tyrion enters the tent he shared with Penny and she helps him prepare for the battle.
As Tyrion suits up in mismatched armor, he remembers the first time he ever prepared for a battle when he fought in his father’s army on the Green Fork. He recalls how Shae shuddered when she heard the warhorns, and admired his mismatched armor, saying he looked fearsome. He thinks of himself as a fool for having ever believed her, wondering if she was always acting while with him. He recalls Podrick Payne being asleep the morning of the Green Fork as well, and although the boy was not the brightest he hopes the lad “found a good man to serve.” Tyrion also recalls the Blackwater and how the one time he made the mistake of removing his helmet to keep from drowning, it cost him his nose. He laments not having any wine before the battle (Penny reminds him he drank it all the night before), remarking “I’d sell my sister for a cup of wine.” to which Penny says, “You’d sell your sister for a cup of horse piss.” Tyrion laughs out loud and says, “I did not know my taste for horse piss was so well known.” During this time Tyrion also recalls Bronn, and wonders if his sister has tried to kill him yet as well.
Upon reemerging from the tent, Tyrion can hear the battle raging closer now. Although the closest fighting is a league away, he knows it will be upon them soon. Having been born in Casterly Rock, Tyrion knows what sort of savagery the iron men are capable of as they raided and burned Lannisport several times in the past. He realizes, however, that the Yunkish are completely ignorant of what the iron men are capable of, but they will soon find out. He continues to complain about the fact that they are fighting for “the wrong side.” Rhaegal and Viserion eventually join the battle as well, and begin to swoop down from the sky, scorching the earth with their breath and snatching up burnt men.
A messenger from the Yunkish leadership arrives and tells the Second Sons to prepare to join the battle dismounted. Since Brown Ben Plumm is not with them to accept the order, the Second Sons only make jokes at the messenger’s expense until he becomes angry and leaves, promising to tell the leadership of their refusal to fight. Shortly thereafter, Ben Plumm returns and calls a meeting in his tent. Tyrion hopes he can sway the Second Sons to turn their cloaks again in favor of Daenerys. They enter the tent where Tyrion sees they have also been joined by Ser Jorah Mormont. Ben Plumm reveals their orders are to flank the Unsullied from the rear, which causes all the men to exchange nervous glances of uncertainty.
Tyrion remarks on how they should turn back in favor of Dany, but before anyone can make a decision another messenger returns with orders from the new Yunkish leadership (several of them have been killed at this point in the battle). The Yunkish messenger is wearing armor with a lewd image depicted on the front which causes Tyrion to feel the man is a “kindred spirit.” The Second Sons joke amongst each other about the constantly changing leadership in the Yunkish army, and continue to avoid taking a side in the fight. The messenger also takes note of the fact that Tyrion is an escaped slave and demands that they turn him over. Ben Plumm only jokes that Tyrion can’t be a slave since he is not wearing a collar. When the messenger demands to know of what their decision is, Ser Jorah replies “This.” and drives his longsword through the back of the man’s neck as he tries to run. When the man falls he knocks over the cyvasse table in the room, and the white dragon piece lands at Tyrion’s feet. He picks it up and wipes the blood from it, and it reminds him of his hopes that the dragon queen will return to them soon because they need her. Brown Ben Plumm then jokes that they only “feigned” turning their cloaks away from Daenerys. Tyrion walks up to the dead Yunkish messenger’s body and gives it a light kick. “If that armor fits me, I want it.” He says.

There was also a transcript of an excerpt from a Victarion Chapter posted on reddit, this was transcribed from a video of the convention reading so may be more accurate unless Martin decides to make changes before publication.


The Noble Lady was a tub of a ship, as fat and wallowing as the noble ladies of the green lands. Her holds were huge, and Victarion packed them with armed men. With her would sail the other, lesser prizes that the Iron Fleet had taken on its long voyage to Slaver's Bay, a lubberly assortment of cogs, great cogs, carracks, and trading galleys salted here and there with fishing boats. It was a fleet both fat and feeble, promising much in the way of wool and wines and other trade goods and little in the way of danger. Victarion gave the command of it to Wulf One-Ear.
"The slavers may shiver when they spy your sails rising from the sea," he told him. "but once they see you plain they will laugh at their fears. Traders and fishers, that's all you are. Any man can see that. Let them get close as they like, but keep your men hidden belowdecks until you are ready. Then close, and board them. Free the slaves and feed the slavers to the sea, but take the ships. We will have need of every hull to carry us back home."
"Home," Wulf grinned. "The men'll like the sound o' that, Lord Captain. The ships first – then we break these Yunkishmen. Aye."
The Iron Victory was lashed alongside the Noble Lady, the two ships bound tight with chains and grappling hooks, a ladder stretched between them. The great cog was much larger than the warship and sat higher in the water. All along the gunwales the faces of the Ironborn peered down, watching as Victarion clapped Wulf One-Ear on the shoulder and sent him clambering up the ladder. The sea was smooth and still, the sky bright with stars. Wulf ordered the ladder drawn up, the chains cast off. The warship and the cog parted ways. In the distance the rest of Victarion's famed fleet was raising sail. A ragged cheer went up from the crew of the Iron Victory, and was answered in kind by the men of the Noble Lady.
Victarion had given Wulf his best fighters. He envied them. They would be the first to strike a blow, the first to see that look of fear in the foemen's eyes. As he stood at the prow of the Iron Victory watching One-Ear's merchant ships vanish one by one into the west, the faces of the first foes he'd ever slain came back to Victarion Greyjoy. He thought of his first ship, of his first woman. A restlessness was in him, a hunger for the dawn and the things this day would bring. Death or glory, I will drink my fill of both today. The Seastone Chair should've been his when Balon died, but his brother Euron had stolen it from him, just as he had stolen his wife many years before. He stole her and he soiled her, but he left it for me to slay her.
All that was done and gone now, though. Victarion would have his due at last. I have the horn, and soon I will have the woman. A woman lovelier than the wife he made me kill.
"Captain." The voice belonged to Longwater Pyke. "The oarsmen await your pleasure."
Three of them, and strong ones. "Send them to my cabin. I'll want the priest as well."
The oarsmen were all big. One was a boy, one a brute, one a bastard’s bastard. The Boy had been rowing for less than a year, the Brute for twenty. They had names, but Victarion did not know them. One had come from Lamentation, one from Sparrow Hawk, one from Spider Kiss. He could not be expected to know the names of every thrall who had ever pulled an oar in the Iron Fleet.
“Show them the horn,” he commanded, when the three had been ushered into his cabin.
Moqorro brought it forth, and the dusky woman lifted up a lantern to give them all a look. In the shifting lantern light the hell-horn seemed to writhe and turn in the priest’s hands like a serpent fighting to escape. Moqorro was a man of monstrous size – big-bellied, broad-shouldered, towering – but even in his grasp the horn looked huge.
“My brother found this thing on Valyria,” Victarion told the thralls. “Think how big the dragon must’ve been to bear two of these upon his head. Bigger than Vhagar or Meraxes, bigger than Balerion the Black Dread.” He took the horn from Moqorro and ran his palm along its curves. “At the Kingsmoot on Old Wyk one of Euron’s mutes blew upon this horn. Some of you will remember. It was not a sound that any man who heard it will ever forget.”
“They say he died,” the Boy said, “him who blew the horn.”
“Aye. The horn was smoking after. The mute had blisters on his lips, and the bird inked across his chest was bleeding. He died the next day. When they cut him open his lungs were black.”
“The horn is cursed,” said the Bastard’s Bastard.
“A dragon’s horn from Valyria,” said Victarion. “Aye, it’s cursed. I never said it wasn’t.” He brushed his hand across one of the red gold bands and the ancient glyph seemed to sing beneath his fingertips. For half a heartbeat he wanted nothing so much as to sound the horn himself. Euron was a fool to give me this, it is a precious thing, and powerful. With this I’ll win the Seastone Chair, and then the Iron Throne. With this I’ll win the world.
“Claggorn blew the horn thrice and died for it. He was as big as any of you, and strong as me. So strong that he could twist a man’s head right off his shoulders with only his bare hands, and yet the horn killed him.”
“It will kill us too, then,” said the Boy.
Victarion did not oft forgive a thrall for talking out of turn, but the Boy was young, no more than twenty, and soon to die besides. He let it pass.
“The mute sounded the horn three times. You three will sound it only once. Might be you’ll die, might be you won’t. All men die. The Iron Fleet is sailing into battle. Many on this very ship will be dead before the sun goes down – stabbed or slashed, gutted, drowned, burned alive – only the Gods know which of us will still be here come the morrow. Sound the horn and live and I’ll make free men of you, one or two or all three. I’ll give you wives, a bit of land, a ship to sail, thralls of your own. Men will know your names.”
“Even you, Lord Captain?” asked the Bastard’s Bastard.
“I’ll do it then.”
“And me,” said the Boy.
The Brute crossed his arms and nodded.
If it made the three feel braver to believe they had a choice, let them cling to that. Victarion cared little what they believed, they were only thralls.
“You will sail with me on Iron Victory,” he told them, “but you will not join the battle. Boy, you’re the youngest – you’ll sound the horn first. When the time comes you will blow it long and loud. They say you are strong. Blow the horn until you are too weak to stand, until the last bit of breath has been squeezed from you, until your lungs are burning. Let the freedmen hear you in Meereen, the slavers in Yunkai, the ghosts in Astapor. Let the monkeys shit themselves at the sound when it rolls across the Isle of Cedars. Then pass the horn along to the next man. Do you hear me? Do you know what to do?”
The Boy and the Bastard’s Bastard tugged their forelocks; the Brute might’ve done the same, but he was bald.
“You may touch the horn. Then go.”
They left him one by one. The three thralls, and then Moqorro. Victarion would not let him take the hell-horn.
“I will keep it here with me, until it is needed.”
“As you command. Would you have me bleed you?”
Victarion seized the dusky woman by the wrist and pulled her to him. “She will do it. Go pray to your red god. Light your fire, and tell me what you see.”
Moqorro’s dark eyes seemed to shine. “I see dragons.”

And if you never got the chance to read the official released chapters, here is the link to the Theon Chapter.  I cannot say whether or not it is still official since Martin pulled it down, perhaps he plans to scrap it completely or make changes, but it does give you some indication of how things may start out in The Winds of Winter for Stannis, Theon, Asha and Winterfell.

Finally, the only official chapter released currently: Arianne, which you'll find on his blog here.  (Update: Barristan Selmy chapter now included in the Dance with Dragons paperback release.)

As for when the book is due to come out, don't ask (we're running out of Starks).  Martin realizes now more than ever with the show catching up to him that he needs to get the next book out.   Personally I think we may see it in 2015, but you never know.  Despite his crazy schedule and various projects, he has been hard at work at it and it sounds like he's gotten a good chunk done.  But, his plans are to hit possibly 1500 pages, so there is still a lot of work to go.

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