winds of winterHuge news for Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire nerds! Just as fans of the television show are gearing up for what's going to be an amazing season 4, series author George R. R. Martin released a new chapter from Winds of Winter.

Martin told readers that he would be releasing another sample from the sixth installment of A Song of Ice and Fire, and of course we had no choice but to geek out. Though he said it's an old chapter that no one's seen before, no one really cared, they just wanted to see the damn chapter. And it's got a pleasantly unexpected twist.

As fans know, Martin’s chapter titles are character names -- each comes from the point of view of a different character. This one is called “Mercy.” Here's the beginning:

She woke with a gasp, not knowing who she was, or where.

The smell of blood was heavy in her nostrils ... or was that her nightmare, lingering? She had dreamed of wolves again, of running through some dark pine forest with a great pack at her hells, hard on the scent of prey.

Half-light filled the room, grey and gloomy. Shivering, she sat up in bed and ran a hand across her scalp. Stubble bristled against her palm. I need to shave before Izembaro sees. Mercy, I’m Mercy, and tonight I’ll be raped and murdered. Her true name was Mercedene, but Mercy was all anyone ever called her ...

Here's the whole chapter (though everyone clicking on it has caused it to crash at the time this was published). Sure sounds dark and ominous, doesn't it? "Raped and murdered" sadly is the fate for many of the characters in the GoT universe. Not going to spoil the chapter for you, but unlike previous prologue characters, where they're usually minor and get killed off ... well, just read to the end.

To give us even more to look forward to, recently, EW published another, very small excerpt from the book from Tyrion Lannister's point of view:

Somewhere off in the far distance, a dying man was screaming for his mother. “To horse!” a man was yelling in Ghiscari, in the next camp to the north of the Second Sons. “To horse! To horse!” High and shrill, his voice carried a long way in the morning air, far beyond his own encampment. Tyrion knew just enough Ghiscari to understand the words, but the fear in his voice would have been plain in any tongue. I know how he feels.

Sounds like everyone's having a fun time, doesn't it?

No one knows when Winds of Winter is going to be published, and waiting so long for the series to wrap up has been frustrating for many fans. But George's publisher, Jane Johnson at HarperCollins (that must be an infuriating job), says there's no date "until George delivers, and I have no idea when that will be. This is such a huge series and so convoluted and hard to structure as he approaches the end that it is going to take time to get exactly right."

Oh man. Well, we can only hope George is locked away somewhere furiously writing because we can't wait to see what happens in this sixth book and in the final installment. We have to see what happens to these beloved characters through the end. Needless to say, these sneak peeks have been a lot of fun, but everyone's waiting with bated breath for the real thing! C'mon, George!

What did you think of the twist at the end of the chapter George R. R. Martin released from Winds of Winter?

 

Image via Goodreads