Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Winds of Winter Arianne II (Sample chapter)

The Winds of Winter (A Song of Ice and Fire, #6)

I'm going to do something a little different- I'm going to do a post on a book that hasn't been released! Everyone knows that The Winds of Winter is taking forever to come out, and it's easy to forget sometimes that several sample chapters have been released. So I'm going to take a look at some of those, as time allows, and share my thoughts. Bear in mind these are sample chapters and things may change, and obviously there will be spoilers for the series.  Arianne is the daughter of Doran Martell, the prince of Dorne, and has been sent north to meet with Jon Connington, who has returned from exile to put a previously- thought- dead Targaryen on the throne. 

Arianne's first chapter details her trip north to meet with the sellswords who are taking over Cape Wrath. Aboard the Peregrine they put into a place called Weeping Town where they buy horses for the next leg of their journey- at five times the usual prices. Apparently the sellswords are taking every horse they can. There are lots of rumors in town, and she sends her men to all three taverns to collect the news. From there they set off. The way runs through the rainwood, and Martin does an excellent job describing the lush greenery- mushrooms growing on trees, moisture dripping everywhere, even the sounds of little waterfalls. Everything is green and wet. 

They take shelter in a cave and Elia Sand (Oberyn's daughter) decides to explore- the cave extends quite a ways back apparently. They tell her to be careful and while she's gone Arianne thinks about her brother Quentyn, off in Slavers Bay to woo Daenerys. She thinks that Dany is young and will want someone attractive and daring, that Quent is too plain for her. Also she muses on Myrcella heading north, to Kings Landing, and how the Lannisters can try to spring their trap to kill Trystane, but it won't succeed since Trystane stayed behind in Dorne. 

When Elia doesn't return they search for her, finding an immense cave with stone columns, all carved in the likeness of faces. The children of the forest were here at one time. Eventually they find Elia, fishing for blind fish in an underground pool, and Arianne chastises her pretty sternly. From there they eventually make it to Mistwood, and are greeted by two rather loutish mercenaries- Young John Mudd and Chain. They dine with the dowager lady of Mistwood, and when Arianne asks her how she's being treated, she says she hasn't been raped, but some of the serving girls have. When Mudd protests that they don't rape- Connington forbids it- Chain allows that some girls might have been persuaded

Throughout all this Arianne sends ravens back to her father with the news she collects. They leave the next day for Griffin's Roost and after eight days they arrive. Chain accompanies them during part of the trip and lets slip that Connington means to take Storm's End, one of the most secure fortresses in the realm. They are met by Lysono Maar of the Golden Company when they approach the Roost, and Arianne thinks that he makes her skin crawl. She asks him if it's true they have elephants, and why it is that they do not have dragons. He replies they do have a dragon- Aegon. 

I feel like this conversation, which gets a little sharp, may be foreshadowing the reckoning I feel is coming for Aegon. There's a lot of skepticism about whether he truly is Rhaegar's son, and when Arianne tells Maar that dragons trump elephants, that may be a sign. In any event they reach Griffin's Roost and meet with Halden Halfmaester, who is holding it for Connington while he's out in the field. There Arianne is informed that Connington has indeed taken Storm's End, and that an army is marching south from King's Landing in response. I'm assuming that these are Tyrell forces.

 Halfmaester plans to send her on to Storm's End by ship, but Daemon counsels her not to go lest she get stuck there in the fighting. Arianne insists however, and wonders privately if the mercs would even let her demur at this point. She wants to meet this Connington, and especially Aegon, to take his measure. Is he really Targaryen?  


  1. Oh cool, I didn't realize there were sample chapters for this book. I just started reading the series and am only about a quarter of the way through the first one. I'm reading a little slow though, only since I know there is no hurry since we are still waiting on this next book to be published. lol

    1. There's like 5 or more. And yeah you probably have a little bit o time!! :)

  2. One of these days I'm going to read this series. You confused me at first because I was thinking I thought I had read this before, but then I realized it was a different chapter you were reviewing!

  3. This is great, Greg! I didn't even know sample chapters had been released until I saw your last post. Thank you for sharing :)

  4. Eep! This book is seriously taking FOREVER! I need to get my hands on the sample chapters and read them! But then I fear that a) it will stoke an interest that's better left lying for now because THIS BOOK IS TAKING FOREVER
    b) something will change and I'll never be able to remember what actually happened in the book vs sample chapters vs TV show (I already get confused between books and the show)
    and c) I actually need to reread the entire series to get myself properly reacquainted and hopefully pick up on some Easter eggs I didn't see the first time around.

    I'm also pretty skeptical about this Aegon being the real deal by the way..... I just can't see it....