Yesterday, George R. R. Martin released an early excerpt of The Winds of Winter, Book 6 in his Song of Ice & Fire series. It’s a Theon Greyjoy chapter, one that George admits takes place before certain finishing chapters in A Dance With Dragons. This excerpt should appear early in The Winds of Winter.
Here is the beginning of the longer excerpt on George’s website:
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.
Theon Greyjoy chortled. A stab of pain went up his arms, from his shoulders to his wrists. All he had done, all he had suffered, Moat Cailin and Barrowton and Winterfell, Abel and his washerwomen, Crowfood and his Umbers, the trek through the snows, all of it had only served to exchange one tormentor for another.
“Your Grace,” a second voice said softly. “Pardon, but your ink has frozen.” The Braavosi, Theon knew. What was his name? Tycho… Tycho something… “Perhaps a bit of heat… ?”
“I know a quicker way.” Stannis drew his dagger. For an instant Theon thought that he meant to stab the banker. You will never get a drop of blood from that one, my lord, he might have told him. The king laid the blade of the knife against the ball of his left thumb, and slashed. “There. I will sign in mine own blood. That ought to make your masters happy.”
“If it please Your Grace, it will please the Iron Bank.”
Stannis dipped a quill in the blood welling from his thumb and scratched his name across the piece of parchment. “You will depart today. Lord Bolton may be on us soon. I will not have you caught up in the fighting.”
Click HERE to read the rest of it on George’s website!
Also, it is fun to note that George made the CNN What We Geeked Out About In 2011 list! He’s right at the top so take a look!
Winter is coming…!