Rejoice, Game of Thrones fans. We still have to wait until 2019 for the final season of the TV series, but if you need something to tide you over — not only are two books that delve into the history of the Targaryens in Westeros on the way. But one of them, Fire and Blood, is out in November, and author George R.R. Martin has posted an excerpt from it on his blog.
A lot of the material has been seen already, Martin acknowledges, but there are nevertheless “hundreds” of pages of material that he says have never appeared before anywhere (“in any form, abridged or unabridged”).
Per the GoT news site Winter is Coming, this portion below tells the story of Queen Alysanne Targaryen and a trip to the North she made more than 200 years before the events laid out in Game of Thrones. Here, she meets the tightly wound lord of Winterfell Alaric Stark, who growls at one point about, you know, winter coming.
Without further adieu:
“Her reception at Winterfell did nothing to disabuse the queen’s fears as to what she might expect from House Stark. Even before dismounting to bend the knee, Lord Alaric looked askance at Her Grace’s clothing and said, ‘I hope you brought something warmer than that.’ He then proceeded to declare that he did not want her dragon inside his walls. ‘I’ve not seen Harrenhal, but I know what happened there.’ Her knights and ladies he would receive when they got here, ‘and the king too, if he can find the way,’ but they should not overstay their welcome. ‘This is the North, and winter is coming. We cannot feed a thousand men for long.’ When the queen assured him that only a tenth that number would be coming, Lord Alaric grunted and said, ‘That’s good. Fewer would be even better.’ As had been feared, he was plainly unhappy that King Jaehaerys had not deigned to accompany her, and confessed to being uncertain how to entertain a queen. ‘If you are expecting balls and masques and dances, you have come to the wrong place.'”
There’s also this intriguing bit from Archmaester Gyldayn, writing about what happened when Alysanne took her dragon, Silverwing to Castle Black. In the portion of the excerpt below, we see a dragon refusing to cross the Wall. “Obviously,” the folks at Winter is Coming note, “whatever was stopping Silverwing didn’t stop Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion when Daenerys took them beyond the Wall in season 7, much to the horror of everyone who isn’t the Night King. It’ll be interesting to see if this wrinkle will change the story when Martin gets to that point in his Song of Ice and Fire novels.”
“The men of the Night’s Watch were as thunderstruck by the queen’s dragon as the people of White Harbor had been, though the queen herself noted that Silverwing ‘does not like this Wall.’ Though it was summer and the Wall was weeping, the chill of the ice could still be felt whenever the wind blew, and every gust would make the dragon hiss and snap. ‘Thrice I flew Silverwing high above Castle Black, and thrice I tried to take her north beyond the Wall,’ Alysanne wrote to Jaehaerys, ‘but every time she veered back south again and refused to go. Never before has she refused to take me where I wished to go. I laughed about it when I came down again, so the black brothers would not realize anything was amiss, but it troubled me then and it troubles me still.'”
You can read the full version that Martin has released here. The book itself comes out on November 20.