George R.R. Martin Releases a Free Chapter From The Winds of Winter: Read It Online


In recent days, George R.R. Mar­tin pub­lished a blog post that begins, “Hiya kids, hiya hiya hiya. With sea­son 4 of HBO’s GAME OF THRONES almost upon us, I thought the time was ripe for me to give my read­ers anoth­er taste of WINDS OF WINTER.” The new chap­ter, he tells us, “is actu­al­ly an old chap­ter.  But no, it’s not one I’ve pub­lished or post­ed before.” The chap­ter, called “Mer­cy,” opens with these words:

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…

Except in dreams. She took a breath to qui­et the howl­ing in her heart, try­ing to remem­ber more of what she’d dreamt, but most of it had gone already. There had been blood in it, though, and a full moon over­head, and a tree that watched her as she ran.

You can read the chap­ter in full here. Mar­tin notes that you can also enjoy a new Tyri­on chap­ter, “that is live and avail­able with the ICE & FIRE app.” It’s free on iTunes.

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