Last week, George R.R. Martin announced the release date of a new Game of Thrones story. No, not Winds of Winter, the long awaited sixth Song of Ice and Fire book which continues to be delayed year by agonizing year as Martin inches forward on it. Rather, it’s set to be another short story set in Westeros that will be released in his friend Gardner Dozois’s latest anthology The Book of Swords on October 10th.
This is hardly the first Game of Thrones short story GRRM has put out. There have been five others: three Tales of Dunk and Egg installments, which follow the exploits of an unlikely knight and his squire nearly 100 years before the happenings of A Song of Ice and Fire. Then there’s two historical stories — both The Princess and the Queen and The Rogue Prince cover a civil war within the Targaryen family 200 years before Game of Thrones.
Now Martin will go back even further in Game of Thrones history to the reigns of the first Targaryen kings. Take it away, George!
“The Sons of the Dragon” is the title. Those of you who enjoyed “The Princess and the Queen” in DANGEROUS WOMEN and “The Rogue Prince” in ROGUES will probably like this one too. It’s water from the same well. A history rather than a traditional narrative. A lot of telling, only a little showing. (The opposite of what I do in my novels). But if you’re fascinated by the politics of Westeros, as many of my readers seem to be, you should enjoy it. As the title suggests, “The Sons of the Dragon” chronicles the reigns of the second and third Targaryen kings, Aenys I and Maegor the Cruel, along with their mothers, wives, sisters, children, friends, enemies, and rivals. If you’re read something to that effect on the web, good, that much is right.
For those upset that Martin took time away from doing Winds of Winter to take care of another side project (even a side project involving Westeros), he notes that he turned down editing the anthology in which the short story will appear. He also says these histories came from overflow material originally written for his World of Ice and Fire reference book, and while there will eventually be a second book of that type, for now he’s putting these extra bits that didn’t make it into World of Ice and Fire into stuff like The Book of Swords.
The unspoken plea: Try to think of this as bonus Game of Thrones content, not anything taking GRRM away from serious amounts of time writing Winds of Winter. Besides, surely book six must come out this year, right? Right??? Hopefully? Maybe?