George R. R. Martin released his last ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ novel, entitled ‘A Dance With Dragons’ almost three years ago. ‘The Winds of Winter’ doesn’t yet have a release date, but Martin is hard at work on what will be the sixth book in the series. Fans have raised some concern that the television series, ‘Game of Thrones’ which is based on the ‘A Song of Fire and Ice’ novels, is now adapting the third book in the series ‘A Storm of Swords’, and Martin himself has expressed that “it’s alarming” that the show which adapts his works, might soon catch up to him.
In order to help appease patient readers, as well as to help hype the launch of ‘Game of Thrones’ season four, Martin has released a previously unreleased sample chapter. The chapter is entitled ‘Mercy’ continuing Martin’s tradition of naming his chapters after the focal character. The only people beside Martin who have read this chapter are his editors, his wife Parris and ‘Game of Thrones’ executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss.
“The new chapter is actually an old chapter. But no, it’s not one I’ve published or posted before, and I don’t even think I’ve read it at a con (could be wrong there, I’ve done readings at so many cons, it all tends to blur together). So it’s new in that it is material that no one but my editors (well, and Parris, and David and Dan, and a few others) have ever seen before, but it’s old in that it was written a long time ago, predating any of the samples that you have seen. The first draft was, at any rate. I’ve rewritten it a dozen times since then.”
Now read the first few paragraphs of “Mercy” here:
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.
She had fastened the shutters back so the morning sun might wake her. But there was no sun outside the window of Mercy’s little room, only a wall of shifting grey fog. The air had grown chilly… and a good thing, else she might have slept all day. It would be just like Mercy to sleep through her own rape.
Heaven forbid! You can read the entire chapter on Martin’s website.