George R.R. Martin Reveals the Title of His New Story

Battle Beneath the Gods Eye, Art by Michael Komarck

Battle Beneath the Gods Eye, Art by Michael Komarck

There was a flurry of excitement last week, with the news that George R.R. Martin would be releasing a new story from the world of A Song of Ice and Fire. Fans speculated we might see a new addition to the writer’s Dunk & Egg novella series, or another sample from The Winds of Winter. It also seemed very possible we might see another piece of Westerosi history, a la “The Princess and The Queen.”

Yesterday, Martin published a blog entry detailing the new anthology and his own contribution, putting an end to the swirl of rumors.

As many had speculated would be the case, Martin reveals that the novella in Book of Swords will be his Targaryen history piece, “The Sons of the Dragon.” If the title is familiar to you, there’s a reason why. The story is not one-hundred-percent new, as it was first read to fans at LonCon in 2014.

Martin explains:

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.

Martin began working on the Targaryen history several years ago for The World of Ice and Fire, and finding he’d written too much, pulled out several large chunks. Ultimately these Targaryen stories detailing the history of Westeros will be presented unabridged together in a book called Fire & Blood.

Martin also shares in his blog entry the “impressive” lineup for Book of Swords, including an introduction by the anthology’s editor Gardner Dozois, and tales from Robin Hobb, C.J. Cherryh, Garth Nix, and many more.

Introduction by Gardner Dozois
THE BEST MAN WINS, by K.J. Parker
HIS FATHER’S SWORD, by Robin Hobb
THE HIDDEN GIRL, by Ken Liu
THE SWORD OF DESTINY, by Matthew Hughes
“I AM A HANDSOME MAN,” SAID APOLLO CROW, by Kate Elliott
THE TRIUMPH OF VIRTUE, by Walter Jon Williams
THE MOCKING TOWER, by Daniel Abraham
HRUNTING, by C.J. Cherryh
A LONG, COLD TRAIL, by Garth Nix
WHEN I WAS A HIGHWAYMAN, by Ellen Kushner
THE SMOKE OF GOLD IS GLORY by Scott Lynch
THE COLGRID CONUNDRUM, by Rich Larson
THE KING’S EVIL, by Elizabeth Bear
WATERFALLING, by Lavie Tidhar
THE SWORD TYRASTE, by Cecelia Holland
THE SONS OF THE DRAGON, by George R.R. Martin

Book of Swords will be in stores this October in hardcover.

32 responses

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    1. Yay!!! I love getting backstory so I’m excited :). And I don’t think it took away from Winds releasing because it was material he already had written so it’s a bonus as far as I’m concerned. Hopefully we get Winds later this year that would be even better!!!

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    2. Ah! Good news: I just finished screencapping the heck out of “The Faith Militant” Histories & Lore featurette from Season 5 (which sort of summarizes the story of the Faith Militant uprising and the Sons of the Dragon).

      http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/The_Faith_Militant_(Histories_%26_Lore)

      I used them to round out our article on “The Faith Militant uprising”.

      http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Faith_Militant_uprising

      You might want to edit a link to the pages in the main news post (I give a big summary in the “in the books” section).

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    3. He must be releasing this to give his fans something to read. This implies to me that TWOW is no way near being done.

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    4. Are these in the Westeros world?

      Those of you who enjoyed “The Princess and the Queen” in DANGEROUS WOMEN and “The Rogue Prince” in ROGUES

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    5. A new story that isn’t a new story because it’s material he’s written and cut out of another book? Got it.

      I wish my bosses were as lenient with my deadlines as GRRM’s editors.

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    6. Flayed Potatoes,

      oh I didntknow..
      I want to read all the stuff he wrote that’s in the westeros world… (besides a world of ice and fire cause you know)

      I thought the only other stuff he wrote besides ASOIAF books 1-5 was the dunk and egg stuff

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    7. Dee Stark,

      He has those 2 stories as well, which you could definitely read now since they’re not ongoing like the main series is. These and TWOIAF offer a lot of background info and context.

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    8. Dee Stark,

      You can find them in the anthologies, so I don’t think they can be purchased alone. Maybe you can buy the ebook versions if you have a kindle or tablet.

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    9. I guess I should look at the positive side. If this is old material, at least it means it hasn’t taken up the time GRRM allocates to writing Winds (if he does at all).
      But frankly, I am so over these Targaryen histories, especially considering we already have the gist of the story in TWOIAF.

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    10. ghost of winterfell,

      I always want more detail. Hell, The Princess and the Queen itself had a ton cut out of it, and you can really tell from reading it; comparing it to the sections on the reigns of Viserys I and Aegon II in The World of Ice and Fire is really no comparison.

      In particular, I really want to know more about Alyssa Velaryon from this story, since the sketches of her life that we get in TWOIAF are quite fascinating (though this story presumably will stop before her time as Queen Regent and then Lady of Storm’s End).

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    11. Sean C.,

      I also want more details when I am interested in the subject matter 🙂 . Dance of dragons had enough material to be made into a standalone book. The story itself was interesting enough, but I do not particularly like his style of making a maester as a narrator. Since the narrator did not know the participants, we cannot really know any of the characters. So what we are really left with is just a narration if the events whereas what really interests me is not just the bare events, but the characters themselves.

      I would personally have loved to know what were Rhaenyra’s feelings towards Criston Cole, towards Daemon Targaryen, her first husband, her children from Strong ( I forgot his first name) and her Targaryen children. How was her relationship with her father, the interrelationships between the other characters. These were the details that would have got me interested. The sequence of the events themselves, I already knew the gist of it. Because if this, I was left dissatisfied with the book.

      Since this coming book will also likely be in the same vein, I am not particularly interested I guess.

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    12. Dee Stark,

      Hey Dee, I personally don’t care for the “histories” since they are written from a pretty boring PoV. GRRM is at his best, IMO, when he allows the inner lives of his characters to take center stage. In these, it’s like reading a history book. I mean, it’s a history book with dragons, so that’s cool, but still basically a dispassionate and impersonal perspective in pretty stark contrast with what he does in ASOAIF and D&E. Also, I’ll never buy twoiaf since I don’t want to give Lindaaa my $$.

      In general I personally think that the Histories and Lore featurettes on the blurays/DVDs (which you can find online) are much better and provide even more detail in some cases than Rogue Prince or PatQ. Plus, you get voice-acting from the cast, which is very cool.

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    13. Jack Sharpe,

      He’s not releasing them alone, he agreed to be part of this book some time ago…. he needed to respect his engagement. IMO, the fact that he uses a recycled story actually does show that he’s been working solely on ASOIAF, not taking time apart for something else.

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