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I Broke the Internet

Sorry about that.

 The upload of the new sample chapter from THE WINDS OF WINTER created so much traffic to my website and blog that the servers crashed.  This is the first time I've been able to get up myself all day.

 Anyway, it seems to be easing off some.  And we are looking at ways to increase capacity.

 The "reviews" of the chapter have been amazingly enthusiastic as well.  Thanks.   I am pleased that so many of you -- thousands and maybe tens of thousands, it would seem -- enjoyed "Mercy" so much.

 I mentioned that this chapter had quite a history.  It's true.  The first draft was written more than a decade ago.  Originally, it was intended to be the opening Arya chapter after the infamous "five year gap," her first appearance in A DANCE WITH DRAGONS as initially conceived.   Then it was supposed to be a part of A FEAST FOR CROWS, after I abandoned the five year gap and split the books.  Then it was going to be the concluding Arya chapter in A DANCE WITH DRAGONS.  But it seemed more like an opening chapter than a closing one, so shortly before ADWD was published my editor and I agreed to remove it from DANCE and shift it over into WINDS.  Of course, it has been revised, tightened, polished, and tweaked at every step of the way, so the version on my website has some significant differences from the "five year gap" version.

Some of you who enjoyed meeting Mercy may not have found the other sample we've put out there of late, a new Tyrion chapter.  That one is live and available with the ICE & FIRE app, and can be found at

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/george-r.-r.-martins-world/id570015223?mt=8

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.randomhouse.woiaf

Enjoy the read.


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Mar. 27th, 2014 09:39 pm (UTC)
Nope, still broken :( I'll try again later tonight. Can't wait!!
Mar. 27th, 2014 09:57 pm (UTC)
Hey George!

Excellent chapter, maybe one of the best of the whole series so far. If the rest of TWOW can live up to that, it's going to be a wonderful reading experience.

One small question regarding the timeline of the story: Do the events in "Mercy" take place before or after Kevan's death in ADWD?

Azad Injejikian
Mar. 27th, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the behind-the-scenes commentary on the chapter!

I can absoultely see how this would have been a great introduction to Arya after the five year gap: Her identity remaining hidden until the last paragraph would have been a great reveal / reintroduction to Arya, having not known her fate after ASoS.

It's great either way, and thank you for the sneak peeks :)

Edited at 2014-03-27 10:13 pm (UTC)
Mar. 27th, 2014 10:10 pm (UTC)
George you are Rock n Roll (RR)
It was a little like ordering tix to a rock concert...refresh..refresh..until finally..got it!
Mar. 27th, 2014 10:19 pm (UTC)
Since you mentioned the long history and multiple revisions you've done for this chapter, I was wondering if you'd comment on something? There's a bit of a debate raging over whether this chapter spoils the return to power of a certain Queen, or if those references were inadvertent leftovers from earlier drafts. Can readers assume that this is, in fact, the final draft of this chapter? Or did something perhaps slip through from a previous understanding of the storyline?
Mar. 27th, 2014 10:58 pm (UTC)
It is the current draft. I would not say it is the final draft. I always do one last run-through and polish when a book is turned in, and so eventually (NOT tomorrow, let's not start rumors here) I will do that with Mercy. Even before that, the chapter's placement in the novel often requires tweaks, and I do have a long history of moving chapters around and rearranging the chronology until I hit on the best possible sequence.
(no subject) - wolverineone - Mar. 27th, 2014 11:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
It would have made... - lord_varys - Mar. 28th, 2014 01:15 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: It would have made... - grrm - Mar. 28th, 2014 01:52 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: It would have made... - Jack Pittorino - Mar. 28th, 2014 10:54 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: It would have made... - grrm - Mar. 28th, 2014 04:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: It would have made... - Jack Pittorino - Mar. 29th, 2014 12:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: It would have made... - Jack Pittorino - Mar. 29th, 2014 12:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: It would have made... - Jack Pittorino - Mar. 29th, 2014 12:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: It would have made... - Jack Pittorino - Mar. 29th, 2014 12:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aulus_poliutos - Mar. 28th, 2014 02:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 27th, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC)
Arya's development throughout and where she has ended up is one of the most interesting aspects of the series, and I want to read this chapter so bad!

But I can't, because I think the servers are on fire or something.
Steven James
Mar. 27th, 2014 10:31 pm (UTC)
I thought the Son of Kong broke the Internet, but even still, great stuff!
Paulo Passos
Mar. 27th, 2014 10:32 pm (UTC)
This is a great chapter, keep up the excellent work. Greetings from Portugal.
Mar. 27th, 2014 10:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting it! Truthfully I'll take anything I can get. Lately I've been viewing the Ice and Fire app and scrolling through the maps, learning about the locations in the far east we rarely read about. Interesting stuff, would love to hear more about them (Apparently Carcosa isn't just a locale in True Detective). Something to get me through the wait.
Brad Buckles
Mar. 27th, 2014 10:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Exceptional chapter, George! In my opinion, saving this as an opening chapter for WINDS rather than a closing one for DANCE was absolutely the right move.

By the way, what are the chances of Mercy paying a visit to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones? The draft is coming up next month and I honestly can't stand the thought of him doing more damage to a team that is (at best) hurtling toward a 6-10 season.
Mar. 27th, 2014 10:55 pm (UTC)
Sadly the android app is not available in the UK
Mar. 28th, 2014 09:03 pm (UTC)
Or in Canada!
(no subject) - Nick Schellevis - Mar. 31st, 2014 11:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Brian Bowles
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:03 pm (UTC)
This was a great chapter. This past week has been great getting to read two new chapters from The Winds of Winter. I can't wait until the full book is here.

While reading the chapter, it mentioned that the Black Pearl was the lover of a "dragon king". My first thought was that this could have been the origin of Nettles (from The Princess and the Queen). Further research showed me that the original Black Pearl was one of Aegon IV's lovers and Aegon IV lived long after the time of the Dance. But it made me wonder if Nettles still had a similar Targaryen/Summer Islander orgin?

Keep up the good work!
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:04 pm (UTC)
Preview Chapter
Hearing about the writing process of some of these chapters is always interesting to me.

That chapter was really, really good. It makes my appetite for Winds all the greater! Can't wait to hear from the other characters that didn't make it into A Dance with Dragons

I also realized a re-read of the first few might be necessary to appreciate all the subtleties of the next book. I caught some of the subtleties in this chapter, but I'm sure I missed many others.
Mark Villanueva
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:04 pm (UTC)
New Chapter Mercy
I read it last night after I saw that is was available. I was about to tell one of my book reading friends today about the chapter, she already knew and exclaimed the site is down :((((

She is patiently waiting now but I know she will enjoy as much as I did too. I got to say, the subject of the chapter is one that many of us are chomping at the bit to know more about. She's got to be number one for me, and there is a very close second. But I rather not say anything about that.

Thanks again GRRM, Enjoy the moment, and I grow in further anticipation of the new book.
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:05 pm (UTC)
Wonderful chapter and tease. Thanks for sharing it with us!
maria jimenez
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:10 pm (UTC)
mercy, me
I thought it was impossible for me to love it even more. I underestimated you, my bad! Loved your explanation, and the understory of the chapter. The Mercy and the Theon ones´ have been my favorites so far.
Thank you another time.
Rulibeth Caizales Rovero
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:13 pm (UTC)
It's not fair! Well, nothing with you is!
Thanks, I don't have a smartphone, so I'm not able to read it. Thank you very much! My life is more miserable now. Actually I'm miserable since I finished ADWD, and I'm a bit more with every chapter you release from WOW.

By the way, love your work you fat bastard!
Shayne Gonzalez
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:24 pm (UTC)
Amazing chapter George! Definitely one of my favorite in the series and probably my favorite Arya chapter! Been re-reading the books over again recently and it's great to have something new to keep my mind ticking over until the Winds Of Winter is published! Hope the writing is going well!
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:30 pm (UTC)
As I cannot be the hero, let me be the monster, and lesson them in fear in place of love.
Well, frankly Martin, I do not understand why you have released this chapter. It was far too good and as soon as I read it, I wanted to read it again. As soon as I re-read it, I wished I had the full book so I could read the stories of other characters, and have my questions finally answered.

This chapter was incredible, and it was so good to see another name taken off the list, with Arya being Arya. I don't know how long you actually worked on it (total hours including editing) but I am so thankful, but also very upset that I got to read yet another piece from a book I now know will be one of the best books I will have the pleasure to read in my lifetime.

So thank you, but also - god! why, Martin!?

Good luck with the rest of the writing, I hope it is going well.
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Loved it!
Merci, merci, merci!

Edited at 2014-03-27 11:56 pm (UTC)
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks to the Old Gods & The New that I checked them early :D

Kudos, btw. Breaking the internet is quite an achievement!
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:39 pm (UTC)
I haven't read the "new" chapter yet, but I wanted to say how much I appreciate reading about your process. As someone who writes fiction that is very character-driven, it's pretty much the awesomest thing ever to watch a successful writer do some of the same things I do with my own writing ("I wrote this but I don't know where it goes, but I will rewrite it a million times and eventually it will go somewhere," in this case).

Thanks for sharing the things you do. :)
Marilyn Doye Olenberger
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:41 pm (UTC)
It was truly an amazing chapter. May the writing force be with you!
Thanks for sharing
Mar. 27th, 2014 11:46 pm (UTC)
Writing Process
Hi George,

Really enjoyed the chapter (and the previous ones you hosted on your site!). I was curious whether it's normal in your writing process to go through so many editions of a POV chapter? From what I understand, you had several chapters from A DANCE WITH DRAGONS that were written and re-written many times over, and one in particular (trying to stay as spoiler-free as possible) that you chose to forego after several attempts to write it. Is this a normal process for you in writing? Have you discovered similar struggles in writing some of the chapters for THE WINDS OF WINTER? Regardless, thank you so much for releasing this chapter and writing a great set of books!
Mar. 28th, 2014 01:58 am (UTC)
Re: Writing Process
I do rewrite quite a bit... well, after 1982, anyway... but I must admit, I did a lot more on FEAST and DANCE than anything before them. And not just polishes, but major restructings, like getting rid of the five-year gap, and my endless attempts to make that one Tyrion chapter work... (it never did). Those two books were bears.

So far, I have not done anywhere near as much rewriting on WINDS... but of course, it is not done yet.
Re: Writing Process - rainieri - Mar. 28th, 2014 03:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Ashwin Anthony Fernandes
Mar. 28th, 2014 12:11 am (UTC)
Excellent read!
Thank you so much for the gift of "Mercy" Mr. Martin :-D
One small question if I may, can we confirm that we are now in the year 301 AL? For one it'll help the characters get that much older and help us digest events to come a bit more easily. 'Cos there seemed to be a bunch of people critical of the Mercy storyline.

Edited at 2014-03-28 01:18 am (UTC)
Mar. 28th, 2014 06:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Excellent read!
Various fan timelines put the end of ADWD and even AFFC already well into 301, although I'm not sure that's right. Barristan talks in ADWD about how they could be back in Westeros before the end of the year if they take off with Quentyn right now, which makes it sound like it's still a few months off.

This might qualify as one of those things best left to Westeros though, where I daresay the question is likely already being debated.
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