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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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Nathan Wood
Mar. 28th, 2014 01:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you! The world of Westeros is always a welcome vacation. I've known your characters longer than most of my friends. I'm sure you're looking forward to the day when the story is completed, but in a way I'm dreading the time when there's no new ASoIaF book on the horizon.
Mar. 28th, 2014 01:52 pm (UTC)
Love the new Chapters
I can't help but feel that your use of "Lapis lazuli" in the Mercy chapter is somehow a nod to Dan Simmon's brilliant Hyperion novels. In no way do I want to imply any sort of plagiarism since that's just absurd, but I'm curious if you've read the Hyperion novels.

A Song of Ice and Fire is the best set of novels I've ever read. Dan Simmon's Hyperion books come #2 on my list. He uses Lapis Lazuli all the time in reference to the color of the skies of the world Hyperion.

i just found that interesting and found other things in my three readings of the Song of Ice and Fire books that made me think Simmon's books may be among your favorites, George. Just curious.

I loved the new Tyrion chapter, too, but then I'm hardly an unbiased reader at this point.
Mar. 28th, 2014 04:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Love the new Chapters
An odd thought. Lapis lazuli is real, you know. Not something Dan Simmons invented.

Yes, I've read HYPERION. A terrific novel.
Re: Love the new Chapters - ChadCottle - Mar. 28th, 2014 05:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 28th, 2014 01:54 pm (UTC)
Oh no, Raff! I hope you leave a few evil characters alive at the end of the series, and don't kill them ALL off. I appreciate ASOIAF's somewhat nihilistic bent, that suggests being evil can sometimes pay. :)
Shylah Valar Morghulis Addante
Mar. 28th, 2014 01:56 pm (UTC)
Just popping in to add my own thanks for this chapter-- it really was spectacular.

I'm a new fan of the books, and just started my first re-read a few days ago. It was kind of surreal experience after reading 'Mercy' to go back and read about Arya from the first book where her most pressing problem in Winterfell is her septa. She sure has come a long way...

Thanks again and all the best while you battle the Son of Kong. Though from my knowledge of the film, he was a gentler, more friendly beast than his father; and I hope that's your experience with him as well.
Matt Barrett
Mar. 28th, 2014 02:15 pm (UTC)
Impressive chapter. Not what I was expecting from Arya's next chapter (in a good way).
Mar. 28th, 2014 02:31 pm (UTC)
The Internet always breaks at the worst possible time. That is a corollary to the law of entomological cybernetics.
Mar. 28th, 2014 02:32 pm (UTC)
I just saw a little squib about a teacher who successfully threatened her class that she'd read the books and if they didn't behave she'd tell them who was next to die.
Mar. 28th, 2014 03:38 pm (UTC)
Can I get the app in the uk without an IOS or android Phone? I am tied into a contract and I have a Blackberry!
Jos Lopes
Mar. 28th, 2014 03:54 pm (UTC)
Can't access the Tyrion chapter
The app says it's incompatible with all my Androide devices.
Is there any chance of the chapter being soon published on your site?
Jamie Edwards-Taylor
Mar. 28th, 2014 04:01 pm (UTC)
Absolute quality
Thanks George.

Loved the Mercy chapter, although I realised that I was reading a Arya chapter, when you actually stated Arya stabbed Raff I jumped out of my seat very similar to when I read about Samwell killing the Other.

Your stories seem to bring out this intensity in me which I enjoy, so keep up the good work.

Jake Blackwell
Mar. 28th, 2014 04:13 pm (UTC)
Tyrion for all
Is there any plans to share the Tyrion sample chapter with those of us on the Windows Phone platform?
Mar. 28th, 2014 04:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the chapter George, I loved the way it was structured
John Harrison
Mar. 28th, 2014 05:55 pm (UTC)
Typo in second paragraph of Mercy
A great pack at her hells? Or heels?
Mar. 28th, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
I must have been one of the fortunate ones, as I managed to get over to the site and read "Mercy" prior to the crash.

It was very engrossing; I enjoyed the hell out of it. It was one of those chapters that wraps you up in it so much that it ends before you realize it and leaves you thinking "aw, over already?"

Of course, I'm already looking forward to Winds of Winter, but this pumps me up more.
Mar. 28th, 2014 06:44 pm (UTC)
Amazing chapter.
Seriously, this has been one of my favorite chapters. Not favorite released TWOW chapter, but favorite chapter of all time. It's clear how carefully constructed it is! Beautiful language, beautiful allusions, beautiful references to earlier moments in ASOIAF. It is chilling but enthralling.

Praise aside, I had a couple of questions that you might be able to answer:

- About how much time has passed between the start of the series in AGOT and this chapter? (Trying to get a sense of how old Arya would be at this point - has it been a full five+ years, as would have occurred if there had been a 5-year-gap?)

- With both the Tickler and Raff now, Arya has killed each in a way that recalls the act that got them onto her list in the first place. Was that conscious before she killed the Tickler, or was that an act of passion with a result that satisfied, so she kept it going?

Mar. 28th, 2014 09:28 pm (UTC)
Great chapter
Well, I have to say, I was really excited when I read that you were releasing a new chapter. I have been blowing hot and cold over Arya for years (been a fan of the novels since 1998) so I wasn't sure what I was going to make of her, because I found myself gradually liking her less as her story develops in rereads during the last few years. I love her as the Hand's rebellious daughter but I am less fond of her as she becomes less and less "Arya." However, I can see myself becoming attached to her again in Winds, because I really loved the chapter. The play was intriguing too.

If you plan to release any future chapters prior to the release, can we have Sansa please? Sansa fans like myself have been waiting a long time for new Sansa info. Or something featuring Euron would be cool too.
Siobhan Mooney
Mar. 28th, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
This chapter is brilliantly written. I really like the structure and pacing. I especially love the juxtaposition of current and past events. Major kudos to you.
Joe Duxberry
Mar. 28th, 2014 09:52 pm (UTC)
An eye opener
A wonderful chapter that really opened my eyes to how good and how difficult your writing process must be. To get into the mindset of a 12 year old girl, who herself is in the mindset of an (older?) much different character and portray a PoV in such a convincing, eloquent and heart-breaking way, is quite an achievement. How on Earth do you manage to move between the PoV characters and not get lost and confused along the way? Or paint traits from one into chapters of another? You take your time with WoW, it will be worth the wait.
Mar. 28th, 2014 11:38 pm (UTC)
And again I can't read something because of The Curse of having a Windows Phone =\
Daniel Marcil
Mar. 28th, 2014 11:49 pm (UTC)
I won't read it !
I'm waiting to have the whole "brick" in my hands before I read any chapter... But it's very nice of you to offer them :)

About breaking the internet... Sometimes I wish there was no TV show so I would feel like I am a special snowflake for liking such an 'obscure' books series ;) Then I watch it and regret thinking it !

Keep up the good work ! I'm currently Reading Fevre Dream, and 100 pages in, I like it. So far, nothing too out of the 'ordinary' but with you who knows how it will turn out.
Mar. 29th, 2014 01:33 am (UTC)
Hello Georges.
First I'd like to say that I admire your work. Really.

Second, I hope you are planning a happy ending with Sansa, something like her marrying Littlefinger and having a dozen of beautiful little children and rule over the Seven Kingdoms.

Now It's time to go back to work Georges, I really can't wait to read your next novel Georges, don't disappoint me Georges.
Odds Gaminge
Mar. 29th, 2014 05:04 am (UTC)
By my Beard!
I find it extremely amusing and pleasant to say it here that every book in my shelf that has letters G.R.R.M in them are just holding other books in a standing position. Now, before i get assassinated into the lake next to my house on my way to the shop, may i suggest the assassinator to have blue skin and unbelievably large melons? I like liv- *blush* My god.. luckily not many of them will understand... wait a minute. This is a g.r.r.m blog. Perhaps they are more intelligent than i thought! My God! *blush* *blush* *blush*
Mar. 29th, 2014 01:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the marvelous gift of both of these sample chapters. They are both brilliant and get me even more excited for the Winds of Winter. It is a great time to be a member of the ASOIAF fandom, with Season 4 GoT around the corner and Rogues coming up soon, Plus the World book coming in the fall. There is much to enjoy and discuss, I'm a quadriplegic due to a SCI, and as a result don't get out and about easily, or I'd be tempted to travel to one of the events at your theatre. I'm always so endeared by the access you provide your fans for face to face interactions, especially with these marvelous special events. ASOIAF has given me countless hours of enjoyment via the books, film, and the various fan forums, podcasts, etc. I'm so thankful for your inspired world and your fantastic talent in storytelling that allows you to share it with all of us.
Mar. 29th, 2014 04:28 pm (UTC)
Mercy's age wrt the 5 year gap
You indicated that originally this chapter was planned for after the five year gap. This would have made Arya/Mercy what - 17/18? This is a far cry from the 12/13 she's at right about now in the story.
With that in mind, did you worry at all about how people would view her using such tactics to get raff off where she can deal with him? Had you considered changing the chapter after disposing of the 5 year gap to somehow change how she goes about that?
I know there's a lot of grit and sex and stuff in the novels, but it just seemed a bit creepy for an 11/12 year old to be using such tactics, and honestly, the sexuality of the entire chapter seemed a bit - off...?
Mar. 30th, 2014 12:10 am (UTC)
Re: Mercy's age wrt the 5 year gap
I did change the chapter after disposing of the five year gap.

Several times, in fact.
Miguel Flores
Mar. 29th, 2014 05:08 pm (UTC)

I want to thank you its past due, thanks to you I discovered the joy of reading Fantasy. I picked up Game of thrones 5 years ago due to some spare time and the nice title/cover. After that I never looked back.

Please keep up the hard work, I for one check the internet weekly to see if anything new is up on TWOW but as excited as I am I understand work like this chapter I read takes time.

Really thanks for a great treat :),

P.S. Try not to kill more characters I love, its like having a friend die... :( anyway man Id like to send you an awesome rum we brew here in central america, I am not sure if you like rum :P but I hope you enjoy!
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George R.R. Martin
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