Brienne of Tarth Featured Game of Thrones George R. R. Martin News

George R.R. Martin reads new Winds of Winter chapter, reveals detail about Brienne’s ancestry

Game of Thrones

A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin recently made a rare public appearance at Balitcon, an annual science fiction and fantasy convention. He received a good turnout, and according to Redditor Werthead, revealed an interesting tidbit about Brienne of Tarth: that she’s related to the legendary (and legendarily large) Ser Duncan the Tall, a hedge knight turned Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.

Ser Duncan lived decades before the events of the series proper, and was a contemporary of Maester Aemon. He was the companion to Aegon V Targaryen before an unlikely series of events put the young king on the Iron Throne. Humble and steadfast (and huge), Duncan shares more than a few similarities with Brienne, and the idea that they’re related has been suggested by fans before. Still, it’s nice to have it confirmed.

The show hasn’t spent too much time talking about Ser Duncan (Joffrey mentions him briefly while flipping through the White Book in Season 4), but Martin has written a series of novellas about him. The ones written so far are collected in a book called A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms GRRM

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms GRRM

Martin also read a new chapter from The Winds of Winter, something he hasn’t done in a while. I’ll pause so those who want to read SPOILERS might exit. Are we good? Good.

Sansa you're spoiling it

BryndenBFish, author of the absorbing Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire blog, tweeted some info about the chapter. Here are the bullet points:

  • The chapter is written from the perspective of Aeron “Damphair” Greyjoy, another one of Balon’s brothers. Aeron became a priest of the Drowned God and, if HBO’s subtitles can be believed, has turned up briefly on the show, although his role is much reduced. On the show, he might just be some Drowned Priest named Aeron.

Drowned Priest Aeron Damphair Greyjoy maybe

  • Aeron is a prisoner aboard Euron’s ship, the Silence. In A Feast for Crows, Aeron tries to rally support against Euron. It seems that the new king of the Iron Islands isn’t letting that slide.
  • Euron did indeed make contact with Pyat Pree, the warlock who tried to kill Daenerys toward the end of A Clash of Kings.
  • Damphair has two visions brought on by drinking shade of the evening, the hallucinogenic wine favored by the warlocks of Qarth. Expect “lots of imagery.”
  • Euron is taking the Silence out reaving, and at the end of the chapter, ties Aeron to the prow of the ship as he sails against the Redwynes, a powerful family from the Arbor—Lady Olenna was a Redwyne before she married into the Tyrell family.

When might The Winds of Winter come out so we can read this chapter for ourselves? For that, the con provided no answers. According to The Baltimore Sun, fans avoided that touchy question entirely.

h/t Vanity Fair


    • And didn’t he offer to read a Damphair chapter years ago at a convention but the crowd decided for Arianne or Tyrion instead?

      Nothing new under the sun

      • This time he asked the audience to decide between 1) the Damphair chapter, 2) an Arya preview chapter he released some time ago, and 3) something from his upcoming Westerosi history book. The crowd went wild at the Demphair option, so that’s what he read.

    • Yeah, I’ve read all the books twice, yet for the first time I am not running out to see this “sample” chapter. If he ever writes the actual book, I’ll read the whole thing.

      Just judging by the description, I see why he’s lost – the last two books of a seven book series is not the time to be adding new POV characters, etc. GRRM seems to lack the ability to wind down a story. That’s what the show has done so excellently, especially this year. They are working toward an end, whereas GRRM just keeps bloating it up which is likely why babies who were born when the last book came out are now entering grade school…

      • Man, do us a favor and find a better thing to do…
        His next two books will have more than 1000 pages for sure, possibly more than 1500, how many of those have you read? 20? 40?
        What do you know about writing? Show us some of your writings!

        Better not, right?

        So, let us respect GRRM, he knows what to do…

        • Your suggestion that he cannot be held accountable by anyone unless they are a superior writer is ridiculous. If a surgeon botches all of his surgeries and kills his patients, nobody can say boo about it unless they are a board certified surgeon in better standing? If my garbage men keep forgetting to take my trash, I need to sign up to the sanitation department and do a better job before I am competent to notice and complain about it? Nonsense!

          I personally think there is a good deal of truth in what CrateBarrel says.

        • ASOIAF is a crazy complex, and unruly magnum opus of a true fantasy titan. Every time I hear that it might be longer I’m disappointed. Yet it gives me confidence that he is working hard to make sure the series lives up to it’s potential(epic). If tWoW is as good as aDwD I will be a happy man. If it’s any better my head might explode.

  • Thanks for the chapter link. This is the first time I’ve heard about Valerian armor. And he’s fully geared with it. Think he has been in Valeria for real?

  • The shocker with Brienne isn’t that she’s related to Duncan. I think we all probably figured that out. It’s the revelation from World of Ice and Fire that the Tarths also have Targaryen blood. So Brienne is related to both Duncan and a Targaryen. Given how well-filled-in the Targaryen family tree is, it looks like the common denominator would be one of Aegon V’s sisters. Everyone else is accounted for.

  • Soooo … anyone going to point out that Euron’s female companion with the fiery hands seems like a pretty strong clue pointing to Dany?

    Anyone? OK, I will. Euron’s fiery-handed terrible mate looks a lot like Dany.

  • It was read at Balticon, not Balticon, since it was in, you know, Baltimore.

  • I’m hoping for a battle of the crows. Jon vs Euron and after Jon kills him he rocks that Valyrian armor that conveniently is in Targ colors in his battle vs the WW’s. Kind of hints back to his vision/dream of being armored in black ice…

    • That would be sick!

      Oh, and finally something new to read from George. Makes me again super excited for TWoW!!