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


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

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.

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.
  • 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