Ranking all 11 sample chapters from The Winds of Winter

Image: Game of Thrones/HBO
Image: Game of Thrones/HBO /
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The Winds of Winter still isn’t out, but you CAN read 11 advance chapters, which is a lot. What happens in them and how good are they?

George R.R. Martin has been optimistic lately about his progress on The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited sixth book in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, giving fans more updates than usual. That said, it’s been a while since he’s released a full sample chapter from the book, although there are plenty already out there if you want to track them down. These chapters catch us up with favorite characters like Theon and Arya and Tyrion while revealing plot details that are still fueling speculation among fans.

Most of these chapters will probably have been edited by now and may not appear unchanged in the final version of The Winds of Winter. It’s been almost 10 years since some of them were released, in fact, and other were transcribed by fans at conventions and may not be a completely accurate depiction of what’s to come.

Still, what’s there is tantalizing. Let’s go through every sample Winds of Winter chapter yet released, ranking them from least to most exciting…

Image: Game of Thrones/HBO
Image: Game of Thrones/HBO /

11. “Tyrion I”

Tyrion Lannister’s first sample chapter from The Winds of Winter begins with a game of cyvasse, a Chess-like game unique to the World of Ice and Fire. At this point, Tyrion already missed his first chance to meet the Dragon Queen at Daznak’s Pit, and now finds himself embroiled in the battle for the city of Meereen in her absence.

He’s playing cyvasse against Brown Ben Plumm, the leader of the Second Sons mercenary company, while they wait for “Ser Grandfather’s” (Barristan Selmy) army to try to break the siege of Meereen. As the chapters moves along, Tyrion notes the sound of the trebuchets as they fling more plagued corpses over the walls.

Brown Ben muses about the two dragons loose in the city, which could attack anything on either side during the coming battle, and assume that Dany will return on Drogon soon. Tyrion wonders on how the Dragon Queen will receive him, hoping she will disregard any skepticism and be grateful that he killed Dany’s most dangerous enemy, Tywin Lannister. As Tyrion nears victory in the cyvasse game, Jorah Mormont announces the news of black sails in the bay flying dragon banners. The Ironborn have arrived.