Game of Thrones fans decipher blurry page from The Winds of Winter

Let it never be said that A Song of Ice and Fire fans aren’t resourceful. It’s been over a decade now since George R.R. Martin published the last book in the series, A Dance of Dragons, but they’re still deducing what they can about where the novels are going, in some cases unearthing new evidence from sources years old.

Case in point: novelist and Song of Ice and Fire luminary BryndenBFish recently posted a new find on the series subreddit: “Back in the day, George RR Martin read part of Victarion’s first chapter from TWOW at tiff bell lightbox [in 2012],” he wrote. “But he only read part of the chapter. I was re-watching George read this chapter, and then I noticed something at the end of the reading.

At the very end, George flipped to the next page of the Victarion chapter for a brief moment, didn’t read any further and then set the manuscript aside. But for a moment, a whole page, previously unseen was visible.

And the challenge was on: working with a blurry image of the page, could the fans decipher what it said?

What’s next for Victarion Greyjoy in The Winds of Winter?

Song of Ice and Fire fans have pulled off this kind of miracle before, like when they drilled down on an image of Martin writing on his desktop computer from a 2015 interview with Conan O’Brien, eventually figuring out that it was from a new Asha Greyjoy chapter. This time, they’ve decoded a bit of the page from the Victarion chapter, although it’s still pretty spotty. Here’s the first paragraph:

When the priest was gone, the dusky woman [illegible] the [illegible] [illegible] and [longer word but has to be a verb] and [illegible] it in the smile from hell

his left arm, the [illegible] and dressing from his arm.

[First underlined portion], he thought.

And the second:

The [something] Victarion Greyjoy

Red Priest

When last we left Victarion Greyjoy in A Dance with Dragons, he was on his way to Meereen on the orders of his brother Euron to deliver Euron’s proposal of marriage to Daenerys Targaryen. But Euron has plans of his own. The dusky woman is a mute slave given to Victarion by Euron. The priest is likely Moqorro, a red priest who helped Victarion deal with his wounded left hand using some kind of spellcraft.

So maybe this isn’t going to blow the lid off The Winds of Winter, but it’s always admirable how committed the fans are to sussing out new information. And they need to be this resourceful, because while Martin used to be pretty liberal with giving out sample chapters, they’ve dried up in recent years. Hopefully, this means that Martin is rounding the corner on actually finishing the whole book, but we’re not going to get our hopes up until we get confirmation. Until then, the other sample chapters are out there to enjoy:

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h/t Vice