All the Song of Ice and Fire manuscripts George R.R. Martin keeps at Texas A&M

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

George R.R. Martin has written five Song of Ice and Fire novels to date, and has famously been working on the sixth — The Winds of Winter — for almost a dozen years. But an author like Martin goes through drafts. He likes to write, and then to rewrite and to rewrite and to rewrite. And some of those early manuscripts are still around…

Martin sends early manuscripts — as well as correspondence, props, and other materials — to the Cushing Library at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Think of it as the George R.R. Martin archive. It’s open to the public (mostly) and some fans have taken a look-see over the years.

Working with reports from Redditors like Mithras_Stoneborn and gsteff, fansite Los Siete Reinos has compiled a fascinating guide to some of the more interesting items on offer. So if you’re ever planning a trip to Texas A&M, here are a few key things to look out for:

Where to find early Song of Ice and Fire manuscripts in the Cushing Library at Texas A&M University

Blood of the Dragon (the Daenerys chapters from A Game of Thrones)

  • Box 76, folder 4
  • Box 83, folder 1
  • Box 109, folder 1

There are some interesting differences between the manuscripts and the finished chapters. For instance, the house with the red door that Dany spends so much time thinking about is in Tyrosh, not Braavos.

A Game of Thrones

  • Box 77, folder 2
  • Box 78, folders 1, 2 and 3
  • Box 89, folders 3 to 6
  • Box 91, folders 8 and 9
  • Box 92, folders 1 to 9

Some of the early manuscripts are from 1993, three years before the first Song of Ice and Fire book hit stores helves.

A Clash of Kings

  • Box 85, folder 2
  • Box 87, folder 4
  • Box 86, folder 1
  • Box 88, folders 3 to 12
  • Box 89, folders 1 and 2

A Storm of Swords: Per LSR, the manuscript for this one is the exact same as was published.

A Feast for Crows

  • Box 104, folders 1 to 5
  • Box 182, folders 1 to 8
  • Box 105, folders 1 to 5
  • Box 191, folder 2

When George R.R. Martin cut off access to the Dance with Dragons manuscript

And finally, there’s the manuscript for A Dance with Dragons, which is singularly interesting. There’s an early draft of that book there, and fans were once able to access it…but no more. In 2015, Martin himself requested that this manuscript no longer be accessible.

Why? Because a Redditor named _honeybird discovered and published a SPOILER (read no further if you don’t want to know): they found notes in the margins written by Martin’s editor Anne Groell and Martin himself. The notes confirmed that Coldhands, a mysterious person who guides Bran Stark and company after they go north of the Wall, is not Benjen Stark, as had been theorized among fans.

Interestingly, on the Game of Thrones TV show, Benjen and Coldhands were the same person, but the TV show and books are not the same story. So on the page, the mystery continues.

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