The best chapter from each book in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series

As we wait (and wait, and wait) for The Winds of Winter, let's go over the best chapters from the first five Song of Ice and Fire novels.
FYC Special Screening For HBO Max's "House Of The Dragon" - Arrivals
FYC Special Screening For HBO Max's "House Of The Dragon" - Arrivals / Amanda Edwards/GettyImages
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In the 12 years since the publication of the most recent novel in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Dance of Dragons, Westeros has exploded in popularity. HBO’s flagship series Game of Thrones is now more than four years in our rearview mirror. Among the network’s current major projects is the critically acclaimed prequel show House of the Dragon, while another spinoff based on Martins Dunk and Egg novellas waits in the wings. And through all of this, Martin chugs along slowly writing the forthcoming sixth novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter.

Martin is famously slow in his writing process, but also unswervingly devoted to doing the characters and the story justice in the world that he has been building for three decades. While we all anxiously await the next installment in this genre-changing adventure, it is time for a look back at the characters and chapters that made the world (and HBO) fall in love with this story in the first place. Among the thousands of incredible pages in A Song of Ice and Fire, choosing the best of Martin’s work can prove a heady task.

Below you will find a list of the best chapter from each of the existing A Song of Ice and Fire novels (beware extreme book SPOILERS).

From A Game of Thrones: Catelyn XI (Chapter 71)

A game-changing event in the early novels told from a mother’s perspective, this chapter follows Catelyn as she witnesses her son Robb Stark transition from a boy of 15 into the Young Wolf and the King in the North, whose heroic story defines the next two novels. Gathered in Riverrun after back-to-back victories in the Battle of the Camps and the Battle of the Whispering Wood, the Northern Lords and the Lords of the Trident sit despondent not knowing what to do next. After winning two battles, capturing Jaime Lannister, freeing Catelyn’s brother Edmure and ending the Lannister siege of Riverrun, Robb Stark and his followers have been knocked into unexpected confusion by the execution of Robb’s father, Eddard.

Gathering in Riverrun’s great hall to discuss their next move, the lords have no consensus on what to do next: should they declare for the powerful Renly Baratheon? His elder brother Stannis? Do as Catelyn urges and make peace? However, all their suggestions are thrown aside when the Greatjon Umber stands up and declares the audacious: Robb Stark -- a boy of 15 -- is the only man he will have for his king. The energy and patriotism sweep the crowd away, as the lords of the North and the Riverlands lay their swords at the boy’s feet and shout out the now famous words: ‘THE KING IN THE NORTH!’

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