We still don't know when we'll finally get to read the next A Song of Ice and Fire novel, but George R.R. Martin is at least willing to give us a few hints about what's in store.
It's been three years since the last novel in Martin's epic series, A Dance With Dragons, hit bookstores, and fans had to wait six years for that installment. As the Game of Thrones TV series continues to barrel forward through Martin's previously written material, fan anxiety continues to build over whether Martin can actually stay ahead of the show, which has two (very long) books left to tackle before it has to start going it alone.
Martin has been working on the next book, though, as the several samples he's released to his readers prove. The release date is still unknown -- or at least Martin's publisher isn't telling us if they already have it planned -- but Martin definitely knows where he's going, and in a recent chat with EW, he dropped a few teasers.
SPOILER WARNING: If you only know the story from the TV series, or you're not caught up on your reading yet, there will be a few things revealed to you below, so don't keep reading if you're concerned about that.
So, what can we expect? Well, for one thing, as the end of A Dance With Dragons might suggest, we'll be seeing more of the Dothraki, and there's "a lot of stuff happening at The Wall." Plus, the book will open with some serious warfare.
“I think we’re gonna start out with a big smash with the two enormous battles,” Martin said, likely referencing a clash in the North between Ramsay Bolton and Stannis Baratheon, as well as a clash across the Narrow Sea between the forces of Yunkai and Meereen. He also noted that two of the saga's most prominent surviving characters -- Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen -- will continue to see their destinies intertwine.
“Well, Tyrion and Dany will intersect, in a way, but for much of the book they’re still apart,” Martin said. “They both have quite large roles to play here. Tyrion has decided that he actually would like to live, for one thing, which he wasn’t entirely sure of during the last book, and he’s now working toward that end—if he can survive the battle that’s breaking out all around him. And Dany has embraced her heritage as a Targaryen and embraced the Targaryen words. So they’re both coming home.”
Of course, plenty of other characters (What about Jon?) are in serious jeopardy, but Martin's not spilling any more than that right now, except a promise that there will be "more deaths," "more betrayals," and "more marriages." Hopefully, Martin will also soon be divulging the information we really want to know: When we can finally read The Winds of Winter.