There’s been a lot of talk of Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin as of late. Specifically due to the timing of his book release and the recent reveal that the HBO series on Martin’s fantasy novels will surpass the books. Martin is in no rush though, and has reiterated time and time again to his fans that he will write at his own speed and not to push for any sooner. Luckily for those fans though, he does understand how difficult it can be to sit on the edge of your seat waiting for new material for a few months, let alone a few years. So, to appease them, while assuring that he is indeed working diligently on the next book in the series, Martin has yet again released a new excerpt from The Winds of Winter.

Martin’s highly anticipated novel does not have an official release date yet, though he has made it clear not to expect it any time in 2015. Just days ago the author announced that he would not be writing for Season 6 of HBO series so that he can focus more on completing his book. Martin has previously released excerpts from the book on his own personal website including a portion from Arya, Theon and Tyrion’s point of views and now he gave us a taste of Alayne’s situation. Alayne, in case that doesn’t ring any bells, is Sansa Stark’s alias while living with Littlefinger in the Vale and this is the first excerpt from Sansa’s point of view in a long while too.

Warning a few minor spoilers are ahead. So if you are not caught up on the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, beware of what’s coming!

Last we saw Sansa Stark in the book series was 2011’s A Dance with Dragons where the young Sansa was seen planning her marriage to Harry the Heir, successor to little Lord Robert Arryn. The latest excerpt picks up with Sansa and little Lord Robert as he continues to confess his love for her while she kindly puts the notion down. Here we also see the new, darker Sansa who has come up with a creative scheme to bring Harry the Heir and other knights to the Vale. But their encounter does not go as swimmingly as Sansa had hoped:
“If it please you, I will show you to your chambers myself.” This time her eyes met Harry’s. She smiled just for him, and said a silent prayer to the Maiden. Please, he doesn’t need to love me, just make him like me, just a little, that would be enough for now.

Ser Harrold looked down at her coldly. “Why should it please me to be escorted anywhere by Littlefinger’s bastard?”

All three Waynwoods looked at him askance. “You are a guest here, Harry,” Lady Anya reminded him, in a frosty voice. “See that you remember that.”

But despite this unpleasant reaction, it is up to Sansa to make the betrothal happen. Littlefinger continues:
So he is, but he is Robert’s heir as well. Bringing Harry here was the first step in our plan, but now we need to keep him, and only you can do that. He has a weakness for a pretty face, and whose face is prettier than yours? Charm him. Entrance him. Bewitch him.

It’s difficult to watch people being terrible to Sansa, we see it too often and during her time dealing with King Joffrey, she endured enough cruelty to last multiple lifetimes. But it is nice to see her getting stronger, talking back, and coming up with plans to help herself succeed.

It’s been a long while since the last book came out in 2011, even longer since we’ve spent time within Sansa’s head, but with Martin focusing solely on his books now, and taking time away from writing the show, we can hopefully expect The Winds of Winter fairly soon (2016, please?!).

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