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HBO's Game of Thrones and the novel series that inspired it have become phenomenally popular ever since the show debuted back in 2011, and fans have had to deal with long waits between new releases. We're in for an even longer hiatus than usual before Season 7 hits the airwaves this summer, and there's no release date in sight for the next installment of the book saga. Luckily, author George R.R. Martin has finished a short story, and we even know what it's about. Martin described the new story like this:
'The Sons of the Dragon' is the title... But if you're fascinated by the politics of Westeros, as many of my readers seem to be, you should enjoy it. As the title suggests, 'The Sons of the Dragon' chronicles the reigns of the second and third Targaryen kings, Aenys I and Maegor the Cruel, along with their mothers, wives, sisters, children, friends, enemies, and rivals. If you're read something to that effect on the web, good, that much is right.
As any A Song of Ice and Fire fans know, the exposition of Game of Thrones only touches on the history that George R.R. Martin has built for his characters in the novels, and even those skip over a lot of backstory that is bound to be juicy. Martin's reveal that his new story will be all about the early Targaryens should give a much-needed closer look at the legacy that drives Dany.
Aenys I and Maegor the Cruel have been mentioned in the show and the books, but most of their history is unexplored. Some of George R.R. Martin's other stories have established that the two brothers both married sisters, so there will definitely be some overlap in the "wives" and "sisters" categories. As both Aenys and Maegor took multiple wives, and one of Maegor's wives was actually Aenys' daughter, we can bet we'll see even more of why the Targaryens are the only family of the Seven Kingdoms with more inbreeding and drama than the current generation of Lannisters.
"The Sons of the Dragon" will be released as part of a anthology called The Book of Swords that will include a total of 16 stories from a variety of distinguished fantasy authors. Unfortunately, we still have a while to wait before we get to read any of them. The book won't be released until October 10, per George R.R. Martin's LiveJournal. The good news is that it will be released in both hardcover and ebook format, so at least we'll have options for how we want to read the next installment of Martin's history of Westeros.
We will get Game of Thrones Season 7 before "The Sons of the Dragon" becomes available. The seventh season will debut later and with a shorter episode count than normal, but it should be an exciting batch of episodes as it takes the characters into uncharted territory. The show has officially outpaced the books by this point, so even those who have read the novels cover to cover can't know what's in store next.