We already know what you’re going to say in the comments but we’re going to stop you right there. No, this is not a new chapter from The Winds of Winter, the latest installment in the Game of Thrones-inspiring novel series from George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire. And no, we have no idea when that book is going to come out. Yes, we, too, wish GRRM would hurry up and finish the book already (we worry heaps about the show catching up to the books), but we are not his keeper. He is a grown man, after all, and can do as he pleases. So let’s just move on and be thankful for what we do have, which is this brand new chapter on the history of Westeros from The World of Ice and Fire, Martin’s documentation of the untold history of Westeros and the events that led up to the events in Game of Thrones.
In the chapter, appropriately titled “Aegon’s Conquest,” we learn about — wait for it — how Aegon Targaryen’s conquest of Westeros came to be. Here’s a sample:
… A common myth, oft heard amongst the ignorant, claims that Aegon Targaryen had never set foot upon the soil of Westeros until the day he set sail to conquer it, but this cannot be true. Years before that voyage, the Painted Table had been carved and decorated at Lord Aegon’s command: a massive slab of wood, some fifty feet long, carved in the shape of Westeros and painted to show all the woods and rivers and towns and castles of the Seven Kingdoms. Plainly, Aegon’s interest in Westeros long predated the events that drove him to war. As well, there are reliable reports of Aegon and his sister Visenya visiting the Citadel of Oldtown in their youth, and hawking on the Arbor as guests of Lord Redwyne. He may have visited Lannisport as well; accounts differ.
The Westeros of Aegon’s youth was divided into seven quarrelsome kingdoms, and there was hardly a time when two or three of these kingdoms were not at war with one another. The vast, cold, stony North was ruled by the Starks of Winterfell. In the deserts of Dorne, the Martell princes held sway. The gold-rich westerlands were ruled by the Lannisters of Casterly Rock, the fertile Reach by the Gardeners of Highgarden. The Vale, the Fingers, and the Mountains of the Moon belonged to House Arryn . . . but the most belligerent kings of Aegon’s time were the two whose realms lay closest to Dragonstone, Harren the Black and Argilac the Arrogant. …
You can read the rest of it on GRRM’s site, here. The World of Ice and Fire hits bookstores and Kindle October 28, 2014.
What do you think of the chapter? Find any illuminating or interesting details in the text? Let’s discuss them in the comments!