Review: Excerpt from ‘Winds of Winter’ by George R. R. Martin


With enough description and intrigue to wet the palette. Sansa could be getting more interesting.

  • 9

At this point in the book series, Sansa is in hiding, pretending to be Lord Baelish’s bastard daughter Alayne Stone, not his niece as she is in the TV show. Martin is clever in teasing what appears to be a rather small part of the overall series when compared to Game of Thrones favourites such as Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and Tyrion Lannister. However, as ever, fan plot theories have been running rife and it seems Sansa Stark and the possibility of her potential marriage could just be a major plot swing and move on the chess board that is Westeros.

Sansa last had a point-of-view chapter back in the series’ fourth book, A Feast for Crows, in 2005. With Winds of Winter having been long awaited and the previous novel, A Dance with Dragons, taking five years to complete, readers were beginning to wonder if they would ever receive the future two novels. Thankfully, Martin has released this excerpt on his website.

The excerpt proves that our little Sansa Star – sorry, Alayne Stone – has grown up quite a bit since we’ve last seen her. I suppose seeing your father beheaded, being tortured by your ex-fiance and then being inadvertently part of his murder will do that to a girl. Though, of course, we all know our favourite schemer, Lord Petyr Baelish had a hand in all this.

Though there are no bloody battles or big character deaths, most of all the excerpt reveals that perhaps Sansa, or Alayne, is not as silly as she appears. Martin reveals a new charming temptress that has enough sense to turn her betrothed’s opinion of her. Stark, hiding as Lord Robert Arryn of the Vale’s caregiver, now realises the power of womanly wiles at court and is ready to play them to her advantage. Though still her loyalties lie with Baelish this excerpt hints at a stronger Sansa, one who is less likely to be manipulated. Is it possible she’ll pull away and start to be a bigger player on this chess board? We certainly hope so, and it seems Martin may just be hinting at it.

Witty and packed with colourful detail, the excerpt is at its heart the same as all the other novels that belong to The Song of Ice and Fire series – absolutely brilliant. Martin is known for writing believable, powerful and manipulative women and we hope that finally Sansa Stark will take her place among them. Look out Baelish, your little ward may not be so dutiful forever.

Winds of Winter is set for release in late 2016 but for now the excerpt can be read here. 


About Author

BA English student at University of Southampton and Editor for The Edge (2015-16). A deep love of reading, theatre and all things entertainment.

Leave A Reply