Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin wouldn’t dare confirm The Winds of Winter to be published in 2017, but fans of the Song of Ice and Fire franchise will nonetheless get a new corner of Westeros to explore in print. Martin confirms that previously-unread short “The Sons of the Dragon” will see the light of day in a new 2017 fantasy anthology.

Rumors have circled over the last week that a new anthology book would see Martin releasing a previously unpublished story from the World of Westeros, something the author now confirms over LiveJournal. The story will be released in October 2017 as part of Gardner Dozois’ fantasy anthology The Book of Swords, though Martin clarified his only contribution as the story:

I have a story in the book. “The Sons of the Dragon” is the title. Those of you who enjoyed “The Princess and the Queen” in DANGEROUS WOMEN and “The Rogue Prince” in ROGUES will probably like this one too. It’s water from the same well. A history rather than a traditional narrative. A lot of telling, only a little showing. (The opposite of what I do in my novels). 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.

Martin also clarified that the story was originally written as a sidebar to The World of Ice & Fire book; one of many that were ultimately pulled out for length. Gardner had asked for a story similar to “The Princess and the Queen,” to which Martin offered “Sons of the Dragon,” excerpts of which have been read at conventions, but never published.

There’s still every chance The Winds of Winter make their way to stores in 2017 (don’t expect before Season 7's release), but is a new Westeros story worthwhile all the same? What Targaryen history might we see in the final two seasons?

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