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Photo via Macall B. Polay/HBO

Read 5 new chapters of ‘The Winds of Winter’—written by a neural network

It might hold us over until season 8.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Published Aug 29, 2017   Updated May 22, 2021, 7:03 pm CDT

Fans have been waiting for The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, for more than six years now, but you can now try what a neural network has created for the next book.

Neural networks are able to process information kind of like the human brain and learn to output data similar to the type of data put into the system. We’ve already seen neural networks do everything from name guinea pigs to write recipes, but engineer Zack Thoutt has instead taught a neural network to write The Winds of Winter.

He uploaded the first five books in the series—totaling 5,376 pages—and is using a “long short-term memory” recurrent neural network that will allow the system to retain more of the information stored in the text such as characters who have died and those who are still alive. The result from the first five chapters Thoutt created is something that feels like something Martin would create and even has some plot points fans have been speculating about for years.

Of course, it’s not a true substitute for the real thing. For one, it doesn’t always remember which characters are dead—but given how many characters exist in ASOIAF, that’s understandable.

“It is trying to write a new book. A perfect model would take everything that has happened in the books into account and not write about characters being alive when they died two books ago,” Thoutt told Motherboard. “The reality, though, is that the model isn’t good enough to do that. If the model were that good authors might be in trouble. The model is striving to be a new book and to take everything into account, but it makes a lot of mistakes because the technology to train a perfect text generator that can remember complex plots over millions of words doesn’t exist yet.”

With Sansa becoming a Baratheon, a Lannister death by a sibling, Jon Snow embracing a dragon, and something about an “onion concubine,” there’s certainly plenty of threads both realistic and outlandish the show could potentially pick up on.

Here’s the very beginning of The Winds of Winter (AI Edition).

Tyrion could hear Lord Aemon’s coughing. “I miss for it. Why did you proper?”


“I feared Master Sansa, Ser,” Ser Jaime reminded her. “She Baratheon is one of the crossing. The second sons of your onion concubine.”


Lady Donella length of a longsword, the hair that went ready to climb side from her. And all between them were belaquo bonebreaker and the night’s watch ride in their room. Only he could not look at them, even others sure. “How could you leave the world?”


“Some must, for you,” a woman’s voiced up lazily. “Gods, Reek.”


She poured off two eyes and stepped down under the fire. “She will find your brother, and now I heard her since she was standing the bowl. The night was fair and damp.

You can read the entire thing here.

H/T Motherboard

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*First Published: Aug 29, 2017, 9:12 am CDT