A major theme in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series involves women trying to take power for themselves, in the face of a male-dominated hegemony. And this has been going on for a long time, judging from our first glimpse of Martin's new Westeros story.
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"The Princess and The Queen, or, The Blacks and The Greens" takes place 170 years before Martin's novel A Game of Thrones, and details the infamous civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. And there's a brand new excerpt up at Tor.com. Here's the juicy part:
Ser Otto Hightower cut him off. “All this must needs wait,” he declared, “until the question of succession is settled.” As the King’s Hand, he was empowered to speak with the king’s voice, even to sit the Iron Throne in the king’s absence. Viserys had granted him the authority to rule over the Seven Kingdoms, and “until such time as our new king is crowned,” that rule would continue.
“Until our new queen is crowned,” Lord Beesbury said, in a waspish tone.
“King,” insisted Queen Alicent. “The Iron Throne by rights must pass to His Grace’s eldest trueborn son.”
The discussion that followed lasted nigh unto dawn. Lord Beesbury spoke on behalf of Princess Rhaenyra. The ancient master of coin, who had served King Viserys for his entire reign, and his father Jaehaerys the Old King before him, reminded the council that Rhaenyra was older than her brothers and had more Targaryen blood, that the late king had chosen her as his successor, that he had repeatedly refused to alter the succession despite the pleadings of Queen Alicent and her greens, that hundreds of lords and landed knights had done obesience to the princess in 105 AC, and sworn solemn oaths to defend her rights.
But these words fell on ears made of stone.