George R.R. Martin, author of the "Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series
George R.R. Martin, author of the "Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series that is the basis of the television series "Game of Thrones", gestures during his masterclass at the Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) in Neuchatel July 10, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse Reuters/Denis Balibouse

Waiting for the release date announcement of “Winds of Winter,” many of the fans may be busy imagining what the war in the North will look like. For author George RR Martin that imagination process is a lot easier because he has a big toy collection of the characters from his books. The author recently teased a picture of one of these toy sets, and also announced the publication of “The Book of Swords,” to which he has contributed a chapter.

Martin has shared pictures of his toy sets in the past, but the latest picture [see below] is quite stunning, and it is set in the icy world of the North in Westeros. Fans will also be able to recognise some familiar characters in the toys.

The scene depicts a battle between the Night’s Watch and the Free folk. While the story in the books and the show has moved well past this part, the author can still use the toys to play out future battles in the North, such as the fight between the Army of the Dead and the combined army of the Night’s Watch and the Free folk.

Martin did not give an update about the progress of the next book in “A Song of Ice and Fire,” but did announce the launch of “The Book of Swords.

“The Book of Swords” is an anthology or a collection of fantasy stories by various authors. The book has been edited by Gardner Dozois, and has contributions from authors like Robin Hobb, Matt Hughes, Cecelia Holland, and Martin.

Martin’s chapter in the book is titled “Sons of the Dragon,” from the Fake History of Westeros. The story chronicles the reigns of Aegon the Conquerer's two sons, Aenys and Maegor. The story should come in handy to fans who are eagerly waiting for “Winds of Winter.”

Credit: George RR Martin/ Twitter