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Game of Thrones Reading Order: A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R Martin

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“Winter is coming.”

Thanks to the television series adaptation by HBO, Game of Thrones needs mostly no introduction. Originally a fantasy series written by G.R.R. Martin known as A Song of Ice and Fire, it became a global phenomenon and develops an international fan base during the eight seasons. Unfortunately, it also received significant backlash for its more than disappointing ending (I don’t think it’s horrible, but I wasn’t also as invested as other people).

And… the thing is A Song of Ice and Fire isn’t, on paper, finished yet. It’s been 10 years now since the publication of the last book and some fans stopped waiting for the next volume of the saga. G.R.R. Martin is still writing it!

Inspired by the War of The Roses and the french classic The Accursed Kings by Maurice Duron, A Song of Ice and Fire (also generally called Game of Thrones) takes place in a fictional world in which seasons last for years and end unpredictably, on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos.

King Robert Baratheon occupies the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, but a dynastic war among several families for control of Westeros is building as well as the rising threat of the supernatural Others in northernmost Westeros. And at Essos, Daenerys Targaryen, the deposed king’s exiled daughter, wants to take the Iron Throne.

Game of Thrones Books in Order

The Main series: A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones – Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King’s Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert’s name. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse—unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer, but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season. Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances. Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Prince Viserys, heir of the fallen House Targaryen, which once ruled all of Westeros, schemes to reclaim the throne with an army of barbarian Dothraki—whose loyalty he will purchase in the only coin left to him: his beautiful yet innocent sister, Daenerys.

A Clash of Kings – Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel… and the coldest hearts.

A Storm of Swords – Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North and plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world.

A Feast for Crows – After centuries of bitter strife and fatal treachery, the seven powers dividing the land have decimated one another into an uneasy truce. Or so it appears. With the death of King Joffrey, Cersei is ruling as regent in King’s Landing. Robb Stark’s demise has broken the back of the Northern rebels, and his siblings are scattered throughout the kingdom. Now in the Seven Kingdoms, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed, while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—are seen emerging from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges ahead.

A Dance with Dragons – In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone—a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge.

Dunk and Egg Tales

Novellas that follow the adventures of “Dunk” (the future Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Duncan the Tall) and “Egg” (the future king Aegon V Targaryen), some 90 years before the events of the novels.

  • A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (2015)
    → Buy from: Amazon, BookDepository, Wordery

    • The Hedge Knight (1998)
    • The Sworn Sword (2003)
    • The Mystery Knight (2010)

History novellas

Historical accounts of events that took place long before the events of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels or the Dunk and Egg novellas.

Companion Books

From history books to cookbook, explore the world created by G.R.R. Martin with these books

Graphic Novels

A comic book adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy novels, still ongoing:

The Dunk and Egg Tales novellas have also been adapted as comic books:

Game of Thrones Chronological Reading Order

To rediscover this fictional world in order of events, here is the chronological order.

A Song of Ice and Fire series Quotes

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
― A Game of Thrones

“Bran thought about it. ‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’
‘That is the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.”
― A Game of Thrones

“Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.”
― A Game of Thrones

“The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that.”
― A Game of Thrones

“People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it’s served up.”
― A Clash of Kings

“I will hurt you for this. I don’t know how yet, but give me time. A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you’ll know the debt is paid.”
― A Clash of Kings

“Power resides only where men believe it resides. […] A shadow on the wall, yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”
― A Clash of Kings

“So many vows… they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It’s too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or the other.”
― A Clash of Kings

“I crossed a thousand leagues to come to you, and lost the best part of me along the way. Don’t tell me to leave.”
― A Storm of Swords

“When you know what a man wants you know who he is, and how to move him.”
― A Storm of Swords

“It all goes back and back,” Tyrion thought, “to our mothers and fathers and theirs before them. We are puppets dancing on the strings of those who came before us, and one day our own children will take up our strings and dance in our steads.”
― A Storm of Swords

“Madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, the gods toss the coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land.”
― A Storm of Swords

“My old grandmother always used to say, Summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.”
― A Feast for Crows

“History is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging. What has happened before will perforce happen again.”
― A Feast for Crows

“We all dream of things we cannot have.”
― A Feast for Crows

“Every man should lose a battle in his youth, so he does not lose a war when he is old.”
― A Feast for Crows

“The strongest trees are rooted in the dark places of the earth. Darkness will be your cloak, your shield, your mother’s milk. Darkness will make you strong.”
― A Dance with Dragons

“Men live their lives trapped in an eternal present, between the mists of memory and the sea of shadow that is all we know of the days to come.”
― A Dance with Dragons

“She had no time for sleep, with the weight of the world upon her shoulders. And she feared to dream. Sleep is a little death, dreams the whisperings of the Other, who would drag us all into his eternal night.”
― A Dance with Dragons

“Knowledge is a Weapon, Jon. Arm yourself well before you ride forth to Battle.”
― A Dance with Dragons

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