Winter is coming !

What is A Song of Ice and Fire about?

Adapted as an HBO tv show under the title Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire is an ongoing epic fantasy series written by american writer G.R.R. Martin

The story takes place on the fictional continents Westeros and Essos. It centers around a dynastic war among several families for control of Westeros, the rising threat of the supernatural Others in northernmost Westeros, and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen, the deposed king’s exiled daughter, to assume the Iron Throne.

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I. Song of Ice and Fire Books in Order:

a. The Main Series

  

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The Winds of Winter  – forthcoming
  4. A Dream of Spring – forthcoming

b. The Novellas & Companions Books

In addition to the main series, G.R.R. Martin wrote several novellas set in the same world, and offering an insight into past events. Not necessary to read, but it offers some good background to the story.

  1. The Hedge Knight – First published in Legends
  2. The Sworn Sword – First published  in Legends II
  3. The Mystery Knight – First published  in Warriors
  4. The Princess and the Queen – First published in Dangerous Women
  5. The Rogue Prince – First published in Rogues. Prequel to The Princess and the Queen.
  6. The Sons of the Dragon – First published in The Book of Swords

You can find those novellas in companion books to the main series :

 

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms – Omnibus collecting The Tales of Dunk and Egg novella series set about 90 years before the events of the main A Song of Ice and Fire series.  It collects The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight.

The World of Ice & Fire – A comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms. Include a longer version of  The Rogue Prince and The Princess and the Queen.

Fire and Blood – A complete history of House Targaryen. Include an edited version of The Sons of the Dragon.


Song of Ice and Fire Chronological Reading Order :

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

  1. The Rogue Prince (2014)
  2. The Princess and the Queen (2013)
  3. The Hedge Knight (1998)
  4. The Sworn Sword (2003)
  5. The Mystery Knight (2010)
  6. A Game of Thrones (1996)
  7. A Clash of Kings (1999)
  8. A Storm of Swords (2000)
  9. A Feast for Crows (2005)
  10. A Dance with Dragons (2011)

Song of Ice and Fire Publication Reading order :

You can also read the whole series in publication order.

  1. A Game of Thrones (1996)
  2. The Hedge Knight (1998)
  3. A Clash of Kings (1999)
  4. A Storm of Swords (2000)
  5. The Sworn Sword (2003)
  6. A Feast for Crows (2005)
  7. The Mystery Knight (2010)
  8. A Dance with Dragons (2011)
  9. The Princess and the Queen (2013)
  10. The Rogue Prince (2014)

The Boxset

A Game of Thrones / A Clash of Kings / A Storm of Swords / A Feast of Crows / A Dance with Dragons… all in one box.

Thanks to my friend Carole for writing this guide.