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Literature / A Song of Ice and Fire

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Here there be many a trope, in the great wide world of Ice and Fire.

"He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire."
Rhaegar Targaryen, A Clash of Kings
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A Song of Ice and Fire is a bestselling Doorstopper epic fantasy series written by George R.R. Martin. The series premiered in 1996, and there have been five books released in the series so far, with the most recent published in 2011.

Set in a medieval fantasy world, the series primary follows various political and supernatural threats to the Seven Kingdoms, a vast nation still recovering from a civil war that ousted the previous ruling dynasty of three centuries, the Targaryens. The plot begins by focusing on the Stark family, a noble house that rules the frigid and sparsely populated North. Forced to journey south and enter the unfamiliar territory of the capital, King's Landing, the family must suddenly contend with deadly court politics, intrigue, plots, feuds and mysteries from a host of rival factions. As the nobles busy themselves playing the game of thrones, a supernatural threat looms beyond the Wall to the far north that threatens to destroy the Seven Kingdoms and drive the continent into a permanent winter. Meanwhile, the last Targaryen scions, now in exile, have their sights set on reconquering the Seven Kingdoms and reclaiming their family's throne with fire and blood.

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The novels feature a large ensemble cast, narrated in chapters that relate action from the third-person limited perspective of alternating protagonists, some of them on opposing sides of a conflict. Many of the plots and subplots of the protagonists overlap with each other directly and indirectly, while others merely parallel the central action or counterpoint it in key ways.

In addition to the main series of novels, there are a variety of spin-offs and related media, including prequels and in-universe history texts.

    open/close all folders 

    Main Books 

Main series

  1. A Game of Thrones (1996)
  2. A Clash of Kings (1998)
  3. A Storm of Swords (2000)
  4. A Feast for Crows (2005)
  5. A Dance with Dragons (2011)
  6. The Winds of Winter (TBD)note 
  7. A Dream of Spring (TBD)

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    Prequels and Companion Media 
  • Tales of Dunk and Egg - Novellas set 90 years before the main series. Three tales ("The Hedge Knight", "The Sworn Sword" and "The Mystery Knight") have been published, but Martin intends for this to be an ongoing series chronicling the pair's entire life together. These have also been adapted as graphic novels.
  • The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones: A series encyclopedia, co-written by Martin, Garcia, and Antonsson. The book is framed as a history written by one Maester Yandel and presented to King Robert as a gift.
    • A World of Ice and Fire (a.k.a. A Game of Thrones Guide): A smartphone app offering details on a multitude of events, characters, and locations written by Elio M. Garcia Jr. and Linda Antonsson, the admins of popular fansite Westeros.org. Basically, a way to present a few extra notes here and there that didn't fit into the print World book.
  • The Lands of Ice and Fire: A book of poster-sized maps, including regions of the world that have yet to be explored in the novels.
  • Fire And Blood: Expanding on the idea of The World of Ice and Fire, Fire and Blood is a history book focused on the Targaryen dynasty written from an in-universe perspective. Originally intended as one volume, it has since been split into two, with the first volume (covering history up to the death of the Targaryen dragons) being released in November 2018. The book features new content alongside text directly lifted and/or expanded from other releases (for instance, this book's account of Aegon's conquest is largely identical to the version in The World of Ice and Fire). Elements from this compendium were earlier published separately, and grouped on TV Tropes under the fan-title of Archmaester Gyldayn's Histories:
    • The Princess and the Queen, or, The Blacks and the Greens: A novella written as an In-Universe history text, narrating the events of the Dance of the Dragons, a war of succession between rival Targaryen branches 170 years before the time of the main series. Published in the 2013 short story anthology Dangerous Women, edited by Martin and Gardner Dozois. The print novella was heavily edited due to length restraints in the anthology, only containing about 30,000 words out of 60,000 Martin wrote on the Dance of the Dragons at the time. Subsequent novellas were shorter and only had a few bits omitted here and there. Notably, TPATQ came out a year before the World book, so it was the first time fans were exposed to this new, expansive prequel era. All other prequel eras were at least summarized in the 2014 World book.
    • The Rogue Prince, or, The King's Brother: A novella narrating the exploits of Prince Daemon Targaryen, including the events leading to "The Princess and the Queen". Published in the 2014 short story anthology Rogues, edited by Martin and Dozois.
    • The Sons of the Dragon: A novella about the Cain and Abel reigns of Aegon I's two sons, first his weakling older son Aenys and then his brutal tyrant younger son Maegor, and the Faith Militant uprisings against both of them. Published in the 2017 short story anthology Book of Swords, also edited by Martin and Dozois (sadly, Dozois died a few months after it was published).

    Adaptations 
  • The series was adapted for television as Game of Thrones which despite borrowing the title of the first book is an adaptation of the entire series, and between Seasons 1-4 adapted the first three books with reasonable faithfulness. The unusual circumstances of its conception and genesis (an adaptation of an as-yet incomplete series of novels), means that the later seasons have compressed books 4-5, and have now moved past the chronology of the published books. The show is set to finish before the author completes his books. Martin has been supportive of the project, writing the screenplays for one episode per season (for Seasons 1-4)note . He has also given Weiss and Benioff the outlines for the remaining books in the series, which will come in handy now that they have outpaced him.
  • A video game, A Game of Thrones: Genesis, has dramatized some of the stuff that's All There in the Manual, covering the last thousand-or-so years of Westerosi history. It was joined by a negatively received video game, also called Game of Thrones. A browser-based online MMORPG called Game Of Thrones: Seven Kingdoms is also in the works.
  • Another video game, this one made by Telltale Games and taking place in the TV series' continuity.
  • A table top Role-Playing Game was licensed through Green Ronin and currently has three books released, a rulebook, a sourcebook, and a licensed adventure.
  • A tabletop strategy game and two editions of a CCG have been published by Fantasy Flight Games.
  • A cookbook, A Feast Of Ice And Fire and a map folio The Lands Of Ice and Fire have been published.

For more information, see the character sheet and GRRM's "Not-a-blog".

As the page for the novels is already considerable and ever growing, please enter the tropes found only in the live action series and video game on their own pages.


This series provides examples of:


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