It is the great fantasy saga of the moment waiting for its writer George R.R. Martin finished the work started in 1996 with the first book ‘Game of Thrones’. A Song of Ice and Fire is a true reference in literature, with a legion of fans in part due to the popular adaptation for HBO.
Given that the history of the books is not exactly the same as that of the series, and that Martin himself continues to expand the myths of Westeros with recent books such as ‘Fire and Blood’ (2018), which even has a series with the first season complete now available, it is natural to feel lost. If you are in that group, we have prepared a Game of Thrones reading guide for you to read the books in order.
All the Game of Thrones books published to date in chronological order
Here it is important to clarify an idea commented above. Not all books published by George R.R. Martin belong to the “Song of Ice and Fire” saga, that is, to the story that starts with the Starks receiving a visit from King Robert Baratheon and is commonly called Game of Thrones because of the television series.
- Game of Thrones (1996)
- A Clash of Kings (1999)
- A Storm of Swords (2000)
- A Feast for Crows (2005)
- Dragon Dance (2011)
- The World of Ice and Fire (2014)
- The Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (2015)
- Fire and Blood (2018)
As you can see, we currently have a total of five volumes on the main story (in bold), as well as the encyclopedia book ‘The World of Ice and Fire’, the stories of Dunk and Egg compiled in ‘The Knight of the Seven Kingdoms’ and the chronicle about the Targaryens from ‘Fire and Blood’. The last two can be read following the chronological order of the saga, as prequels starting with ‘Blood and Fire’ and then ‘The Knight of the Seven Kingdoms’, but the truth is that some fans enjoy it more after having read the main books available. .
Of these more than 11 years that have passed since the release of A Dance with Dragons until now, this is where the complaints from fans of the saga about George R.R.’s writing pace emanate. Martin. Although he has since published three books, and has worked on both the franchise’s audiovisual projects and the mythos of the 2022 game Elden Ring, the reality is that the hiatus from the main saga is the biggest so far.
Once this is clarified, we must comment on a couple of additional issues. The first is that all the books in the Song of Ice and Fire series have been released in the chronological order of the story. Therefore, there is not too much loss… At least in the first three, titled ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Clash of Kings’ and ‘Storm of Swords’.
If you continue with ‘A Feast for Crows’ and ‘Dance with Dragons’, nothing bad will happen to you. It is the way in which the vast majority of fans of the saga read them and you will find out everything perfectly. However, there is a specific particularity of these two books that you should take into account if you start reading A Song of Ice and Fire now.
Feast Dance, Boiled Leather, A Ball of Beasts and A Feast with Dragons: The particularity of A Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons
The last two books in the series are not direct continuations, but largely overlap. This is so because the events that take place are practically the same, but seen from the points of view of different characters. The reason is that in theory they were going to be a single volume, but due to editorial issues it was decided that it was better to divide it into two.
It is true that in ‘Dance with Dragons’ there is a little more progress, but not as much as in ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Clash of Kings’, to give an example. Since there are events that happen at the same time between the two books, or that you should read by jumping from one to the other to have a completely linear experience, fans have created several reading lists with the order of these chapters, interspersing both books.
We won’t go into too much, but A Ball of Beasts is often singled out as the best for how it avoids spoilers for issues that appear earlier in one book than another, making it a good choice for new readers. Boiled Leather is considered inferior and A Feast with Dragons is meant for the analysis of small details, being enjoyed only by readers who want to review the facts.
What books are left to be released in A Song of Ice and Fire?
If George R.R. Martin are still standing, there would still be two more books to finish A Song of Ice and Fire. ‘Winds of Winter’ would be the next, and it is the one that is choking the writer the most. According to him, it would be over 1500 words and would already be about 75% complete. With him, what was experienced in ‘Dance of Dragons’ would continue.
After this, the closure of the saga would come with ‘Spring Dream’. Here we are already in the field of speculation, because until we have ‘Winds of Winter’ in our hands, it is reasonable not to get excited or think too much about the last chapter of the story.
Synopsis of the books available in chronological order
Fire and blood
First of the two volumes we are told, the history of the Targaryens: from Aegon I Targaryen, creator of the iconic Iron Throne, and followed by all the other generations that tried to stay in power.
The part adapted in The House of the Dragon is only a fraction of this book, which covers some 300 years of Westeros history.
The Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
The first three Dunk and Egg tales are actually the stories told about Aegon V the Unlikely and Ser Duncan the Tall, his loyal Kingsguard commander.
But the magic and epic of the legend hide the true nature of the heroes: the determination of an orphan from the Bed of Fleas who became a knight, the courage of a prince who changed the court for the roads and an unbreakable friendship capable of winning. intrigues, betrayals… and revolts.
Game of Thrones
In the fantastic world of the Seven Kingdoms, where summer can last decades and winter a lifetime, supernatural forces begin to swirl in the north, beyond the wall that separates the wilds from Winterfell.
Lord Stark and his family find themselves at the center of a conflict that will unleash everything from betrayal to loyalty, through compassion and a thirst for revenge, while continuing to see even more passionate issues such as love and power, lust and incest. , all to win the deadliest of battles.
Clash of Kings
After the suspicious death of Robert Baratheon, the monarch of the Seven Kingdoms, his son Joffrey has been forcibly imposed. Four noblemen proclaim themselves, at the same time, legitimate kings, and the lands of Westeros witness an imminent conflict fueled by wars and betrayals.
Storm of Swords
The Seven Kingdoms will soon suffer a long winter. Joffrey, the cruel adolescent king, continues to do his thing under the watchful eye of the Lannisters; Robb Stark, King of Winterfell, has won all his battles, but he is losing the war; Daenerys, the princess of dragons, already has an army and plans to take back the kingdom she once was from the Targaryens.
But another force that no one counted on, the Others, rises from beyond the Ice Wall: a supernatural army of ice zombies.
Feast for Crows
A Feast for Crows picks up where A Storm of Swords left off, and the events that take place in it are simultaneous to those of A Dance with Dragons. The War of the Five Kings begins to wane. Robb Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, Renly Baratheon and Balon Greyjoy are dead and King Stannis Baratheon is at the Wall helping the Night’s Watch and their Lord Commander, Jon Snow.
Joffrey’s brother, Tommen Baratheon, at just eight years old is now King of Westeros, ruling from King’s Landing under the watchful eye of his mother, the Queen Regent, Cersei Lannister. Tywin Lannister is also dead, killed by his own son, Tyrion, before fleeing the city. Sansa Stark is hidden in the Vale, protected by Petyr Baelish who, after murdering his wife Lysa Arryn, proclaims himself Lord Protector of the Vale and guardian of his stepson Lord Robert Arryn, now Lord of the Vale.
Dance of dragons
This novel continues the story where Storm of Swords left off, with simultaneous events to those that occurred in A Feast for Crows, as we explained above. The War of the Five Kings is losing troops. In the North, King Stannis Baratheon has installed himself on the Wall and has sworn to win the loyalty of the Northerners to continue his fight for the Iron Throne, although this is complicated by the fact that most of the west coast is occupied and Roose Bolton has been made lord and lord protector in the North, leaving his son Ramsay in charge of Winterfell.
Daenerys is becoming more and more known in Westeros, while the threat of The Others is gaining adherents by leaps and bounds, taking advantage of the intrigues for power on the other side of the Wall.