Series: A Song of Ice and Fire Book 1
Length: 704 pages
Audiobook Length: 33 hours and 46 minutes
First Published: 1996
George R. R. Martin kicks off his epic mastery of political machinations with the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. With winter creeping into the land of summer and the king’s advisors mysteriously dying, Lord Eddard Stark is called to serve as the king’s new Hand. But Stark’s position places his family at risk from the ambitions of the rival houses.
I finally get all the hype. A sweeping epic fantasy full of vicious political maneuverings, A Game of Thrones was simply unputdownable. Martin was a brilliant storyteller, making each of his dozens of characters feel unique and vibrant. Just be warned that the story is full of physical and sexual violence and Martin never finished the books, only writing five of the promised seven. And yes, I immediately borrowed the HBO series and checked out the second book from the library.
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. There his family dwells in peace and comfort: his proud wife, Catelyn; his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon; his daughters Sansa and Arya; and his bastard son, Jon Snow. 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. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, the cruel, vainglorious Prince Joffrey, and the queen’s brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister—the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All are heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms.
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.
Quotes from A Game of Thrones
When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.
A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.
Fear cuts deeper than swords.
Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.
The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that.
TV Trailer for A Game of Thrones (2011)
About George R. R. Martin
George R. R. Martin is the author of the bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire series. He has a BS and MS in Journalism from Northwestern University and worked as a story editor and producer for television shows in the late 1980s. He currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Visit the author’s website →