The Complete List Of Game Of Thrones Books (A Song Of Ice And Fire) In Reading Order

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By this point, Game of Thrones has pretty much taken over the planet. People from all over the world have fallen in love with the smash-hit HBO series and spent endless hours anticipating, debating, and agonizing over that famous final episode. 

But behind the global TV phenomenon is an epic series of fantasy novels by Geroge R.R. Martin, entitled A Song of Ice and Fire.

There are currently five novels in the series, with the last one, A Dance With Dragons, published in 2011, the same year the first HBO season was aired. 

But don’t worry, that’s not the end of this monumental series; the author has promised readers two more books, books that die-hard fans have been longing for, for over a decade now. 

It’s an agonizing wait, but if you’re new to the Song of Ice and Fire, then you’re one of the lucky ones. You still have five mind-blowing novels to read before you join the legions of readers begging for more. 

The Game of Thrones Books Reading Order

Each of the Song of Ice and Fire books is told from a different set of characters’ perspectives, with three main stories interweaving with one another to create a dynamic universe centered around the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos. 

There’s a lot of jumping forwards and backward in time throughout the series, but don’t worry, the unusual running order doesn’t change the way you’ll approach the books. Reading in publishing order is still the way to go, so with that in mind, let’s begin. 

Here is the complete list of Game of Thrones books, otherwise known as A Song of Ice and Fire. 

IMAGEBOOK NAMEFEATURESPRICE

A Game of Thrones (1996)•Publication date: August 1, 1996
•Print length: 694 pages
•Author: George R. R. Martin
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A Clash of Kings (1999)•Publication date:February 2, 1999
•Print length: 768 pages
•Author: George R. R. Martin
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A Storm of Swords (2000)•Publication date: October 31, 2000
•Print length: 992 pages
•Author: George R. R. Martin
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A Feast for Crows (2005)•Publication date: November 8, 2005
•Print length: 784 pages
•Author: George R. R. Martin
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A Dance with Dragons (2011)•Publication date: September 7, 2017
•Print length: 1040 pages
•Author: George R. R. Martin
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#1. A Game of Thrones (1996)

A Game of Thrones
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This first volume in the series was released in 1996, fifteen years before HBO transformed it into the biggest television sensation in the world. 

It takes us to the land of Winterfell, where long ago, a cataclysmic event shifted the seasons out of balance. Now, winter lasts for more than a lifetime, before the summer returns for decades until the cycle begins again. 

But winter is coming, and trouble isn’t far behind. As the cold sets in, dark and mysterious forces are at work, and they’re edging closer to the kingdom’s frontier. 

The large noble family of House Stark has been preparing for this time for generations. Many years ago, they reigned supreme over Winterfell, but now, they owe their allegiance to another. 

With the kingdom under threat, the time has finally come for the Starks to enter a battle, unlike any they’ve ever faced before – the ultimate game of thrones. 

#2. A Clash of Kings (1999)

A Clash of Kings
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The second Song of Ice and Fire book, published in 1999, also forms the framework for HBO’s second season. 

After the untimely demise of Eddard “Ned” Stark, the scale of the story expands dramatically. Amidst shifting alliances, vengeful plots, and violent takeovers, the kings of Westeros battle it out to claim their place on the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. 

Chaos surges onto the shores of Winterfell, and those in pursuit of power will let nothing stand in their way. Brothers come up against brothers, murder is commonplace, incest abounds, and the only victors will be those with the hardest of hearts. 

Also Read: Best Fantasy Books of All Time

#3. A Storm of Swords (2000)

A Storm of Swords
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The third installment of the series was published just over a year after the second. But if you thought that A Clash of Kings was action-packed, think again; A Storm of Swords mirrors the third season of the HBO show and has become a fan favorite, both in book and TV form. 

There are countless iconic moments packed into the pages of this book, with fast-paced action from beginning to end as the battle for power rages on. 

Joffrey Baratheon of House Lannister has claimed the Iron Throne, but his position of power stands on fragile ground. 

In the winter stricken North, Robb Stark, Joffrey’s arch-nemesis, plots his revenge from his Riverrun fortress, desperate to overthrow his long-time enemies. 

And elsewhere, the exiled queen Daenerys Stormborn and her dragons are gaining power as she inches her way closer across the bloodstained lands, with victory in her sights.

#4. A Feast for Crows (2005)

A Feast for Crows
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After all that action, a Feast For Crows slows things down a little. At the outset of the story, the seven powers who’ve waged war on each other for centuries have reached a kind of truce, at least, for the time being. 

Without Robb to lead them, the Stark House nobility is fractured and displaced across the kingdom, and with no legitimate claims to the Iron Throne, Cersei rules in King’s Landing without opposition. 

But in the aftermath of this epic war, the survivors are picking themselves up from the ashes. They’re gathering together, forming new allegiances, whispering their once-secret plans out loud, and preparing for the new era of strife that lies ahead. 

#5. A Dance with Dragons (2011)

A Dance with Dragons
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In the final installment (at least for now) of the Song of Ice and Fire, familiar faces join a new set of powerful forces to battle it out for control of the Seven Kingdoms. 

As the fragmented empire reels in the wake of an epic war, those once pitted against each other now find themselves facing a common enemy. 

Over in the East, Daenerys and her band of dragons rule as the last stronghold of House Targaryen, but her many adversaries are queuing up for revenge.

And meanwhile, Jon Snow, the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, is about to face his greatest challenge yet, as his own enemies close in and threaten the security of the Wall.

Also Read: 12 Best Fantasy Book Series to Add to Your Collection

#6. The Winds of Winter (not yet published) 

The Winds of Winter

Fans who read A Dance with Dragons when it was first published have been waiting with bated breath for the 6th installment for more than a decade now. 

Author George R.R. Martin has promised readers it’s on its way, but in April 2021, after years worth of delays, he dropped a bombshell of disappointment, saying, “I am hugely behind right now, and the prospect of trying to catch up is increasingly oppressive.”

It seems that the global success of the HBO shows and the legions of fans with high expectations are leading to some serious writer’s block for Martin, and who can blame him? The world is expecting a lot, and the pressure is on for him to deliver. 

But what do we know about where The Winds of Winter might lead? 

So far, the author has made it clear he intends to tie up some loose ends left open in A Dance WithDragons, not least the two major battles that the previous story led up to but never quite arrived at. 

During the 2016 Guadalajara International Book Fair, he gave us another hint about what to expect. “I’ve been telling you for 20 years that winter was coming. Winter is the time when things die, and cold and ice and darkness fill the world, so this is not going to be the happy feel-good that people may be hoping for. Some of the characters are in very dark places… Things get worse before they get better, so things are getting worse for a lot of people.”

#7. A Dream of Spring (not yet published)

A Dream of Spring

Originally, George R.R. Martin decided to name the seventh and final volume of the series ‘A Time for Wolves,’ but the planned title has since been changed to the more hopeful ‘A Dream of Spring.’ 

All we know so far is that the book will conclude this epic fantasy saga once and for all. But with the sixth installment in the series still to be completed, it’s hard to say when, or even if, the seventh book will ever make it onto our shelves. 

After all, the author has been working on The Winds of Winter for as long as the TV series has aired, and such an important finale can’t be rushed. 

Conclusion

George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series topped the New York Times Bestsellers list long before HBO’s earth-shattering Game of Thrones hit the scene. But now, legions of new fans around the globe have joined the fold. 

Time Magazine dubbed the author behind the global phenomenon “the American Tolkien,” and the LA Times have called the novels “One of the best series in the history of fantasy.”

So, if you’ve not begun reading the Song of Ice and Fire series yet, what are you waiting for? With a little luck, by the time you finish the fifth book, the next installment in the series will be out. And if not, you can seek comfort in the many spin-off series, graphic novels, and novellas that have followed. 

For more fantasy book recommendations, check out our ultimate guide to the best fantasy books of all time. 

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