A Dance with Dragons is the fifth of seven planned novels in the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by American author George R. R. Martin. In some areas, the paperback edition was published in two parts, titled Dreams and Dust and After the Feast. It was the first novel in the series to be published following the commencement of the HBO series adaptation, Game of Thrones, and runs to 1,040 pages with a word count of almost 415,000.
The US hardcover was officially published on July 12, 2011, and a few weeks later went to No. 1 on both Publishers Weekly and USA Today bestsellers lists. The novel has been adapted for television as the fifth season of Game of Thrones, although elements of the book have also appeared in the series' third, fourth and sixth seasons.
|A Dance with Dragons|
|Author||George R. R. Martin|
|Audio read by||Roy Dotrice|
|Cover artist||Larry Rostant|
|Series||A Song of Ice and Fire|
|Published||July 12, 2011|
|Publisher||Voyager Books (UK) |
Bantam Spectra (US)
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|Pages||1016 (US hardcover)|
|Award||Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (2012)|
9780007456376 (UK hardback)
|LC Class||PS3563.A7239 D36 2011|
|Preceded by||A Feast for Crows|
|Followed by||The Winds of Winter (forthcoming)|
King Stannis Baratheon and his forces occupy the Wall as Jon Snow, the newly elected 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, sends Samwell Tarly to the Citadel in Oldtown to be trained as a Maester. Sam is accompanied by Daeron, a brother of the Night's Watch; the elderly Maester Aemon' the wildling girl Gilly; and the newborn son of the wildling leader Mance Rayder, whom Jon has switched with Gilly's baby to save the wildling "prince" from sacrifice by Stannis' red priestess Melisandre. Janos Slynt refuses to acknowledge Jon's authority, and after three public warnings, Jon personally beheads Slynt for disobedience. Though intended to solidify Jon's new position as Lord Commander, it only sows more discord with Slynt's faction. Stannis executes Mance for refusing to submit to him. Jon brokers a truce with Tormund Giantsbane, the leader of the surviving wildlings, allowing them through the Wall and into Westeros in exchange for wildling assistance in defending the Wall against the Others. This creates further unrest among the brothers of the Night's Watch, who have considered the wildlings their enemies for centuries.
Tycho Nestoris, a representative of the Iron Bank of Braavos, arrives at the Wall seeking Stannis, who has already marched south with his army. The Iron Bank now supports Stannis' claim to the Iron Throne since the regent Cersei Lannister has refused to repay the crown's debts. Jon negotiates a loan with which the Night's Watch can buy food to survive through the winter. After recurring visions, Melisandre warns Jon that he is in danger from enemies within the Watch, and that a Northern girl is in trouble. Mance is revealed to be alive thanks to Melisandre's magical trickery, and he is sent to Winterfell to rescue the girl, who Jon believes is his half-sister, Arya Stark. However, the girl in Melisandre's visions, fleeing to the Wall, turns out to be Alys Karstark, daughter of the deceased Lord Rickard Karstark. She reveals Rickard's uncle Arnolf Karstark, Castellan of Karhold, declared for Stannis in the hope that her last surviving brother Harrion Karstark, a hostage of the Lannisters, would be executed. Arnolf intends to force Alys to marry his son Cregan so his branch of the family can take control of Karhold, and also plans to betray Stannis to the Boltons. When Cregan arrives at the Wall, Jon imprisons him and arranges Alys' marriage to a Wildling leader Sigorn, the Magnar of Thenn, partially to aid the Wildlings' integration into the North.
Jon receives a taunting letter from Ramsay Bolton, who claims to have crushed Stannis' army at Winterfell. Ramsay demands that Jon hand over to him Stannis' wife and daughter or be killed, and also insists that he deliver Theon Greyjoy and Arya, neither of whom Jon has seen in years. Jon instead decides that he will seek out and kill Ramsay himself, asking for volunteers from the Watch to accompany him. Melisandre's prediction comes true as Jon is betrayed and stabbed by Bowen Marsh and several of his own men.
Meanwhile, Bran Stark's search for the "Three-Eyed Crow" beyond the Wall leads him to the last surviving Children of the Forest, the non-human natives of Westeros. In the Children's cave, Bran and his companions Meera and Jojen Reed meet the Three-Eyed Crow—the last "greenseer"—an ancient man intertwined with the roots of a weirwood tree. Using greensight, Bran witnesses his father Ned Stark at Winterfell's godswood in the past, and communicates with Theon Greyjoy at the same location in the present.
Having killed his father Tywin, Tyrion Lannister is smuggled to Pentos by Varys, where he is sheltered by Illyrio Mopatis. Tyrion is sent south with a party to aid Daenerys Targaryen in claiming the Iron Throne; on the journey, it is revealed that Varys and Illyrio have hidden the presumed dead Aegon Targaryen, son of the late Prince Rhaegar, with Jon Connington to eventually install him as king of Westeros. In the intervening years, they have made a contract with the Golden Company, the largest and most skilled mercenary army in the Free Cities. Tyrion advises young Aegon that Daenerys will not respect him unless he has made his conquests first, and persuades Aegon to launch an early invasion of the Seven Kingdoms, without the aid of Daenerys and her dragons. After traveling with Aegon across Essos, Tyrion is kidnapped by Jorah Mormont, who intends to deliver him to Daenerys as a means to regain her favor. Jorah, Tyrion, and a female dwarf named Penny are shipwrecked and sold by slavers to a Yunkish merchant. At Meereen, Tyrion escapes in the mass confusion of the plague ravaging the Yunkish army, joins the Second Sons mercenary group, and secures their support for Daenerys.
In Braavos, Arya is an acolyte of the guild of assassins known as the Faceless Men. Temporarily afflicted with blindness at their hands, she develops her sense of hearing, and realizes that she can "see" through cats the same way she could with her pet direwolf, Nymeria. After successfully fending off an attack by the master of the temple with a stick sword, Arya's sight is restored. She is magically given the face of one of the temple petitioners, who come there seeking a quiet death, and is tasked with assassinating a corrupt merchant. After doing so, Arya is declared an apprentice of the Faceless Men, to be sent to another assassin to continue her training.
In the far east, Daenerys has conquered the city of Meereen, but struggles to maintain peace within the city while also trying to prevent military defeat from external forces. A plague known as the bloody flux or "pale mare" ravages the city. Daenerys' dragons have become increasingly dangerous in their maturity, and she reluctantly confines them in a dungeon for the safety of her people. Drogon, the largest, evades capture and flies off. Despite her sexual relationship with the mercenary Daario Naharis, Daenerys marries the noble Hizdahr zo Loraq to secure an alliance that will hopefully appease the violent Meereenese resistance group called the Sons of the Harpy. At Hizdahr's insistence, she reopens the fighting pits as a gesture of good will to the citizens, but the noise and carnage attract Drogon. Two hundred people are trampled in the resulting panic or killed by the dragon, at which point Daenerys climbs on Drogon to calm him. He flies off with a helpless Daenerys in tow. Hizdahr is soon implicated in an attempt to poison Daenerys at the pits, and her advisor Barristan Selmy removes Hizdahr from power and prepares for battle with the armies outside Meereen. Hoping to prove his prowess to Daenerys by riding one of her remaining dragons, the Dornish prince Quentyn Martell is killed in the attempt, and both dragons are unleashed upon the city. Drogon flies Daenerys to the Dothraki Sea. She spends her days flying with Drogon, but can't get him to take her back to Meereen. Finally, Daenerys decides to leave him and walk back to the city, only to get sick along the way. Her dragon comes to her rescue when she encounters the khalasar of Khal Jhaqo, a former subordinate to her late husband Khal Drogo, who betrayed her after Drogo's death. Meanwhile, Theon's uncle Victarion Greyjoy sails for Meereen, intending to fight off the slavers' alliance besieging the city and then marry Daenerys. He plans to use her dragons to overthrow his brother, King Euron. While initially the voyage towards Meereen is hard on his fleet, his fortunes turn when he saves a Red Priest from a shipwreck. Victarion soon wins a number of victories en route to Daenerys thanks to the Red Priest's accurate predictions, and becomes more open to the new religion as he reaches Meereen.
In the North, Stannis Baratheon has installed himself at the Wall and attempts to win the support of the northmen; the Lannisters have installed Roose Bolton as Warden of the North and much of the west coast is under occupation by the Ironborn. Plotting against Stannis, the Karstarks advise him to march on House Bolton's stronghold, the Dreadfort, where the Boltons and Karstarks have laid a trap for him. On the advice of Jon Snow, Stannis instead acquires the support of the Northern hill clans and captures Deepwood Motte from Asha Greyjoy, whereupon House Glover and House Mormont join Stannis' army.
Davos is sent to White Harbor to win the support of House Manderly, the richest House in the North. He finds three Freys present, who blame Robb for the conflict and advise submission to the Lannisters. Lord Wyman Manderly pretends to execute Davos Seaworth to ensure the release of his son and heir Wylis from Lannister captivity. When Wylis is freed, in retribution for the murder of Wyman's other son, Wendel, at the Red Wedding, the Manderlys are heavily implied to discreetly murder the three Freys who returned his bones, putting them in pies to be fed to their kin. In a secret meeting, Davos is told the Manderlys and other Northern vassals intend to feign submission to the Boltons, Freys and Lannisters while plotting revenge for Robb Stark's death. Revealing to Davos that young Rickon Stark is in hiding on the remote island of Skagos, Manderly pledges the allegiance of his forces to Stannis if the famed smuggler Davos can retrieve Rickon and unite the Starks' supporters around him.
Theon is revealed to be a prisoner in the dungeon of Winterfell, mutilated and driven nearly insane by torture at Ramsay's hands. Renamed "Reek" by Ramsay and kept like a dog, Theon is terrified of the sadistic Ramsay. Ramsay's father Roose arrives with "Arya Stark", whom Reek recognizes as Sansa Stark's friend Jeyne Poole. Ramsay and the false Arya are wed at Winterfell, with Reek forced to assume his previous identity of Theon to give away the bride and help reassure the North that Jeyne is Arya. After the wedding, Ramsay repeatedly abuses Jeyne physically and sexually. Several suspicious murders in the castle increase the already high tensions between House Frey and the northern Houses present, with Roose and his vassals desperately trying to keep the peace. He is finally forced to send the Frey and Manderly forces out of Winterfell after a confrontation between them leads to multiple deaths. In Winterfell's godswood, Reek begs for forgiveness and hears Bran's voice calling him "Theon", which restores his sanity. He is approached by a disguised Mance and compelled to help him free the false Arya, but Mance and his spearwives are left behind when the alarm is raised. Theon and Jeyne escape by leaping from the castle wall into the snow, and are then captured by Stannis' forces nearby under Mors Umber. Theon is reunited with his sister Asha, who does not initially recognize him. Stannis decides to confront the Boltons at Winterfell, but his army becomes snowbound.
Tyrion convinces Aegon that Daenerys would rather learn of her nephew from his conquest than by his demanding recognition. Aegon, his guardian Jon Connington, and the Golden Company capture four castles with little resistance, including the Connington ancestral seat of Griffin's Roost, with the intention of marching on Storm's End, the seat of House Baratheon. Meanwhile, Connington is secretly succumbing to greyscale, a deadly and infectious disease.
Ser Balon Swann of the Kingsguard presents the skull of Gregor Clegane to Prince Doran Martell and his court as justice for the murder of Doran's sister Elia. Doran agrees that Myrcella Baratheon may return to the Westerosi capital King's Landing with her betrothed, his son Prince Trystane, but reveals to his family that Cersei intends to murder Trystane. Doran summons the three eldest of the 'Sand Snakes', his late brother Oberyn's bastard daughters, and sets each a task: Obara Sand to distract Ser Balon by leading his hunt for Ser Gerold Dayne, the knight who previously tried to kill Myrcella; Nymeria Sand to assume the seat offered to Dorne on the Small Council; and Tyene Sand to infiltrate the Great Sept of Baelor and ingratiate herself with the High Septon.
Brienne of Tarth searches for Sansa Stark in the riverlands and is captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners who bring her to their leader, Lady Stoneheart. Brienne discovers that Catelyn Stark was found and revived by Beric Dondarrion after the Red Wedding with the kiss of life, which transferred Beric's life force into Catelyn, who now leads the Brotherhood, seeking revenge on the men who murdered her son. Having negotiated the surrender of Riverrun, Jaime Lannister offers peace to House Blackwood, the last of Robb Stark's allies still at arms, which Lord Tytos Blackwood agrees to, giving one of his sons, Hoster, as a hostage. The Stark-Lannister war in the Riverlands is nominally over, but brigands holding no allegiance now roam most of the broken countryside, and Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully is still missing. Jaime sets about restoring order, and follows when Brienne of Tarth tells him that she has found the missing Sansa Stark, who she claims is in danger from Sandor Clegane.
In order to gain release from her imprisonment, the dowager queen Cersei confesses to several of the lesser charges against her, but does not confess to having murdered her husband King Robert Baratheon and many others, nor that her children are the product of incest. As a condition of her release, she is stripped naked and forced to march under escort from the Great Sept of Baelor to the Red Keep. Cersei tries to maintain her pride but the smallfolk pelt her with rotten vegetables and insults; by the end she is crying and crawling on her hands and knees. Meanwhile, the ex-maester Qyburn has perfected and appointed "Ser Robert Strong", an eight-foot-tall figure encased in armor, into the Kingsgard, thereby allowing him to act as Cersei's champion in trial by combat. Having taken control of the regency of Cersei's son, the young king Tommen, her uncle Kevan Lannister and Grand Maester Pycelle attempt to undo the damage caused by Cersei's rule. Later, Kevan finds Pycelle murdered, and is subsequently shot with a crossbow by Varys. Varys reveals that he has been plotting for years for the Lannisters to destroy themselves so that the Targaryens may return to power, telling Kevan that Aegon has been shaped to be an ideal ruler. The book ends with Varys sending his "little birds" (child spies) to finish Kevan off.
In addition to the maps published in previous books, the book includes a new map of the previously-unmapped area of the Free Cities on the eastern continent. Like the previous four volumes in the Ice and Fire series, the book includes an appendix with a complete list of characters.
The story is narrated from the point of view of 18 different characters, including two minor one-off point-of-view (POV) characters featured in the prologue and epilogue. All but two POV characters were identified before the book's release.
In the North:
In the eastern continent of Essos:
In the South:
Chapters for several POVs, which may include Sansa Stark, Samwell Tarly, Aeron Damphair, Arianne Martell, and Brienne of Tarth were written for the book, but they will instead tentatively appear in the next book, The Winds of Winter.
A Dance with Dragons was originally intended to be the title of the second novel in the sequence, when Martin still envisioned the series as a trilogy. Some early US editions of A Game of Thrones (1996) list A Dance of Dragons as the forthcoming second volume in the series. The 1998 anthology Legends, which features the novella The Hedge Knight from the same universe, listed A Dance of Dragons as the third installment of a four-book series.
In May 2005 Martin announced that the "sheer size" of his still-unfinished manuscript for A Feast for Crows had led him and his publishers to split the narrative into two books. Rather than divide the text in half chronologically, Martin opted to instead split the material by character and location, resulting in "two novels taking place simultaneously" with different casts of characters. Published in 2005, A Feast for Crows is narrated primarily by characters in the South of the Seven Kingdoms and in the new locations of the Iron Islands and Dorne. A Dance with Dragons features characters in the North and across the narrow sea, although Jaime Lannister, Cersei Lannister, Arya Stark, Areo Hotah and Victarion and Asha Greyjoy appear in both volumes.
Approximately one-third of the published A Dance with Dragons consists of material that had been written for the pre-split A Feast for Crows, although much of this has been rewritten by Martin.
In 2009, Martin confirmed that, contrary to earlier statements, Sansa Stark would not appear in A Dance with Dragons; Sansa chapters initially slated for the novel have instead been pushed back to The Winds of Winter, which is planned to be the sixth book in the series. In early 2010, Martin noted that his intent for A Dance with Dragons was for the first 800 manuscript pages to cover the alternate characters in the same time span as A Feast for Crows, and that "Everything that follows is post-Feast, so that's where some of the cast from the last book start popping up again." Stating that "I wanted to resolve at least a few of the cliffhangers from Feast," Martin also mentioned the possibility that some of his finished chapters might get pushed to the next novel, The Winds of Winter, depending on the length of the finished manuscript for A Dance with Dragons.
Despite original, optimistic predictions of possible completion in late 2006, Martin completed the novel in April 2011, nearly five years later. During this period, Martin's blog featured sporadic updates on his progress, and in January 2008 he posted an update affirming his vigilant commitment to finishing the novel. In early 2008, publisher Spectra Books (a division of Random House) announced that A Dance with Dragons would be released on September 30, 2008, but Martin stated this would only be possible if he finished writing by the end of June, before his trip to Spain and Portugal; he did not meet his goal.
On February 19, 2009, Martin posted on his website: "I am trying to finish the book by June. I think I can do that. If I do, A Dance with Dragons will likely be published in September or October." On June 22, 2009, the author expressed "guarded optimism" with respect to his progress on the novel, while still not confirming a publication date. When asked in a July 2009 interview with FREE! Magazine how the book was going, Martin stated, "It is going pretty well, actually. I am hoping to finish it by September or October; that is my goal." On October 6, 2009, Martin said that his working manuscript for A Dance With Dragons had just exceeded 1,100 pages of completed chapters, plus "considerably more in partials, fragments, and roughs." He noted that this made the upcoming novel longer than his earlier books A Game of Thrones and A Feast for Crows, and nearly as long as A Clash of Kings.
On March 2, 2010, Martin remarked that he had reached 1,311 manuscript pages, making Dance the second-longest novel in the series at that point, behind only the 1,521-page manuscript of A Storm of Swords. On July 8, 2010, Martin spoke at a conference and confirmed the current length of the book to be 1,400 manuscript pages. He expressed his disappointment that he was unable to completely finish the novel by the conference, although he would not speculate how soon the book would be completed after his return home on July 11. At the same conference, Martin also confirmed that he has written one Sansa, one Arya, and two Arianne chapters for the planned sixth novel, Winds of Winter, and had transferred two Cersei chapters from that book into A Dance with Dragons. On August 7, 2010, Martin confirmed that he had completed eight POVs, excluding the prologue and epilogue.
At the New York Comic Con on October 10, 2010, Spectra senior editor Anne Groell announced that Martin had only five chapters remaining to finish, with sections of the chapters already completed. She stated her desire to have the manuscript completed by December. In a December 2010 interview with Bear Swarm, Martin stated that he almost had A Dance With Dragons completed.
On March 3, 2011, the publisher announced that the novel, though at that point still not completed, would be officially published on July 12, 2011. Martin claimed this July 2011 publication date was different from the previous publication dates mentioned, in that this was "real", as opposed to earlier "wishful thinking, boundless optimism, cockeyed dreams, [and] honest mistakes". On March 12, he revealed that the unfinished manuscript had exceeded A Storm of Swords in length, making it the longest volume in the entire series. On March 27, he announced that the manuscript had exceeded 1,600 pages. On April 27, 2011, it was announced that Martin had completed A Dance with Dragons. After incorporating requested changes made by his book editor and her staff copy-editors, suggested final draft notes from trusted friends, and his own final "sweat" (a line-by-line reread done to tighten and eliminate any unnecessary "fat" remaining in the manuscript), the final draft had been reduced to 1,510 pages; this made Dragons the second-longest novel, by a narrow margin, to volume three, A Storm of Swords. The novel was now ready to meet its July 12, 2011 release date.
On June 29, 2011, Amazon Germany had mistakenly released 180 copies of the novel early. Martin requested that those who held copies not spoil the book for fans who had to wait. Several A Song of Ice and Fire websites put an embargo in place on their forums with the same intent.
The Atlantic's Rachael Brown found A Dance with Dragons "infinitely more satisfying than its predecessor, 2005's bleak and plodding A Feast for Crows. The aspects of Martin's work that have endeared him to fans are abundant here – rich world building, narrative twists and turns, and gritty depictions of the human struggle for power. Characters who were sorely missed in Feast – Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, and Jon Snow – make up more than a third of the novel, and Martin is wise enough to give us at least a chapter from (almost) everyone else. Weaknesses that have plagued Martin's previous books are also present: too much repetition, unexceptional prose, and characters who use the same idioms (and have sex in exactly the same manner) no matter their ethnicity, social class, or continent. But while A Dance with Dragons cries out for better editing, it remains entirely engrossing. Martin has hidden so many clues and red herrings throughout his previous volumes that it is a thrill to see certain pieces fall into place."
Remy Verhoeve of The Huffington Post said, "A Dance with Dragons is just a book, of course. It is not the Second Coming or anything. And I understand that the author must feel a lot of pressure concerning this one (he should). It's late and it has to repair some of the damage done by A Feast for Crows, which frankly felt as if it was written by a ghost writer at times. Finally it is here, and some of the things we've been wondering about for more than a decade are actually revealed (not everything, but at least some things). It has the same structural problems as the previous book; it is sprawling and incoherent at times, but at least the characters are more interesting than in the previous installment. It does feel like I'm reading a bunch of separate stories within the same setting–the chapters are told through the eyes of various characters–but that doesn't really bother me as I love the setting and like to see it through various points of view. Theories that have been bandied about online for the last ten years mostly come true in this book, so in that respect the novel isn't shocking but neither is it disappointing. Martin also manages to put in a few twists, but ends the book much like he did the previous one with cliffhangers instead of wrapping things up a little better so the next long wait won't hurt so much."
David Orr of The New York Times said, "A Dance With Dragons comes in at roughly 9,574,622,012 pages, and smart money says the final two books in the series will make this one look like 'The Old Man and the Sea'. Such length isn't necessary, and it hurts Martin's prose and his plot mechanics. Tyrion 'waddles' at least 12 times here, and even if we suppose the unflattering word reflects Tyrion's contempt for his own awkward gait, it seems unlikely he would indulge this contempt when he's, say, fighting for his life. Similarly, when your novel's terrain stretches across hundreds of miles and your world lacks jet propulsion, as an author you face some basic problems of transportation that can result in conveyance via Rube Goldberg."
Time's James Poniewozik found a possible "weakness to the early Meereen sections [by] marking time (and making Dany uncharacteristically indecisive) to allow time for all the pieces to fall into place" and said, "All this makes for a thousand-page book that feels half as long, that moves dextrously, answers key questions and gobsmacks you with convincing feints and change-ups. As in AFFC, there are sections that feel like they could have used an editor. In some chapters you suddenly find yourself in a strange land with a character you have little attachment to, wondering where this thread is going, as if you had stayed too long at a party after the friends you came with have left.
The Washington Post's Bill Sheehan said, "Filled with vividly rendered set pieces, unexpected turnings, assorted cliffhangers and moments of appalling cruelty, A Dance With Dragons is epic fantasy as it should be written: passionate, compelling, convincingly detailed and thoroughly imagined. Despite a number of overtly fantastic elements (dragons, seers, shape shifters and sorcerers), the book — and the series as a whole — feels grounded in the brutal reality of medieval times and has more in common with the Wars of the Roses than it does with The Lord of the Rings. The result is a complex summer blockbuster with brains and heart, a book with rare — and potentially enormous — appeal.
Megan Wasson of The Christian Science Monitor said, "A Dance with Dragons may well be one of the best books in the five-book series so far. Martin's prose is concise but pithy, begging to be devoured over and over again. All the fans' favorite characters make an appearance, unlike in the last book. But what truly sets this book above some of the others in the series is Martin's ability to keep his readers on their toes and the edges of their seats. No character, no matter how likeable and seemingly important, is ever safe from Martin's pen (remember Ned Stark?), and on the other hand, no one can ever be truly pronounced dead. What you thought was going to happen after reading Books No. 1, 2, and even 3 and 4, now clearly will not happen, and that's where Martin's strength lies."
In April 2012, A Dance with Dragons was nominated for the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Novel. In May 2012, it was nominated for the 2012 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel and won it in June 2012. In August 2012, the novel was nominated for a World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.
[Martin] finally confirmed at FargoCon 2009 that Melisandre would be a POV, but there was also another POV as yet unrevealed.
A Feast for Crows is the fourth of seven planned novels in the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by American author George R. R. Martin. The novel was first published on October 17, 2005, in the United Kingdom, with a United States edition following on November 8, 2005.In May 2005, Martin announced that the "sheer size" of his still-unfinished manuscript for A Feast for Crows had led him and his publishers to split the narrative into two books. Rather than divide the text in half chronologically, Martin opted to instead split the material by character and location, resulting in "two novels taking place simultaneously" with different casts of characters. A Feast for Crows was published months later, and the concurrent novel A Dance with Dragons was released on July 12, 2011. Martin also noted that the A Song of Ice and Fire series would now likely total seven novels.A Feast for Crows was the first novel in the series to debut at number one on The New York Times Best Seller list, a feat among fantasy writers only previously achieved by Robert Jordan and Neil Gaiman. In 2006 the novel was nominated for the Hugo Award, the Locus Award, and the British Fantasy Society Award. It has since been adapted, along with A Dance With Dragons, for television as the fifth season of Game of Thrones, though elements of the novel appeared in the series' fourth and sixth seasons.A Game of Thrones (board game)
A Game of Thrones is a strategy board game created by Christian T. Petersen and released by Fantasy Flight Games in 2003. The game is based on the A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series by George R. R. Martin. It was followed in 2004 by the expansion A Clash of Kings, and in 2006 by the expansion A Storm of Swords.
A Game of Thrones allows the players to take on the roles of several of the Great Houses vying for control of the Seven Kingdoms, including House Stark, House Lannister, House Baratheon, House Greyjoy, House Tyrell, and as of the expansion A Clash of Kings, House Martell. Players maneuver armies to secure support in the various regions that comprise the Seven Kingdoms, with the goal of capturing enough support to claim the Iron Throne. The basic gameplay mechanics are reminiscent of Diplomacy, especially in the order-giving process, though A Game of Thrones is significantly more complicated overall.
In 2004, A Game of Thrones won three Origins Awards for Best Traditional Board Game, Best Board Game, and Best Board Game Design for the year 2003.A second edition of the game was released in 2011.A Song of Ice and Fire
A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of epic fantasy novels by the American novelist and screenwriter George R. R. Martin. He began the first volume of the series, A Game of Thrones, in 1991, and it was published in 1996. Martin, who initially envisioned the series as a trilogy, has published five out of a planned seven volumes. The fifth and most recent volume of the series published in 2011, A Dance with Dragons, took Martin six years to write. He is currently writing the sixth novel, The Winds of Winter.
A Song of Ice and Fire takes place on the fictional continents Westeros and Essos. The point of view of each chapter in the story is a limited perspective of a range of characters growing from nine, in the first novel, to 31 characters by the fifth novel. Three main stories interweave: a dynastic war among several families for control of Westeros, the rising threat of the supernatural Others in the northernmost reaches of Westeros, and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen, the deposed king's exiled daughter, to assume the Iron Throne.
Martin's inspirations included the Wars of the Roses and the French historical novels The Accursed Kings by Maurice Druon. A Song of Ice and Fire received praise for its diverse portrayal of women and religion, as well as its realism. An assortment of disparate and subjective points of view confronts the reader, and the success or survival of point of view characters is never assured. Within the often morally ambiguous world of A Song of Ice and Fire, questions concerning loyalty, pride, human sexuality, piety, and the morality of violence frequently arise.
As of August 2016, the books have sold more than 70 million copies worldwide and, as of January 2017, have been translated into 47 languages. The fourth and fifth volumes reached the top of The New York Times Best Seller lists upon their releases. Among the many derived works are several prequel novellas, a TV series, a comic book adaptation, and several card, board, and video games.Bran Stark
Brandon Stark, typically called Bran, is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of epic fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones.
Introduced in 1996's A Game of Thrones, Bran is the second son and fourth child of Eddard Stark, the honorable lord of Winterfell, an ancient fortress in the North of the fictional kingdom of Westeros. He subsequently appeared in Martin's A Clash of Kings (1998) and A Storm of Swords (2000). Bran was one of a few prominent characters that were not included in 2005's A Feast for Crows, but returned in the next novel A Dance with Dragons (2011). Martin told Rolling Stone in 2014 that Bran's chapter with Jaime and Cersei Lannister is what "hooked" many readers early in the first novel.Bran is portrayed by English actor Isaac Hempstead Wright in the HBO television adaptation.Daario Naharis
Daario Naharis is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones.
Introduced in 2000's A Storm of Swords, Daario Naharis is the commander of the Stormcrows from the continent of Essos. He subsequently appeared in Martin's A Dance with Dragons (2011).
Daario was portrayed by English actor Ed Skrein and then by Dutch actor Michiel Huisman in the HBO television adaptation.Daenerys Targaryen
Daenerys Targaryen is a fictional character in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels, as well as the television adaptation, Game of Thrones, where she is portrayed by English actress Emilia Clarke. In the novels, she is a prominent point of view character. She is one of the most popular characters in the series, and The New York Times cites her as one of the author's finest creations.Introduced in 1996's A Game of Thrones, Daenerys is one of the last two surviving members (along with her older brother, Viserys) of the House Targaryen, who, until fourteen years before the events of the first novel, had ruled Westeros from the Iron Throne for nearly three hundred years. She subsequently appeared in A Clash of Kings (1998) and A Storm of Swords (2000). Daenerys was one of a few prominent characters not included in 2005's A Feast for Crows, but returned in the next novel A Dance with Dragons (2011).In the story, Daenerys is a young woman in her early teens living in Essos. Knowing no other life than one of exile, she remains dependent on her abusive older brother, Viserys. She is forced to marry Dothraki horselord Khal Drogo in exchange for an army for Viserys, who is to return to Westeros and recapture the Iron Throne. Her brother loses the ability to control her as Daenerys finds herself adapting to life with the khalasar and emerges as a strong, confident and courageous woman. She becomes the heir of the Targaryen dynasty after her brother's death and plans to reclaim the Iron Throne herself, seeing it as her birthright. A pregnant Daenerys loses her husband and child, but soon helps hatch three dragons from their eggs, which regard her as their mother, providing her with a tactical advantage and prestige. Over time, she struggles to maintain control of her dragons. She also acquires an army with which she conquers the cities of Yunkai, Astapor and Meereen, determined to end slavery and injustice there. Despite her strong moral compass, she is capable of dealing ruthlessly with her enemies, particularly the slave masters. After establishing herself as a powerful and relentless ruler, she sails for her homeland of Westeros, bent on reclaiming the Seven Kingdoms.
Well received by critics and fans alike, Clarke received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her performance as Daenerys in the HBO series in 2013, 2015, and 2016. She has also earned many other nominations and accolades for her portrayal.Davos Seaworth
Davos Seaworth, nicknamed the Onion Knight, is a fictional character from the A Song of Ice and Fire series of epic fantasy novels by American writer George R. R. Martin. He is a point-of-view character in A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords and A Dance with Dragons with a total of 13 chapters.
Davos is portrayed by Irish actor Liam Cunningham in the HBO television adaptation Game of Thrones.Ellaria Sand
Ellaria Sand is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of high fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin and its television adaptation, Game of Thrones. The character is portrayed by Indira Varma in the TV show. Ellaria first appears in A Storm of Swords (2000), and while she is only mentioned in A Feast for Crows (2005), she returns in A Dance with Dragons (2011).Hodor (character)
Hodor is a fictional character, born Walder in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of epic fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin and Wylis in its television adaptation Game of Thrones.
Introduced in A Game of Thrones (1996), Hodor is a simple-minded servant for House Stark, the ruling house in Winterfell, an ancient fortress in the North of the fictional kingdom of Westeros. He subsequently appeared in Martin's A Clash of Kings (1998), A Storm of Swords (2000), and A Dance with Dragons (2011). Hodor was not included in A Feast for Crows (2005) but returned in the next novel A Dance with Dragons (2011).
Hodor is portrayed by Irish actor Kristian Nairn in the HBO television adaptation.Jon Snow (character)
Jon Snow is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones, in which he is portrayed by English actor Kit Harington. He is a prominent point of view character in the novels, and has been called one of the author's "finest creations" and most popular characters by The New York Times. Jon is a main character in the TV series, and his storyline in the 2015 season 5 finale generated a strong reaction among viewers. Speculation about the character's parentage has also been a popular topic of discussion among fans of both the books and the TV series.
Jon is introduced in 1996's A Game of Thrones as the illegitimate son of Ned Stark, the honorable lord of Winterfell, an ancient fortress in the North of the fictional continent of Westeros. Knowing his prospects are limited by his status, Jon joins the Night's Watch, who guard the far northern borders from the wildlings who live beyond The Wall. As the rest of the Starks face grave adversity, Jon finds himself honor bound to remain with the Watch. In A Clash of Kings (1998), he joins a scouting party investigating the growing threat from the otherworldly "Others" beyond the Wall, and manages to infiltrate the wildlings. Jon learns of their plans to invade Westeros in A Storm of Swords (2000), and begins to fall in love with the fierce wildling woman Ygritte. He betrays them—and Ygritte—before they can attack, but the Night Watch's victory comes at a heavy price for Jon. Now the Lord Commander of the Watch, he appears briefly in 2005's A Feast for Crows. Jon returns as a prominent character in a A Dance with Dragons (2011), working to negotiate an alliance between the Night's Watch and the wildlings. The growing animosity he has attracted from among the Watch finally catches up with him, and he is forced to face the dire consequences.
On the HBO series Game of Thrones, Jon's storyline follows the character's plot arc from the novel series, though season 6 and season 7 of the TV adaptation continue on from the events of Martin's latest published installment. Harington was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for the role in 2016. He was also nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television in 2012, 2016 and 2017.Jorah Mormont
Jorah Mormont is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones.
Introduced in A Game of Thrones (1996), Jorah is a mercenary knight in exile, the disgraced former lord of Bear Island, and the only son of Jeor Mormont, the honourable lord commander of the Nights Watch of the kingdom of Westeros. Jorah subsequently appeared in Martin's A Clash of Kings (1998), A Storm of Swords (2000), and A Dance with Dragons (2011).
Jorah is portrayed by the Scottish actor Iain Glen in the HBO television adaptation.List of A Song of Ice and Fire characters
George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels feature a sizable cast of characters. The series follows three interwoven plotlines: a dynastic war for control of Westeros by several families; the rising threat of the superhuman Others beyond Westeros' northern border; and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen's, the exiled heir of the previous ruling dynasty. The Great Houses of Westeros represent the Seven Kingdoms forged across the continent: The North, The Iron Islands, The Vale, The Westerlands, The Stormlands, The Reach, and Dorne. A massive wall of ice and old magic separates the Seven Kingdoms from the largely unmapped area in the most northern portion of the continent.
Each chapter is narrated in the third-person limited point of view through the eyes of a single character. Beginning with nine POV characters in A Game of Thrones (1996), a total of 31 such characters have narrated over the course of the first five volumes of the series.Melisandre
Melisandre of Asshai is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin and its television adaptation Game of Thrones. She is a priestess of the god R'hllor (also called the Red God or the one true god) from the continent Essos and a close advisor to King Stannis Baratheon in his campaign to take the Iron Throne. She is often nicknamed The Red Woman due to the color of her hair and clothes.
Introduced in A Clash of Kings (1998), Melisandre has come to Westeros to propagate her faith in the Red God. She subsequently appeared in Martin's A Storm of Swords (2000) and A Dance with Dragons (2011). Melisandre is not a point-of-view character in the first four novels, her actions are witnessed and interpreted through the eyes of other characters such as Davos Seaworth and Jon Snow. In the fifth novel A Dance with Dragons, she has a single point-of-view chapter. George R. R. Martin stated she will return as a viewpoint character in future novels.Melisandre is portrayed by Dutch actress Carice van Houten in the HBO television adaptation.Missandei
Missandei is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones.
Introduced in 2000's A Storm of Swords, Missandei was a slave interpreter, before joining Daenerys Targaryen. She is from the island of Naath, off the coast of Sothoryos. She subsequently appeared in Martin's A Dance with Dragons (2011).
Missandei is portrayed by Nathalie Emmanuel in the HBO television adaptation.Ramsay Bolton
Ramsay Bolton, also known as Ramsay Snow and as Bastard of Bolton or Bastard of the Dreadfort, is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones.
Introduced in 1998's A Clash of Kings, Ramsay is the eldest son of Roose Bolton, the lord of the Dreadfort, an ancient fortress in the North of the kingdom of Westeros. He is subsequently mentioned in A Storm of Swords (2000) and A Feast for Crows (2005). He later appears in Martin's A Dance with Dragons (2011).
Ramsay is portrayed by Welsh actor Iwan Rheon in the HBO television adaptation.The Winds of Winter
The Winds of Winter is the planned sixth novel in the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by American writer George R. R. Martin.
Martin believes the last two volumes of the series will be books of 1,500+ manuscript pages each. They will take readers further north than any of the previous books, and the Others will appear in The Winds of Winter. Martin has refrained from making hard estimates for the final release date of the novel.Theon Greyjoy
Theon Greyjoy is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones. Theon is the son and heir of Balon Greyjoy, taken as a ward by Lord Eddard Stark following Balon's failed rebellion.Introduced in 1996's A Game of Thrones, Theon is the son of Balon Greyjoy from the kingdom of Westeros. He subsequently appeared in A Clash of Kings (1998) and A Dance with Dragons (2011). He is one of the major third person points-of-view through which Martin narrates both books.
Theon is portrayed by English actor Alfie Allen in the HBO television adaptation.Tormund Giantsbane
Tormund Giantsbane is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones.
Introduced in 2000's A Storm of Swords, he is a wildling leader from the fictional continent of Westeros. He subsequently appeared in Martin's A Dance with Dragons.Tormund Giantsbane is portrayed by Norwegian actor Kristofer Hivju in the HBO television adaptation.Tyrion Lannister
Tyrion Lannister, also referred to as "the Imp" or "the Halfman" and, while in exile, by the alias Hugor Hill, is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of epic fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin and its television adaptation Game of Thrones. He is a prominent point of view character in the novels. Based on an idea that came to Martin while writing the 1981 novel Windhaven, Tyrion has been called one of the author's finest creations and most popular characters by The New York Times. Martin has named the character as his favorite in the series.Introduced in A Game of Thrones (1996) and subsequently in A Clash of Kings (1998) and A Storm of Swords (2000), Tyrion was one of a few prominent characters that were not included in A Feast for Crows (2005) but returned in the next novel A Dance with Dragons (2011). The character will also appear in the forthcoming volume The Winds of Winter. The popularity of the character led Martin and Bantam Books to publish The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister, an illustrated collection of Tyrion quotes from the novels, in 2013.
Tyrion is a dwarf and member of House Lannister of Casterly Rock, one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in the fictional continent of Westeros. In the story, Tyrion uses his status as a Lannister to mitigate the prejudice he has received all of his life, even from his family. Knowing that no one will ever take him seriously, he soothes his inadequacies with wine, wit and self-indulgence. As the peaceful rule of King Robert Baratheon begins to decay, Tyrion sees how ill-equipped his family are to hold everything together. He first saves his own neck from the vengeful Catelyn Stark and her sister Lysa Arryn, then is sent by his father Tywin to impose order on the capital of King's Landing, as well as his nephew Joffrey, the new king, as civil war begins. Tyrion struggles to strengthen and protect the city and family who hate him and refuse to see the peril they are in; when his father returns, Tyrion becomes vulnerable to the wrath and machinations of the self-serving courtiers who surround Joffrey, including Tyrion's own scheming sister Cersei. Tyrion escapes death again but at great cost and in fleeing Westeros finds himself in even more danger and without the Lannister resources.
The character is portrayed by Peter Dinklage in the HBO television adaptation Game of Thrones. In 2011, Dinklage won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and later the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or Television Film for his portrayal of Tyrion in the HBO series. He won the Emmy again in 2015 and 2018. Among other accolades, Dinklage has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
|The Known World|
Works by George R. R. Martin