a game of thrones

by george r.r. martin

2.9 avg rating
Book 5 of 57 in the Most Influential Fantasy Books
10030 votes 20 comments
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.

Other books in series

Book Awards

Won 1 awards in total

BSFA

Nominated 2 times in total

Nebula
World Fantasy

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20 comments
Anonymous | 2012-10-07 03:16:10
This book is awesome
Lion | 2012-11-02 03:28:59
I read the books to shortly before the end of book fife. I really like the first three books, but the fourth gets more and more dragged out scenes. Though the books have a great story this impacts on the reading experience a lot. Still overall a good series, thogh I would not read it a second time.
Anonymous | 2012-11-29 06:27:52
Like Jordan (another 90s fantasy author), Martin's work has begun its decline after its third book and all readers can do is grin and bare it or pretend desperately that it was just another trilogy.
Anonymous | 2012-12-05 12:15:06
Phenominal series!! Books 1-3 are the best writing out there. Books 4-5 unfortunately don't quite maintain the same level of plot advancement, but relatively speaking, they are still good books (just not 11 out of 10s like the first 3 books). My only real complaint in this series (aside from the obvious that Martin needs to get off his arse and finish it), is that I'd prefer more magic in a fantasy series... but still, phenominal. It will spoil you to any subpar writers.
Anonymous | 2012-12-31 03:54:35
Amazing!!!
Anonymous | 2013-05-23 03:01:09
The Lord of the Rings meets Dynasty...Great characters, a gripping plotline with a surprise around every corner, superior dialogue; can't wait for the next book -- whenever it comes out!
Anonymous | 2013-07-05 08:01:01
Good start for the first and second books, third starts to stagger... fourth ia a pain to finish... fifth is sort of a cuisine
Anonymous | 2014-02-03 01:41:11
I thought the writing style was very good, but I did not enjoy the gloom surrounding the story. I guess I prefer books that leave me feeling good inside instead of depressed.
Volsung | 2015-05-26 11:57:39
Great series! And for people complaining that books 4 and 5 are slow, remember they are both technically part of the SAME book, which was simply too large to publish. You can read them as one book and it is flipping awesome! Characters are kick ass, and story lines are generally top notch. And since the world in which it all takes place is so rich, there is much to read outside of the main books. If you have not read this series, stop being stupid and read it!
Anonymous | 2015-06-15 09:44:17
First 3 books are worth it. Books 4 and 5 are mediocre at best and I really would't recommend them if they were stand alone.
Anonymous | 2015-06-29 10:11:28
Enumerate the fantasy aspects of this novel (some wolf puppies, a mention of some white walkers, talk of dragons) and compare them with the myriad references to politics (realm, family, etc) and tell me this qualifies as a Fantasy novel. The fact that Martin gets all the attention when authors with actual talent for Fantasy writing (Rothfuss, Sanderson, Jordan, Butcher) get low-budget adaptations of their novels makes me furious every time I think about it. Strike this novel from the list and call it what it is: utter garbage.
Anonymous | 2015-08-02 05:54:03
Misogynist, boring, poorly written, tedious. Dis the genre a disservice
Anonymous | 2015-08-05 07:41:45
I picked up the first book shortly after it was first published. NEVER could make it through the first one. Tried a few times, but it never held my interest, and I've read a lot of fantasy. I tried it again after the TV series started thinking I must have been missing something, but still it just didn't appeal to me. I don't see the draw of this series.
Rocco | 2015-08-16 10:21:08
I've been trying to read this series for the last 15 years. And, I'm almost done with book 2. It's not that's it's a bad book. He's quite talented, I agree. It's just not that special fantasy wise. It reads more like historical fiction. I always end up picking up something else.
Anonymous | 2015-10-17 04:59:00
I am quitting the series, after having invested the many months it took me to read all 7 tomes of it and th many years it took me to wait for the 6th book. Martin has lost the thread of his own story, having left several unanswered gaps, introducing new important charachters in the last book and one disappointment follows another as each and every charachter you get attached to dies. I hear 2 books will follow, but I cannot see how he will wrap this monster of a story up in, say, 4 tomes. Also, I am really disappointed by the fact that I'll find out how this whole thing ends by a mediocre tv series. That's it, I regret having spent my time on Martin's GoT. Moving on to Malazan books right away.
Sizzle | 2015-10-24 06:30:34
Like many, I found the first three books very well done. While I personally think all of the novels were overcast with too many non needed side characters (and boring side plots)the novels were entertaining and engrossing. The awful pacing and plot work last two books, coupled with the years long wait between have led me to abandon the read. Sorry GRRM wanted to stick it out, but just can't do it.
reader7755 | 2015-11-16 11:54:39
Game of thrones is a fantasy series which goes on FOREVER. The first 1-3 books are worth while. After the first three books he just gets lost and goes on and on and on
Anonymous | 2015-12-12 12:31:54
it's really a good book. It's a book that can deceive you, but after all, without a little dissapointement here and there is it really worth it? GoT has plots that make you ponder weird thoughts for hours. It's really worth it.
Anonymous | 2016-07-25 01:52:54
Game of Thrones was published years after Witcher books which revolutionized fantasy genre. Martin was just lucky enough western published denied translation it to english because of anglo saxon hate towards superior Poles.
Anonymous | 2016-09-20 04:20:54
Seriously bad series. As boring as the Lord of the Rings (but far longer), poorly written (even the slightly better TV version deviates from the written works in significant ways),and way, way overrated considering that the series is mostly political maneuvering. Think the US Congress with swords. There are far better options out there...avoid these.
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