Million are waiting for George RR Martin to stop visiting conventions and get on with writing the sixth book, The Winds of Winter. Meanwhile, there are the HBO shows to entertain them and many others drawn into the series of A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones), or simply those passing the time by creating clever and creative artworks, like word clouds from the words used in the novels.
Warning – Spoilers on all books ahead.
A Game of Thrones
The first book of the series, coming out in 1996, telling the story of Westeros and its seven kingdoms, as the ruling of Robert Baratheon falls apart, the Stark family gets separated while a dragon queen rises in the East after years of exile. The book is mostly famous for Ned Stark, the main POV character, getting killed near the end, pretty much giving the “no one is safe” vibe.
A Clash of Kings
Came out two years later (1998), picking off right were the first one ended, with an ominous red comet slicing through the sky, meaning something different to different people. The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros are plagued by civil war, known as the war of the five kings, while the Night’s Watch mounts a reconnaissance force north of the Wall to investigate the mysterious people, known as wildlings, who live there. Meanwhile, in the distant east, Daenerys Targaryen continues her quest to return to and conquer the Seven Kingdoms. This book is very Tyrion-focused, climaxing with the battle of the Blackwater, as Stannis tries to invade King’s Landing.
A Storm of Swords
A huge, 1200 page book, coming out in 2000 and split into two books in several countries. The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros are still in the grip of the War of the Five Kings, with the remaining Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy, Joffrey Baratheon, and Stannis Baratheonfighting to secure their crowns. Civil war is destroying the common people, the ruling House of Baratheon and the major houses of Westeros: House Arryn of The Vale, House Baratheon of Storm’s End, House Greyjoy of the Iron Islands, House Lannister of Casterly Rock, House Martell of Dorne, House Stark of Winterfell, House Tully of Riverrun, and House Tyrell of Highgarden. Stannis Baratheon’s attempt to take King’s Landing has been defeated by the new alliance between House Lannister (backing Joffrey) and House Tyrell. House Martell has also pledged its support to the Lannisters through the forces of Dorne, while House Arryn of The Vale have yet to take the field or declare their allegiance. Meanwhile, a large host of wildlings are marching toward the Wall under Mance Rayder, with only the tiny force of the Night’s Watch in its path; and in the distant east, Daenerys Targaryen is on her way back to Pentos, hoping to raise forces to retake the Iron Throne. Mostly known for two weddings – The red one and the purple one.
A Feast for Crows
GRRM begins to take his time between books. A Feast for Crows came out in 2005 after Martin struggled with how to push such a huge manuscript into one book, eventually deciding to split it into two.
The War of the Five Kings is slowly coming to an end. Robb Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, Renly Baratheon, and Balon Greyjoy are all dead, and King Stannis Baratheon has gone to the aid of the Wall, where Jon Snow has become Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. KingTommen Baratheon, Joffrey’s eight-year-old brother, now rules in King’s Landing under the watchful eye of his mother, the Queen RegentCersei Lannister. Cersei’s father Tywin is dead, murdered by his son Tyrion, who has fled the city. With these two men gone, as well as no longer having to deal with Joffrey, there are no more checks on Cersei and she is essentially Ruling Queen of the Seven Kingdoms in all but name. Now that Cersei finally stands at the height of power and her enemies are scattered to the winds, in a grim irony it quickly becomes clear that she is incapable of wielding the power she has killed and manipulated so many to acquire, and she spirals into self-destruction. Meanwhile, Sansa Stark is still in hiding in the Vale, protected by Petyr Baelish, who has secretly murdered his wife Lysa Arryn and named himself Protector of the Vale and guardian of eight-year-old Lord Robert Arryn.
A Dance With Dragons
An even longer wait for the fans, as ADWD took much longer than Martin ever imagined it would, releasing it on July 2011, another monster of a book at 1040 pages. On the Wall itself, Jon Snow has been elected the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch; but the young man has enemies, both in the Watch and beyond the Wall. Meanwhile, having killed his father Tywin, the dwarf Tyrion Lannister is smuggled to Pentos by Varys, where he is sheltered by Magister Illyrio. Tyrion is sent south; on the journey, it is revealed Varys and Illyrio have hidden the presumed-dead Prince Aegon Targaryen, with the intention of reinstating him as the rightful King of Westeros. n the far east, Daenerys Targaryen, believed by most to be the sole heir of House Targaryen, has conquered the city of Meereen, but struggles to maintain peace within the city and prevent military defeat at the hands of her many enemies and attempts to stop the spread of a plague, known as the pale mare, from entering the city. The War of the Five Kings in Westeros seems to be winding down. In the North, King Stannis Baratheon has installed himself at the Wall and attempts to win the support of the northmen.