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Journey Through Westeros: How To Read the Game of Thrones Books in Order

Ever wanted to traverse the Seven Kingdoms from the comfort of your home? Our guide will help you explore the Game of Thrones books in the correct order - your first step into the vast realm of Westeros
by Chris Allmer | May 3 2024
Game of Thrones Books in Order: Your Guide to Westeros

As avid readers, we’ve had the pleasure of immersing ourselves in George R.R. Martin’s captivating saga, known as “Game of Thrones” but originally called “A Song of Ice and Fire.”  While this spellbinding series of books was transformed into a Kindle-shattering worldwide sensation by HBO, there are some differences between the screen adaptations and their literary counterparts.

And we have found that these differences only add depth and complexity to the immersive world of Westeros. Now, we’d like to guide you on your quest through the “Game of Thrones” books in order to discover the intricate layers of this elaborate story as the author intended.

About George R.R. Martin

Stepping out as a reference of modern fantasy literature, George R.R. Martin has an innate ability to construct vast and complex worlds full of vibrant characters and unpredictable storylines. His storytelling prowess doesn’t stop with the novels; he has also lent his writing talent to television series, reinforcing his status as a versatile and admired contributor to the fantasy genre.


Delve Deeper: Game of Thrones Books in Release Order

Venturing into the world of Westeros for the first time? Then we recommend following the books from “A Song of Ice and Fire” in their release order. 

A Game of Thrones” (1996)

Here is where the epic tale commences. We are introduced to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, a land where power struggles, deception, and treachery are ever-present.

Nominal heads of families wage war for the coveted Iron Throne, resulting in an intricate dance of death.


A Clash of Kings” (1999)

As conflicts escalate, former alliances crumble, and new ones form in an elaborate game of power. All the while, otherworldly threats loom in the peripheries, escalating the stakes for the throne.


A Storm of Swords” (2000)

This book delves deeper into the escalating conflicts, exposing more about the individuals caught in this power struggle. Instances of deceit, world-altering decisions, and heart-wrenching betrayals abound.


A Feast for Crows” (2005)

As the dust settles from wars, a new landscape emerges. Here, survivors vie for power amid the ruins, a setup that promises not a period of peace but another round of tension-filled political maneuvering.


A Dance with Dragons” (2011)

The plot thickens in this book as the stakes get higher. New alliances form, old enemies return, and the danger stretches beyond the now marginal Iron Throne. The journey through the saga continues here.


The Game of Thrones Sixth Chapter


“The Winds of Winter” 

And then unfolds the much-anticipated sixth entry to our list. More than a decade in the making, there’s still no concrete release date set. But Martin uncovered he’d wrapped up a series of challenging Cersei chapters and is now focusing on Jaime and Brienne.

Given the less-than-favorable reception of HBO’s final season of Game of Thrones (scripted without Martin’s source material), one could assume Martin is maneuvering through immense pressure to deliver a satisfying story.

The Game of Thrones Books in Chronological Order of Events

Beyond the main saga of “A Song of Ice and Fire,” George R.R. Martin has penned several other stories that add depth and richness to Westeros’ intricate tapestry. Works such as “Fire & Blood” delve into the history of the Targaryen dynasty, offering valuable backstory and context.

Similarly, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” is a collection of novellas that take place nearly a century before the events of “A Game of Thrones,” shedding light on the ancient customs, codes, and conflicts that shaped the world into which our familiar characters were born.

These auxiliary stories not only satisfy our curiosity about Westeros’ sprawling lore, but they’re also crucial narrative tools that enrich our understanding of the main storyline, giving us a comprehensive view of Martin’s brilliantly crafted universe.

So, how to read the books in the correct chronnological order?

Fire & Blood” (2018)

Set 300 years before “A Game of Thrones” takes place, this book delves into the history of the House Targaryen, making us privy to the origin of their powerful bloodline and dragon alliances.


A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” (2015)

This collection of novellas “Tales of Dunk and Egg” shows us Westeros through the eyes of Ser Duncan the Tall (Dunk) and his squire Aegon V Targaryen (Egg), 90 years before the main events of “A Game of Thrones.” It includes “The Hedge Knight” (1998), “The Sworn Sword” (2003) and “The Mystery Knight” (2010).


“A Game of Thrones” (1996)

“A Clash of Kings” (1999)

“A Storm of Swords” (2000)

“A Feast for Crows” (2005)

“A Dance with Dragons” (2011)

If you read the books in release order, it will all make logical sense; however, in chronological order, the narrative engagement might just fade, and the stylistic enjoyment may dwindle.

This is because you’ll begin with a history-focused book and a collection of short stories rather than the main novels. Nevertheless, it’s a journey you can embark on if you want to enjoy the complete story all over again!

Overwhelmed? Don’t be. Once you start your journey through the world of Westeros, you’ll find yourself captivated by the twisty narrative and George R.R. Martin’s lush storytelling.

And if you’ve already encountered the dragons, the wars, and the political intrigue of Game of Thrones, don’t fret. We have a fantastic list of books similar to Game of Thrones you can delve into next. Happy reading!

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