I was a George R.R. Martin fan since the first book of A Song of Ice & Fire when it was released in 1996. The first 100 pages were a bit of a patient slog, but I gave the book time to set up its plot and action, and boy am I glad I did. The series is one that I’ve followed closely, and it has some of my favorite fantasy writing of all time. So how large is the series in book form?
There are currently 5 books in The Song of Ice & Fire series by George R.R. Martin, the books A Game of Thrones is based on. The plan is there for to be seven books total in the series, and there is currently one world companion guide, and one prequel (Fire & Blood) with one more prequel planned. This makes for 7 total Game of Thrones books currently with 10 planned for when all is completed.
If all goes as planned that means there would be 10 total Game of Throne books: 7 in the main series A Song of Ice and Fire, the companion guide A World of Ice and Fire, and the two prequels about House Targaryen. Whether or not the entire series is actually completed is a topic hotly debated among a not always happy fan base.
Let’s dive into more about how many of these amazing books there are, where the controversies come in, and whether or not the series is likely to be finished.
The Game of Thrones Books
Don’t worry – I’m not going to drop any huge plot spoilers here! While there might be some very minor spoilers (that are generally already widely known even if you haven’t closely followed the story). Just going into the books released, the order to read them in, and the debate on whether or not the series will be completed.
1st Book: A Game of Thrones (1996)
The title most people know because the HBO Series took this as the name of the series instead of A Song of Ice and Fire, this was actually the first book of the series and sets the groundwork for everything to follow.
This is the hardest to read of the early books because it does take a LOT of time and pages to set up a LOT of important background information and introduce a LOT of important characters.
In other words, you have to be very patient and give this one a full 200+ pages to get moving, but once it does you’re not diving off the series.
2nd Book: A Clash of Kings (1998)
Released only two years after the first book, A Clash of Kings is considered by many fans to be the book where things really pick up. Bringing readers into the middle of the massive Westeros Civil War, introducing many new characters who would become fan favorites, and paying off all the waiting we did in book one, this was one of Martin’s finest books when it came to competently juggling many intriguing plot lines and character stories.
3rd Book: A Storm of Swords (2000)
The pinnacle of the series and in-context one of the best low-magic fantasy novels ever written. If you read the series, you know why this book is pinnacle. If you’ve seen the series, many of the most memorable moments happen or plant seeds in this book – not to mention other plot lines that are among reader favorites and didn’t even make it into the TV series.
4th Book: A Feast for Crows (2005)
A solid book that moved along some plot lines, introduced some new ones, and moved the pieces much closer to Danerys becoming an eventual threat to Westeros as well as seeing more of the supernatural dangers from North of the Wall. It was a solid addition to a brilliant series, worth the delay.
5th Book: A Dance with Dragons (2011)
Whoa boy. So…this is one that had a lot of consternation among fans. The first being the long wait. The second being that many felt this book was 800+ pages of opening new plot lines and introducing new characters with very little movement forward in the over arching story. While that might not be completely fair, it’s impossible to dismiss out of hand.
This is also almost universally the least popular of the 5 books in the series, so to have long waits and delays lead to this book release followed by a decade of delays after…it’s not hard to see why some people are so discouraged.
6th Book: The Winds of Winter (Announced but Not Released)
Yes, fans have been waiting on this book for 12+ year. And although there have been some rumblings it might get released next year, these have been rumors that have also happened several times before, and this one has already taking a back seat to the companion guide and the first of the prequels.
7th Book: A Dream of Spring (Announced but Not Released)
This is the working title of the final planned book in the series, though it’s unknown how much (if any) of this book is actually written in draft form.
As often is the case, the prequels might come first via timeline, but they are released after the series. However, because of the very long timeline with releasing the series of books, not to mention the entire run of the HBO series in between, George R.R. Martin stated that the information on House Targaryen had become so large that the prequel would have to be released in two books.
The first of these two books, Fire & Blood, was published in 2018 with the Fire & Blood Part 2 said to be in the pipeline “a few years down the line.”
As currently planned, there are no other Game of Thrones prequel books planned.
There was one companion book published that wasn’t solely written by George R.R. Martin but he was one of the co-authors. This isn’t a direct book in the series or even a prequel but goes in-depth on the world of Westeros where A Song of Ice and Fire takes place and works to give more information to readers about the houses, historical events, and other things that might be of interest.
The World of Ice & Fire
The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of the World of A Game of Thrones was released in 2014 and is just that: a companion guide to the world which actually enjoys stunningly good ratings because of its way of providing detailed information about the world in story form with some of Martin’s best story-telling on display.
Full List of Game of Thrones World Novels
At the end when talking about the main series itself, there are going to be 7 Game of Thrones books written, with 5 already completed. If you’re counting companion books, prequels, and the other books that are part of the world but not part of the main story, then it goes up to 10 total books once all is said and done.
- A Game of Thrones (1996)
- A Clash of Kings (1998)
- A Storm of Swords (2000)
- A Feast for Crows (2005)
- A Dance with Dragons (2011)
- The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones (2014)
- Fire & Blood (2018)
- Fire & Blood Part II (Announced but Not Released)
- The Winds of Winter (Announced but Not Released)
- A Dream of Spring (Announced but Not Released)
Will these ever get finished? There are actually a lot of doubts among fans and critics alike.
Originally Martin thought (I won’t say promised but….) the series of books would be finished before the HBO series was, but considering the entire series was completed years before even the next book came out and those with doubts can’t be blamed for having them.
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