Read the Game of Thrones Books in Order


Game of Thrones books can be read in various orders, but to experience George R.R. Martin’s original intent for his series, start with Fire & Blood before reading other volumes.

In a world where seasons may last for decades, and dragons once flew freely, great houses vie for control of the Iron Throne; however, nothing is guaranteed.

1. A Feast for Crows

George RR Martin began writing the A Song of Ice and Fire series in 1996, but its popularity didn’t take hold until Game of Thrones premiered its inaugural season and high ratings drove new readers towards them – A Feast for Crows was the fourth book in the series to reach best-seller status.

This book picks up immediately following A Storm of Swords, with characters becoming more dispersed across Dorne and Iron Islands than they have been previously. Readers will enjoy discovering this world!

A Feast for Crows includes multiple new character perspectives, and though its length may seem intimidating at first, A Feast for Crows proves itself as an exceptional addition to the series. Martin excels at characterizing some of the more unnerving members of Cersei Lannister’s court, such as her fearful psychology, which makes for one of the most compelling reads throughout this novel.

A Feast for Crows introduces readers to several beloved characters such as Arya Stark, Jaime Lannister, and Sansa Stark – familiar faces that return as readers anticipate an epic conclusion of this series. Readers should expect many unexpected turns and turns as A Feast for Crows unfolds further into its final stage.

2. A Dance with Dragons

A Dance with Dragons continues where Feast for Crows left off and introduces readers to the world beyond Westeros. Martin showcases an extensive cast of characters and plotlines by spanning an extended period and tracking events across the Narrow Sea and beyond the Wall.

Readers can follow several key figures, including Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen, as they begin conquering cities throughout their region. While each story stands alone, they all come together seamlessly into an overarching narrative, which speaks volumes for Martin’s depth and breadth of world-building skills.

This epic fantasy offers something original, not shying away from violent death and medieval brutality, yet passionately written and convincingly imagined. A complex summer blockbuster with both heart and brainpower, it promises an exciting conclusion to an ambitious tale.

A Dance with Dragons stands apart from its epic fantasy peers because it doesn’t suffer similar problems. While its multiple points of view sometimes overlap, they are balanced out by intricate plots that expand Westeros beyond Westeros; pirate lords are sailing through magical waters, seers trying to predict future events, and priestesses fighting for political control are all featured here.

While some events from these books may appear familiar from their HBO adaptation, reading all three is necessary to fully appreciate A Song of Ice and Fire as an immersive world. Readers who skip out will miss Martin’s unparalleled storytelling and intricate plotlines, which build off one another seamlessly.

3. A Storm of Swords

Fourteen years have passed since A Game of Thrones concluded, and Westeros is at war. Joffrey, King Robert’s sadistic heir to the throne of Baratheon, leads a brutal regime that threatens not only his family and many others in Westeros but also Robb Stark, who wishes to establish independence from Lannister’s control; in addition, Sansa and Arya, Robb’s sisters find themselves vulnerable due to threats by Joffrey.

A Storm of Swords builds upon the epic foundation laid in its predecessors and raises the stakes as contending contenders for power lose and die on their journeys toward dominance.

Time Magazine once dubbed Martin the American Tolkien; his tale may be sad, but Martin knows just how to tug on your emotions with scenes of extreme tragedy followed by moments of triumph that leave an impactful, lasting impression. One such scene in A Storm of Swords is its dramatic Red Wedding; there have been various betrayals leading up to it, too!

A Storm of Swords also introduces the Brotherhood Without Banners. This opposition group opposed the Lannisters in the North and later adopted into fandom as part of an organization that promotes peace and nobility during warfare.

Note that A Storm of Swords continues the adult themes and language found in previous volumes and should not be read by children or young teens without adult supervision. Though an excellent entry into the series for those wanting to read it, younger readers may require an explanation of some content within these pages.

4. The Book of Ice and Fire

George R.R. Martin has created an intricate world in A Song of Ice and Fire or Game of Thrones, more commonly known by its common moniker. These five books and three novellas chronicle the struggles of several families living in a fictional land where swords can bend blades, every slight gesture can spark off war, and fates hang in the balance for all individuals, including humans, dragons, and beasts alike.

The central plotline of these novels revolves around a civil war over who should sit atop Westeros’ Iron Throne, though many other plotlines converge into it: threats such as those known as Others that reside in its remote northern regions; Daenerys Targaryen’s quest to return home and claim her rightful throne from exile; as well as various family rivalries playing out across Westeros kingdoms.

These stories take place in a medieval fantasy world, with most of the action happening within Westeros’ Seven Kingdoms: an enormous South America-sized continent covered by water and home to humans, cold-blooded Others, and fire-breathing dragons.

Martin has also written several books and novellas that expand upon his worldbuilding, such as his collection of Dunk and Egg stories (The Hedge Knight, Sworn Sword, and Mystery Knight) as well as Fire & Blood, which gives an in-universe history of Aegon the Conqueror through to his conquest of all Seven Kingdoms.

5. A Song of Ice and Fire: The Complete Series

A Song of Ice and Fire is an epic fantasy series that blends adventure with history, politics, family drama, betrayal, and family feuds. Set in Westeros and Essos (in the east), its main characters are humans and Others from the North (or Others from the North) who represent dangerous threats from outsiders and fiery dragons.

The initial storyline concerns an intense struggle over control of the Iron Throne. Lord Joffrey, King Robert’s youngest son and supported by the House Lannister family of his mother’s, claims it for himself and is supported by sister Sansa and half-brothers Stannis and Robert.

These books follow several noble families and lesser entities competing for power in a volatile political landscape that constantly shifts. There is no clear winner, as many characters die along the way during an exhausting battle of wills.

Although these books feature plenty of drama, they are exceptionally well-written and offer a genuinely engaging literary experience. As evidenced by the multiple awards they have won and critical praise for their sheer size, depth, and originality.