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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)

4.44  ·  Rating Details ·  1,387,751 Ratings  ·  45,303 Reviews
Librarian's Note: Alternate cover edition for ISBN 0553573403/ 9780553573404

In A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin has created a genuine masterpiece, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill the pages of the first volume in an epic series sure to delight fantansy fans everywhere.

In a land where summers can last dec
Mass Market Paperback, 837 pages
Published March 4th 2011 by Bantam Books (first published August 6th 1996)
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aPriL does feral sometimes Maturity might not be the problem if you are what is called 'sensitive'? If chopped off heads, sword stabbing, child rape and descriptions of rotting…moreMaturity might not be the problem if you are what is called 'sensitive'? If chopped off heads, sword stabbing, child rape and descriptions of rotting bodies do not make you physically ill or give you nightmares then this book is interesting. Whatever the age, sensitive readers would cringe through the book. However, it doesn't linger on details, so I'd consider it medium graphic on violence, a bit milder on sex details. But even babies are killed, briefly described. The book is set in a Middle Ages European type world, with a lot of primitive sword cutting and women are property.

Fifteen is an in-between age. Some fifteen year old girls have been very protected by their parents and have not dated and have gone to church every Sunday and only go to parent watched/come along events. For those kind of 15's , this book would be forbidden by the parents.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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J.G. Keely
May 26, 2007 J.G. Keely rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There are plenty of fantasy authors who claim to be doing something different with the genre. Ironically, they often write the most predictable books of all, as evidenced by Goodkind and Paolini. Though I'm not sure why they protest so much--predictability is hardly a death sentence in genre fantasy.

The archetypal story of a hero, a villain, a profound love, and a world to be saved never seems to get old--it's a great story when it's told well. At the best, it's exciting, exotic, and builds to a
MJ Nicholls
Sep 01, 2013 MJ Nicholls marked it as getting-even  ·  review of another edition
Reader Logic:

I HATE this book.

I HATE it so much I had to get a new hardback copy to read so I could underline all the parts I HATE about it so much and post them on Goodreads.

I HATE it with such a passion I also bought copies for all my friends and family, also in new hardback editions, so they could HATE it along with me.

When the TV series came on I was so fuming with rage I watched the entire season twice and bought six copies of the DVD, because I could not believe how much I could HATE somet
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
I really feel the necessity of a bit of personal backstory here, before I start the review. Back in 1996 when this book first came out, and I was about 14 or 16 years old, I saw the hardcover on a sale table for about $5 and couldn't resist a bargain (still can't, though I'm more cautious these days). So I started reading this book with the vague idea that it was a flop, and that may not have helped, but I got through 100 pages of it before feeling so crapped off with it that I shoved it in my c ...more
EDIT: 14 Dec. 2012. I no longer get notifications for the comments. Feel free to duke it out with each other; just don't expect me to respond.

WARNING: If you enjoyed this book, even a little bit, you may not want to read this review. It will probably make you angry. Heaven knows that the book made me furious, and I intend to turn every bit of that wrath back on it.
Instead, I suggest you read karen's review, Brigid's review, Joyzi's review, or any other of the gushing four and five-star reviews h
Jul 29, 2011 karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: icky-sex
nerds, now i am among you.

this is going to be a review where i just prattle on and on about meee meee meee, because let's face it - there are a million reviews of this puppy out there so i don't have to worry about doing a disservice to the book. you'll either read the book or you won't. but you should: it's got direwolves.

i wasn't going to read this. after years of watching hordes of desperate sad-eyed nerds coming up to me, asking "any news on the george r.r. martin release??" (like the bn
First off, I'm a heavy duty fan of GRRM. I've read over a 100 different fantasy authors in my time. Took about 5 years off from the genre b/c I felt it was all getting too formulaic and cliched. So, when I came back to fantasy I read the usual: Goodkind, Jordan, etc. and then someone told me about GRRM and man, that was the kicker!

Here are the reasons to choose GRRM. I've also listed the reasons not to choose him to make it fair b/c I know their are certain personalities who won't like this ser
Emily May
Sep 08, 2012 Emily May marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I tried reading this a long time ago and gave up very quickly. I know many love it but I think from the start I knew it wasn't for me. Looooong fantasy series never have been, for some reason. HOWEVER, I have to confess that the TV series is such a guilty pleasure of mine. And, even though I will never return to this series, can we all just take a minute to admit that how I spent my weekend is kinda cool...

And a sneaky bonus for Torchwood fans!

Just so you know, all the cool people totally close
Mark Lawrence
Nov 07, 2010 Mark Lawrence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rated this in 2010. In 2017 it's time I actually use my words.

Here's my long overdue review of A Game of Thrones. I was looking at the current reviews. Here you have a book with a ridiculously high average rating, vast sales, and … the most liked reviews are three 1*s and an unrated comedy piece.

Do we love to hate *that* much? Apparently we do. Not only is knocking down easier than building, it’s also more fun to watch.

Well, sadly all I have to offer here is a less exciting set of praise for
Bookdragon Sean
Okay so I read it again. I didn’t quite get chance to last year, so I squeezed it in right at the start of this one. Plus, it gives me chance to share this review once more and tell my personal reading journey to any followers I might have picked up since 2015.

Original Review

A Game of Thrones changed my life. I know that may sound sad, but it’s true. Prior to reading it I had no interest in books whatsoever. I was on course to be a forensic psychologist; however, I began reading this wonderful s
Mohammed Arabey
Mar 07, 2015 Mohammed Arabey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
عندما تلعب صراع العروش..فأنت إما تكسب، وإما تموت

هذا أساس اﻷغنية ،أغنية الجليد والنار، وأنشودتها اﻷولي 'لعبة العروش' الملحمية
حيث عرش الملك محاط بخيانة ومؤامرات،وبينما يلعب الحكّام لعبة عروشهم لا يدفع إلا الشرفاء الثمن

وبأنشغال السادة بلعبتهم تزحف اﻷخطار مهددة عالمهم..خطر الغرباء يزحفون من أرض الجليد بالشمال, وخطرعودة التنانين ونيرانهم من الشرق..ولتبدأ أغنية الجليد والنار

هو عالم كامل بناه المؤلف العبقري جورج آر آر مارتن وأبتكر له تاريخه ومعتقداته, جغرافيته وأساطيره..سادته وملوكه, والعرش الحديدي

Jun 15, 2007 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes anything epic and historical
Recommended to Jesse by: William
I know no one reading this knows me much (well some of you may) but I DON'T reread books. I usually read a book once and its quite well locked into my brain. As much as I've enjoyed many books I've read, they just don't require a second read for me. I read them, now its time to move on. "A Game of Thrones" is different. I loved this book and its characters so much, and crave the world and narrative so much that I couldn't wait for Martin to get the newest installment out. So I started rereading ...more
mark monday
Oct 23, 2010 mark monday rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
there are about a billion reviews of this one so i doubt i have anything to add. the only thing i feel truly compelled to say is TYRION THE DWARF IS AWESOME! my God, i haven't read a character who is so different and so enjoyable in years. many-layered and consistently surprising, hero & antihero, generous & spiteful in equal amounts, as capable of high-handed miscalculation as he is of clever deduction, brave & loyal & vindictive... just overall a superb creation. Tyrion, you ar ...more
Whitney Atkinson
Sep 19, 2015 Whitney Atkinson rated it really liked it

this book was exhausting and knowing that all the other books are bigger terrifies me but the writing and world building in this book is so vivid and even though I chose favorite characters quickly, the ones that I thought less interesting still had very important story lines and every character has a distinct, well-written personality. Basically I am in love with Daenerys, and I also adore Jon and Arya and Sansa, and even Tyrion. Reading this makes
May 05, 2011 Martha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Martha by: a stupid internet search I shouldn't have trusted
I am on page 470, and although it pains me to put a book down unfinished, it is simply time for me to quit.

A Song of Ice and Fire is the Grey's Anatomy of fantasy. It isn't perfect in the beginning (it's pretty flawed, actually), but you think "That's okay, the premise is good! It will improve!" And then before you know it, everyone is having everyone else's baby and murdering their mother (who is also their sister, and a schizophrenic) and traveling around on horseback setting things on fire fo
Jan 30, 2014 Riley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, buddy-read
So glad I reread this! I loved it even more this time and it just reaffirmed that this is my favorite series
J.L.   Sutton
Jun 20, 2016 J.L. Sutton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even for someone who has watched the HBO series, George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones is an engaging and enjoyable read! The strength of Martin’s writing shines through in these pages. Each chapter is well-crafted. You know exactly how to picture the setting and you feel the desires and discontent of each chapter’s (POV) character. Watching how Martin develops characters, with all their flaws, keeps the story going as much or than the ‘game of thrones.’ If you’re looking for new information in t ...more

The things we love destroy us every time.

George R.R. Martin has ruined my life! Yet, like a moth to a flame I kept coming back. I have no sense of self preservation.

There is not much I could add here that hasn't already been said. I'm a woman of simple needs. My wishlist for Santa George R.R. Martin:

(view spoiler)

I don't care who
This book was raw, gritty, barbaric and downright crass at times...and I loved every damn minute! This was an ancient, epic adventure that consumed my thoughts. In fact, I just spent $100 to download seasons 1-5 of the HBO series after finishing this audiobook because I loved it so much.

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around everything that took place and who everyone is. This book had an extremely robust cast of characters and a complex, multifaceted storyline. Don't get too attached to anyone

You can find the full review and more about this book on my blog!




To be honest,I never thought I would read this,not because it is something I don't like(it is something I most like),but it is so huge.But now I thank the gods and the kings for making me read this.I can't explain how much I admire this book.It has been a part of my geeky life and I am proud for that.I am a fan,an ultimate true fan!


These are some things you get from reading this book:

Girl on g
Jul 17, 2007 Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
A friend and I were talking about Tolkien one night after a sesh of Call of Cthulhu and he came at me with the insane standpoint that George RR Martin's breed of fantasy is superior, though indebted to, Prof. Tolkien. I immediately informed my friend that he was once again proving the ineptitude of his intellect. Tolkien is the father of modern fantasy and the ultimate writer within the genre. This is not opinion but fact.
That said I was intrigued and promised said friend to look into this infi
Dan Schwent
When the King comes to Winterfell, Ned Stark soon finds himself given the post of Hand to the King by King Robert. All is not well in Winterfell, however. Stark's son is gravely injured and signs point to the King's wife's family, the Lannisters. Stark will soon find out that when you play the Game of Thrones, you either win or die...

Okay, so it's way more complicated than that but it's hard to write a teaser for an 800+ page kitten squisher like this.
I was bound and determined not to read the S
Cait (Paper Fury)
How is one supposed to review a book like this?! HOW. I ASK THAT.

a) It's truly incredible.
b) It's really really big.
c) The story is no where NEAR completed, dangit, I need book 2 asap.
d) There are truckloads of winning adorable characters.
e) But even the villains are human (sometimes) and have sorrowful backstories.
f) Although ^^ that saying ^^ there are several people I would like TO DIE. Of course, they survived.
g) It made me angry and
Jan 27, 2008 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to give A game of Thrones five stars, but alas, I cannot. It is a fantastic epic tale with engaging heroes, and nasty villains that one would enjoy to slap silly. I found myself emotionally invested in the fate of the Stark family. Unfortunately, the book contains some glaring problems.

First, Martin throws sex into the book willy-nilly. It's like a horny twelve year old got his typewriter and went to town. It would be one thing if the sex were provocative and, well sexy, but unfortunately
Feb 01, 2014 Regan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I really can't review this, the story is way to complicated to even begin to do that.
Oct 26, 2010 Hazel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I'm somewhat disappointed by this. I found it fun and entertaining for the first couple of hundred pages. It was interesting and engaging, and I could see why it's being filmed. But as the book progressed my enjoyment waned. It may be mostly me.

First, I've come to fantasy from science fiction, and expect writers to be logical and consistent in their world-building. I love Martin's idea of a climate where winter can last for years and summer can last for years, but he doesn't seem to have thought
Mohammed Arabey
Feb 23, 2013 Mohammed Arabey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Massive Read, A World full of songs,of Love and Families, Betrayals and Avengence, Adventures, Politics, Wars, Religions ,Magic ,Dragons ,Ice and Fire..

And no matters whether you loved the show or MUST give the novel a try..

"Cersei insisted. “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”
الريفـيو العـربي
I remember I was shocked by watching the first couple of episodes..all this injustice, indecency...and A 10 years old boy gets that horrible fat
Natalie Monroe
EDIT 14/4/2015: And now my fourth watch reread had ended. Still as good as I remembered and I can finally see the depth of foreshadowing GRRM put in.

Also, R+L=J for sure.

A Guide to Reading A Game of Thrones:

Step 1: Find a comfortable place with lots of light

This is a hefty book, ladies and gentlemen. Standing at 835 pages, it will take you more than a few hours to tear through. So get your bathroom breaks in, have a cool drink and a platter of cookies by your side and bar your doors in case of
Dec 03, 2016 Maddie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pnr, favorite, cliffhanger

“When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.”

“Why is it always the innocents who suffer most, when you high lords play your game of thrones?”

Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.

― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones


This book is a bit confusing so you need time to concentrate to read it, so WHY MY 4 star rating you will ask because I will compare thee, to a good glass of wine!


I read this particular novel because of the rating it received on Goodre
Dec 08, 2010 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Becky by: Chris&Dawn
Before I read this book, I had read some reviews which had me wondering if this one would be something I'd like, reviews from people whose opinions I trust. I am willing to read anything though, so the book stayed on my "TBR Someday" mental list... Until I decided to read it along with some friends. Friends who then got me so excited to read this that all of my reservations were hanging by a thread and blowing in the breeze.

And I can honestly say that not only did this book not suck, but that I
Clau R.
May 28, 2013 Clau R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Son 4.5 estrellas, creo. O tal vez 4. Es difícil decidirme.

Lo estuve pensando y creo que me gustó más la primera temporada de la serie que el libro en sí, ¿será porque la vi primero? Siento que algunos momentos fueron mucho más épicos en la tele que en el libro.

Éste lo terminé de leer a inicios de Diciembre, pero no lo había actualizado porque no sabía qué calificación ponerle. Pensé en 4 estrellas porque me gustó mucho, pero no me sorprendió nada, y luego me quedaba pensando en que si no hubier
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George R.R. Martin was born September 20, 1948, in Bayonne, New Jersey. His father was Raymond Collins Martin, a longshoreman, and his mother was Margaret Brady Martin. He has two sisters, Darleen Martin Lapinski and Janet Martin Patten.

Martin attended Mary Jane Donohoe School and Marist High School. He began writing very young, selling monster stories to other neighborhood children for pennies,
More about George R.R. Martin...

Other Books in the Series

A Song of Ice and Fire (7 books)
  • A Clash of Kings  (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)
  • A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)
  • A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4)
  • A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)
  • The Winds of Winter (A Song of Ice and Fire, #6)
  • A Dream of Spring (A Song of Ice and Fire, #7)

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“... a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” 14472 likes
“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.” 10850 likes
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