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

4.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,170,314 Ratings  ·  41,242 Reviews
Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must ...and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.

The old gods have no power in
Paperback, 802 pages
Published January 6th 2003 by HarperVoyager (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 of 3,000)
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J.G. Keely
Oct 21, 2015 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 rarely a death sentence in genre fantasy.

The archetypal story of the hero, the villain, the great love, and a world to be saved never seems to get old--and there's nothing wrong with this story when it's told well. At the best, it's excitin
MJ Nicholls
Jan 12, 2014 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
Sep 15, 2012 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
Jul 07, 2013 Emily May marked it as dnf
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
Mar 22, 2009 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
Whitney Atkinson
Oct 10, 2015 Whitney Atkinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Mohammed Arabey
Apr 28, 2016 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

mark monday
Apr 12, 2011 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
Jun 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 to for me 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
Bookworm Sean
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 series. Suffice to say, it threw me of course ever so slightly: I am now studying a degree in English Literature.


A Game of Thrones kindled a fire within me that erupted into a love of books. I began to read other novels across the genres. It was slow at first, but I’d always
Dec 08, 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
Kat Stark
Feb 29, 2016 Kat Stark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Second Book: A Clash of Kings
Third Book: A Storm of Swords


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
Mar 25, 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
Oct 29, 2010 Hazel rated it it was ok
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
Apr 28, 2016 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
Dec 16, 2015 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
Feb 25, 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.
Cait Grace
Nov 19, 2015 Cait Grace rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 31, 2011 Priscilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The read was amazing, as well as overwhelming. I could not even anticipate the events that unfolded in the end, and I'm still in shock and awe of it all.

Initial thoughts:
1. The writing is amazing. It's hard to believe that it was first published in 1996! The read has a timeless quality to it.
2. Characters are fantastic. From the honourable, to the wicked. But each are not as black and white as they appear. Some surprising, admirable aspects to the most loathsome characters, and less than worthy
Jason Koivu
Jun 25, 2012 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
Recommended to Jason by: just about everyone
Shelves: fiction
A Game of Thrones is really good. You may not think so after reading the rest of this review, but yes, I enjoyed this book. I liken it to Tolstoy's Anna Karenina in that it's a sweeping epic mostly focused on the movers and shakers while keeping the timeline linear by shifting the focus back and forth between characters and groups of characters, specifically families.

Also, it's a big honkin' huge book, just like those Russian classics. Honestly, A Game of Thrones could have been made into two o
Winter is coming.

A book with gazillion reviews doesn’t need another one to tell what to expect from it. So why bother?

Let's get straight to the point.

This is described as epic fantasy firmly grounded in historical realism, which means the reader should be able to identify an outline of the period(s), the peoples, and the sociopolitical milieu upon whose ruins the edifice of the invented world of GoT is erected. Luckily, this is not difficult to find out, even though most readers, if my impressi
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
Lisa Kay
Warning: Don’t expect Donna Reed to show up in this one.
Donna Reed Pictures, Images and Photos
I loved it, I hated it, I couldn’t put it down, I vowed never to pick it up and read another chapter. Yeah. I went on an emotional roller-coaster ride with this fantasy Machiavellian soap-opera. It grabbed a hold of me and wouldn’t let go, even when I pleaded for mercy. I can’t image what those poor people, who don’t read, are doing while they wait for the next installment of this series to come out on HBO.

Then again, I may commiserate w
John Wiswell
Apr 22, 2008 John Wiswell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy readers, folklore readers, political fiction readers
Recommended to John by: Nick Sabin, Cassie Nichols
This may be the best Fantasy I've read since J.R.R. Tolkien. I highly recommend it to any fans of the Lord of the Rings series who have been disappointed by the other supposed epics that have shown up since. Martin has created a sprawling world, full of intrigue and potential, and sowed it with characters who can carry out interesting conflicts within it. His prose is far more readable than the average Fantasy writer, capable of beautiful phrases and sweeping passages, but also excellent at carr ...more
Ahmad  Ebaid
Apr 26, 2016 Ahmad Ebaid is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Currently-reading review:
لا أعلم متى سأعود لإكمالها، فهناك قابلتني مشكلة سرد من جديد. كان المؤلف كاتب تلفزيوني ثم تحول لكتابة رواية يقول فيها ما لا يسعه قوله في حلقة تلفزيونية، وللأسف فالكاتب جلب معه للرواية أسلوب سرد يليق بسيناريو حلقات متلفزة أكثر مما قد يلائم صفحات رواية، فالكاتب قد اعتمد اسلوب الشرائح السينيمائية في تعريفنا بالرواية. وكل شريحة كانت تضم تعريف بسيط في موقف عن شخصية بعد شخصية، وعائلة بعد عائلة. وهذه التفاصيل الكثيرة عن الشخصيات هي محور المشكلة بالنسبة لي؛ لأن التفاصيل كانت تتب
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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 (8 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)
  • Untitled (A Song of Ice and Fire, #8)

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“... a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” 13103 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.” 9784 likes
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