“Game of Thrones: a Song of Ice and Fire Book One”, by George R.R. Martin


Game of Thrones: a Song of Ice and Fire“Game of Thrones: a Song of Ice and Fire”, a book by George R R Martin, was published in Greek by Anubis on June 2011. This book series is known as “Game of Thrones” from the successful HBO TV series. “Game of Thrones (a Song of Ice and Fire)” is the title of the first book but marketing and the vast success of the television show have contributed to the misconception that “Game of Thrones” is the general title of the seven novels.

Westeros is the place were our heroes live and act, and the lands beyond the Narrow Sea. These are mythical lands that remind very much of Medieval Britain. There are many differences from our world and first of all the seasons. In Westeros the succession of two seasons (Winter and Summer) is not at regular intervals. Sometimes they last for years. Westeros is introduced to us when a long Summer is about to end (this summer held for ten years) and a long Winter is about to start. One more important difference is the creatures that share Westeros with humans. Giants, Children of the Forrest, Mammoths, the Others, and much more.

The fear for those creatures and for wild tribes is the reason that the Wall, a massive wall over 700 feet high and hundreds of miles long, exists to protect the kingdom from any real (known or unknown) threat. Night Guard mans the Wall. Uncompromising warriors, dressed in black, who have sworn an oath of exclusive devotion and duty for a lifetime. If any of them desert, the certain fate is… death!

Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark, head of House Stark and Lord Paramount of the North, is going to judge Will, a deserter from the Night’s Watch. To this dreary task, he is accompanied by his sons Rob and Bran, his illegitimate son John Snow and others. After executing Will, they return to Winterfell castle, to find a dead direwolf with six live puppies. One for each legitimate child (Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rikon) and one for John. Direwolves have not been seen in the last 200 years. This is the first sign that… “the Winter is coming!”.

Before Winter, King Roberts arrives in Winterfell, along with many members of the royal court. Prominent personalities among them are Queen Cersei, first-born Joffrey, their rest children, Queen’s two brothers handsome Jaime and Tyrion the dwarf ( “the Imp” or “the Halfman” as they mock him). King’s visit is not ceremonial. He came all this way from King’s Landing, the capital of his kingdom, to Winterfell hoping to convince his brotherly friend, Ned, to take the seat of the Hand of the King. Let us note that the previous Hand of the King died under strange circumstances.

Game of Thrones: a Song of Ice and FireNed accept the honor-challenge and prepares to move to the capital along with his two daughters and Bran. His wife Katlyn will remain in Winterfel with the eldest and the youngest of his children, Rob and Rickon. A few days before leaving for the south – and while the King and his escort are still there – Bran climbs the outer wall of a tower, a habit he had as a game, and he saw something that will cost him too much. Queen and her brother Jaime in fond embracement. Jaime pushes Bran out of the window to keep the secret. The kid survives but has big injuries and falls into a coma. His health situation is critical. A fall from such a great height… nobody knows if he will live. But even if he lives, he will never walk again.

The King begins his travel back to the south, along with his escort, Ned and his daughters. John and Benjen Stark (Ned’s brother), go to the Wall, where John will be a cadet of the Night Guard. Tyrion followed them, to see the wall and “piss off at the edge of the world” as he said. Bran stayed back, and few days later a second assasination attempt was made. Thus Katlyn travels to King’s Landing to find out who was the assasin. She carries the assassin’s dagger with her, an elaborate dagger with a dragonbone hilt and a Valyrian steel blade, hoping that her husband will be able to do something about it.

Far away from Westeros, east of the Narrow Sea, two siblings live in the Free City of Pentos. Daenerys and Viserys, the last surviving offsprings of King Aerys II Targaryen, former ruler of the Seven Kingdoms who lost the Iron Throne after Robert’s Rebellion. Viserys plans to marry his sister to Dothraki Khal Drogo, leader of the vicious horse-mounted warriors. In exchange for the marriage, Viserys expects 10000 Dothraki warriors to help him conquer the Seven Kingdoms. Ser Jorah Mormont, an exiled Northern lord, joins this interesting company, offering his services to Viserys and recognizing him as the legitimate King of the Seven Kingdoms.

You will learn what will happen next on both sides of the Narrow Sea when you read “Game of Thrones – Book 1” by George R. R. Martin. This is one of the best fantasy novels you can find on a bookstore right now. Really better than the TV series (on this book are based the ten episodes of the first season) and much more interesting.

The names of the places are more and the heroes even more. However, you never get the feeling of being lost. Talented Georgr R. R. Martin places you in that imaginary world with his writing. This is an excelent book to read!

If you love Fantasy Literature, I am sure you will love this book from the first paragraphs. Do not wait any longer. Westeros is a land of mystery, action and adventure. Just be careful because… the Winter is coming!

The synopsis at the back of the book:

Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.


Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

“The major fantasy of the decade . . . compulsively readable.”—Denver Post

“We have been invited to a grand feast and pageant: George R.R. Martin has unveiled for us an intensely realized, romantic but realistic world.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“A Best Book of 1996: Martin makes a triumphant return to high fantasy . . . [with] superbly developed characters, accomplished prose, and sheer bloodymindedness.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A splendid saga . . . . Inventive and intricately plotted.”—BookPage

“Magic . . . George R.R.Martin’s first fantasy epic [is set] well above the norms of the genre.”—Locus

“Such a splendid tale and such a fantasticorical! I read my eyes out and couldn’t stop ’til I finished and it was dawn.”—Anne McCaffrey

Nektarios Papaspirou