A Song of Ice and Fire

From Academic Kids

A Song of Ice and Fire (ASoIaF) is an epic fantasy series of novels by George R. R. Martin. It is the best-known of his works, and has spawned a successful trading card game and board game. The books are known for extremely detailed and intriguing characters, sudden and often violent plot twists, and no lack of cunning schemes and intricate political maneuvering. In a genre where magic usually takes center stage, this series has a reputation for its limited and subtle use of magic, employing it as an ambiguous and often sinister background force.


The books

So far, the series consists of 3 published novels.

The manuscript for the fourth volume is written and sent to the publishers:

As of June 2005, the US publication is planned for November 8, 2005; the date for the UK and Australian publication are not yet determined. Template:Ref

Two related novellas have also been published, with more planned. These stories are set about 90 years before the events in A Game of Thrones.

As of May 29 2005, the author estimates that the entire series will require seven volumes. The seventh book will likely be required because Martin had to move some of the character arcs of the A Feast for Crows manuscript into A Dance with Dragons. Martin recognized that this decision could cause frustration among some of his fans, stating that: "I know some of you may be disappointed, especially when you buy A Feast for Crows and discover that your favorite character does not appear, but given the realities I think this was the best solution... and the more I look at it, the more convinced I am that these two parallel novels, when taken together, will actually tell the story better than one big book." Template:Ref

Martin originally intended the series to be a trilogy, but later increased that estimate, explaining "What can I say? It's a BIG story, and a cast of thousands." Template:Ref When A Storm of Swords was published, Martin announced that there would be six books. After A Storm of Swords he began writing A Dance with Dragons, which was supposed to take place five years after A Storm of Swords. Martin later announced that he would add another book, A Feast for Crows, to pick up where A Storm of Swords left off. Martin's original announcement that he would skip five years (and not use many flashbacks) upset many fans who didn't want to miss a moment in the lives of their favorite characters. Interestingly, Martin's decision to stop writing one book and start another in order chronicle part of that five year gap has caused a five year wait for the fourth installment.

A Song of Ice and Fire

By George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones | A Clash of Kings | A Storm of Swords | A Feast for Crows
The Hedge Knight
Books | Places

Plot and setting

A Song of Ice and Fire is set in a fictitious world reminiscent of Europe in the Middle Ages, except for the fact that in this world, seasons can last decades. Driven by members of the Houses, great and small, the plot is recounted from the perspectives of more than ten main characters and takes place on the continents of Westeros and the eastern continent, the former being the locale of fierce power struggles between several aristocratic families after the death of king Robert Baratheon, who by lineage, marriage and personal relationships had united them all. Meanwhile, the last offspring of House Targaryen, which had ruled over Westeros before being expelled by Robert and his allies, is trying to find allies herself to reconquer the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. But all of them ignore the oncoming winter and the ancient dangers it brings.

See also: List of places in A Song of Ice and Fire

Historical and literary sources

Numerous parallels have been seen between the events and characters in A Song of Ice and Fire and events and people involved in the Wars of the Roses. Two of the principal families in A Song of Ice and Fire, the Starks and the Lannisters, are seen as representing the historical House of York and House of Lancaster, respectively.

Other readers have pointed out similarities to Arthurian legend, in particular comparing the relationship of King Robert Baratheon, Queen Cersei Lannister, and Jaime Lannister to that of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, and Sir Lancelot.

Martin is an avid student of medieval Europe, and has said that the Wars of the Roses, along with many other events in Europe during that time, have influenced the series. However, he insists that "there's really no one-for-one character-for-character correspondence. I like to use history to flavor my fantasy, to add texture and versimilitude, but simply rewriting history with the names changed has no appeal for me. I prefer to reimagine it all, and take it in new and unexpected directions." [1] (http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/SSM01.html)

Pronunciation of names

Unlike Tolkien, who provided detailed instructions for the pronunciation of the languages of Middle-Earth, Martin has provided no canonical way of pronouncing Westerosi names. However, it is possible to establish some guidelines based on public chapter readings by the author, and the audio book adaptations read by Roy Dotrice.

Dotrice's pronunciations

Some of Roy Dotrice's pronunciations are reproduced here. Following Wikipedia guidelines, the list uses IPA in brackets, but includes alternative representation in X-SAMPA in slashes to help older browsers. See International Phonetic Alphabet for English to learn about the symbols, and IPA in Unicode for problems of displaying and entering them.


  • Arya: [] /'A:rI@/
  • Baratheon: [] /b@'rVTI@n/
  • Catelyn: [] /'katlIn/
  • Cersei: [] /'s@:sI/
  • Daenerys: [] /deI'nE:rIs/
  • Jaime: [] /'dZeImI/
  • Jojen: [] /'dZ@UdZ@n/
  • Jon: [] /dZQn/
  • Targaryen: [] /t@'gE:rI@n/
  • Tyrion: [] /'tIrI@n/
  • Tywin: [] /'tVIwIn/
  • Viserys: [] /vI'sE:rIs/


  • Asshai: [] /a'SVI/


  • Khaleesi: [] /k@'lI:sI/
  • Maester: [] /'meIst@/
  • Ser: [] /s@:/


  1. Template:Note Report #80 in So Spake Martin Reports from Signings, Conventions, etc. (http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/SSM03h.html)
  2. Template:Note Message on Martin's website, May 29, 2005 It's Done!!! (http://www.georgerrmartin.com/done.html)
  3. Template:Note Martin in post to Legends, October 6, 1998. So Spake Martin Posts to Legends (SSL) (http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/SSM01.html)

External links

  • GeorgeRRMartin.com (http://www.georgerrmartin.com) - official website of the author.
  • The Citadel (http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/) at www.westeros.org - extensive archive about the series, including detailed thematic notes, timelines, artwork & heraldry, and correspondence from the author.
  • An Encyclopaedia of Ice and Fire (http://www.alefgard.com/~iceandfire/index.html) - A comprehensive treatment of A Song of Ice and Fire with chapter summaries and individual pages for every character, location, historical event, noble house, etc. from the series all thoroughly cross-referenced and hyperlinked.
  • Amoka.net Gallery (http://amoka.net/eng/gal/) of fan-created portraits of the Song of Ice and Fire characters.
  • Waking The Dragon (http://www.livejournal.com/~wakingthedragon/) - ASoIaF livejournal community.
  • The Seven Kingdoms (http://www.sevenkingdoms.net/) - online text based game (MUD) based on the Song of Ice and Fire series.
  • Song of Ice and Fire books (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/external-search?tag=georrmar&keyword=George%20R.%20R.%20Martin&mode=books) at Amazon.com
  • Message Board (http://pub26.ezboard.com/basoiaf) at ezboard.com - extensive topical theory discussion about current and upcoming books.bg:Песен за огън и лед

de:Lied von Eis und Feuer fr:Un chant de glace et de feu


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