Well, now that Game of Thrones is all over for the next 9 or 10 months, you may be thinking that life is dull and without meaning. Fear not, at least for book readers! The new book A Dance with Dragons comes out July 12.
Game of Thrones TV show fans who haven’t read the series really should use this time to read the books. There is so much back history to the world that George R R Martin has created, you really are missing out on some most-excellent story-telling. And you are certainly free from the looong wait times that have plagued this series. Not that we’re completely free of such misfortune in the future. Hopefully not six years, though – right? RIGHT?
Current A Song of Ice and Fire readers may want to freshen their knowledge, so I have compiled some links to articles recapping what’s happened in Westeros and Essos. So why not go all in and read from the very beginning, the Dawn of Days? The Wertzone blog has done such a thing, and Adam Whitehead has put together a pretty concise timeline of events in GRRM’s world.
Part One: Ancient History documents from the Dawn of Days starting twelve thousand years before the current storyline of ASoIaF up to the formation of the Seven Kingdoms (there were actually 8 at that time). This includes the presence of the Children of the Forest, the events of The Long Night and subsequent War for the Dawn, the Andal Invasion, the Flight of the Rhoynar and the rise and fall of Valyria.
Part Two: The Dragon Kings describes the events of Aegon’s Conquest and the might of incestuous Targaryen reign. Interesting to note how the blood of dragons becomes weakened in both the mythical beasts and the ruling house of Westeros. Dragons become stunted, and eventually the eggs fail to hatch while the Mad Kings nearly destroy the realm. The timeline of Robert’s Rebellion is also laid out and gives the many “conspiracy theorist” readers some fodder to play with…
Note that the above information may not jive with other timelines; Westeros historians really can’t provide accuracy in dates before the Rhoynar exodus from the Eastern continent. But it seems to make sense with other respected sources such as Westeros.org and ToweroftheHand.com. These posts also include some info from the prequel novellas starring “Dunk and Egg” which I have yet to read so I pretty much closed my eyes when reading that part of the summary.
Part Three: Thrones and Kings is completely filled with spoilers, so do NOT read unless you want to ruin one of the most fulfilling reads of your life. You have been warned!
The third write-up summarizes the stories of all of our favorite and hated characters of the first 2 novels of ASoIaF, A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. TV viewers: you have no idea, truly. The story has barely begun at this point.
Part Four: Swords and Crows recaps the next two books, A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows. Obligatory, redundant spoiler warning, of course. It might be best to think of A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons as one big book, as the events are (supposedly) concurrent. What this really means for us fans is that we’ve been waiting over ten years to find out what’s up with Tyrion!
If you are really nit-picky and want to go CliffsNotes style chapter by chapter, check out TotH’s book summary for A Song of Ice and Fire. These resources are probably the best summaries of the books around. And if you are up for discussion and a hearty dose of speculation, check out the ASoIaF forums!