George R. R. Martin: Game of Thrones 1-5
A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of epic fantasy novels by the American novelist and screenwriter George R. R. Martin. The first volume of the series, A Game of Thrones, was begun in 1991 and first published in 1996. The series has grown from a planned trilogy to seven volumes, the fifth and most recent of which, A Dance with Dragons, took Martin five years to write before its publication in 2011. The sixth novel, The Winds of Winter, is still being written.
The story of A Song of Ice and Fire takes place on the fictional continents Westeros and Essos. The point of view of each chapter in the story is a limited perspective of a range of characters growing from nine, in the first novel, to thirty-one by the fifth. Three main stories interweave a dynastic war among several families for control of Westeros, the rising threat of the supernatural Others beyond Westeros’ northern border, and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen, the deposed king’s exiled daughter, to assume the Iron Throne.
Martin’s inspirations included the Wars of the Roses and the French historical novels The Accursed Kings by Maurice Druon. A Song of Ice and Fire received favorable critique for its diverse portrayal of women and religion, and praise for favoring realism over magic. An assortment of disparate, subjective and sometimes inaccurate points of view confront the reader, and the reader may not safely presume that a favorite character will prevail, or even survive. Violence, sexuality and moral ambiguity frequently arise among a thousand named characters.
As of April 2015, the books have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide and have been translated into at least 45 languages. The fourth and fifth volumes reached the top of The New York Times Best Seller lists upon their releases. Among the many derived works are several prequel novellas, a TV series, a comic book adaptation, and several card, board and video games.