A Game of Thrones
A Game of Thrones
George Raymond Richard Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire #1
HBO’s hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R. R. Martin’s internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A GAME OF THRONES is the first volume in the series.
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 the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.
George R.R. Martin
A GAME OF THRONES
BOOK ONE OF
A Song of Ice and Fire
An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers
1 London Bridge Street
London SE1 9GF
Previously published in paperback by Voyager 1998, 2003, 2011
First published in Great Britain by Voyager 1996
Copyright © George R.R. Martin 1996
Cover layout design © HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 2014. HBO and related service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.
Cover photographs © Bernados / Plainpicture. Philipp Guenther / Gallery Stock (sky)
George R.R. Martin asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins.
Source ISBN: 9780002245845
Ebook Edition © April 2012 ISBN: 9780007378425
Praise for A Song of Ice and Fire:
‘This is one of those rare and effortless reads.’
‘George R.R. Martin is one of our very best writers, and this is one of his very best books.’
RAYMOND E. FEIST
‘Such a splendid tale. I read my eyes out – I couldn’t stop till I’d finished and it was dawn.’
‘George R.R. Martin is assuredly a new master craftsman in the guild of heroic fantasy.’
‘Few created worlds are as imaginative and diverse.’
this one is for Melinda
“We should start back,” Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. “The wildlings are dead.”
“Do the dead frighten you?” Ser Waymar Royce asked with just the hint of a smile.
Gared did not rise to the bait. He was an old man, past fifty, and he had seen the lordlings come and go. “Dead is dead,” he said. “We have no business with the dead.”
“Are they dead?” Royce asked softly. “What proof have we?”
“Will saw them,” Gared said. “If he says they are dead, that’s proof enough for me.”
Will had known they would drag him into the quarrel sooner or later. He wished it had been later rather than sooner. “My mother told me that dead men sing no songs,” he put in.
“My wet nurse said the same thing, Will,” Royce replied. “Never believe anything you hear at a woman’s tit. There are things to be learned even from the dead.” His voice echoed, too loud in the twilit forest.
“We have a long ride before us,” Gared pointed out. “Eight days, maybe nine. And night is falling.”