How to Read Game of Thrones: Chronological and Publication Book Order 

How to Read Game of Thrones: Chronological and Publication Book Order 

After the massively successful run of Game of Thrones (albeit a controversial season 8) and House of the Dragon’s equally stellar debut, fans have renewed their interest in the GOT universe. 

Now that HOTD has closed its season 1 chapter, viewers may be craving for more and perhaps even rewatching GOT may not satisfy that itch. If you’re one of those fans who has turned to George R R Martin’s GOT novels for solace, you’re come to the right place to get started!

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned GOT reader, this reading guide will help you navigate your next GOT novel. Without further ado, here’s how to read Game of Thrones in chronological order and by publication date.  

1. Game of Thrones Chronological Reading Order

 How to Read Game of Thrones: Chronological and Publication Book Order
House of the Dragon | Source: IMDb

As I explained above, Martin has penned down some of Westeros’ history that predates the main Game of Thrones events. Fire and Blood will be your first go-to novel, as it begins with the Targaryen’s arrival in Westeros and their subsequent conquest. 

So if you’d like to read all of the books in chronological order, that is from the beginning of Westerosi history to the current timeline, here’s your guide:

  • Fire and Blood
  • The Sons of the Dragon 
  • The Rogue Prince
  • The Princess and the Queen
  • The Hedge Knight
  • The Sworn Sword
  • The Mystery Knight
  • A Game of Thrones
  • A Clash of Kings
  • A Storm of Swords
  • A Feast for Crows
  • A Dance with Dragons
  • The Winds of Winter (TBA)
  • A Dream of Spring (TBA)

Between Fire and Blood and A Game of Thrones, there are other major events that haven’t been chronicled yet in a dedicated novel. Perhaps, we will be lucky to get these novels too one day! 

2. Game of Thrones Publication Reading Order

 How to Read Game of Thrones: Chronological and Publication Book Order
Daenerys Targaryen | Source: Fandom

If you’re not too bothered with reading the books in chronological order, you can opt to read them as per their publication date. This may be better suited for those who are more interested in the Song of Ice and Fire arc, as the first book in this order would be A Game of Thrones. 

Here’s the complete Game of Thrones book order by publication date: 

  • A Game of Thrones (1996)
  • The Hedge Knight (1998)
  • A Clash of Kings (1999)
  • A Storm of Swords (2000)
  • The Sworn Sword (2003)
  • A Feast for Crows (2005)
  • The Mystery Knight (2010)
  • A Dance with Dragons (2011)
  • The Princess and the Queen (2013)
  • The Rogue Prince (2014)
  • The Sons of the Dragon (2017)
  • Fire and Blood (2018)
  • The Winds of Winter (TBA)
  • A Dream of Spring (TBA)

3. How many Game of Thrones books are there?

 How to Read Game of Thrones: Chronological and Publication Book Order
Game of Thrones | Source: IMDb

A Song of Ice and Fire is the series that kick started the GOT universe. It’s also what the TV show is based on. 

As of now, there are seven books in the main ASOIAF series. Out of these, only five books have been published. Besides the main series, there are also six novellas and three companion books. 

I. A Song of Ice and Fire 

A. A Game of Thrones

This is the novel that begins it all! There’s a big conspiracy to dispose off the current King of Westeros, Robert Baratheon and it unfolds through the perspectives of Eddard Stark, Catelyn Stark, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Bran Stark, Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, and Daenerys Targaryen.

II. A Clash of Kings

The War of the Five Kings continue, with a special focus on the Lannisters who are rallying their banners, Jon who traverses to the unsafe, northside of the Wall, and Daenerys who starts standing her own ground. 

III. A Storm of Swords

This novels sees the end of the War of the Five Kings, resulting in Daenerys finally taking a leadership role. The Stark kids, on the other hand, all separate and start having their own troublesome adventures, including Jon who champions the wildlings.  

IV. A Feast for Crows

This novel is complementary to the A Dance of Dragons, with both the books taking place at the same time. The only difference is that this book focuses on different characters and regions — in particular, King’s Landing, the Iron Islands, and Dorne.

V. A Dance with Dragons

A Dance with Dragons fills in the POV chapters of the characters that were missing in A Feast of Cows, namely, Jon, Tyrion and Daenerys. It does pull the story forward beyond AFOC and introduces the readers to yet another claimant to the Iron Throne.

  • The Winds of Winter (Not yet released)
  • A Dream of Spring (Not yet released)

4. Novellas

 How to Read Game of Thrones: Chronological and Publication Book Order
Rhaenyra Targaryen | Source: IMDb

Martin has further sketched out the GOT world with his novellas. Many novellas have ended up becoming chapters of the main GOT novels, and so I won’t include them in this list. Certain ones like The Princess and the Queen and the Rogue Prince are historical and cover the important events of the Targaryen House. 

Others, the Hedge Knight and the Sworn Sword are more anecdotal and don’t directly connect to the main story. Think of these as fun, low-stakes and one-off stories. 

 I. Dunk and Egg Novellas

This series contains short novellas depicting the adventures of adventures of “Dunk” who is the future Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Duncan the Tall, and “Egg,” who the future king Aegon V Targaryen. 

There are three Dunk and Egg novellas published so far under the collection titled “A Knight of Seven Kingdoms: 

  • The Hedge Knight
  • The Sworn Sword
  • The Mystery Knight

II. House Targaryen’s Novellas

Martin loves to write standalone pieces that expand that GOT universe, and the three novellas listed down below do the same for the House Targaryen. The good news is that these novellas have been adapted as chapters for Fire & Blood, so you can read them all together there! 

  • The Princess and the Queen
  • The Rogue Prince
  • The Sons of the Dragon

5. Companion Books

 How to Read Game of Thrones: Chronological and Publication Book Order
Ned Stark | Source: HBO

GOT’s companion books are more so a collection of existing GOT novels/novellas with some interesting additions to it. 

  • A Knight of Seven Kingdoms: Like I mentioned above,this is a collection of the Dunk and Egg novellas, The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword, and The Mystery Knight.
  • Fire and Blood: This is a historical recounting of some important events of the House Targaryen. It contains original chapters as well as a repackaging of the novellas, The Rogue Prince, the Princess and the Queen, and the Sons of the Dragon. 
  • The World of Ice and Fire: This is an illustrated volume that serves as a history compendium to GOT and provides fantastic insights into the epic. 

6. Upcoming GOT Novels/ Yet to Be Released

Being a George R R  Martin fan is akin to a love-hate relationship — You fall in love with his books, but you hate the fact that the ASOIAF series is yet incomplete. So if you want to keep a note of which books are yet to be published and when they’ll be releasing, here’s a list:

I. The Winds of Winter (TBA)

How to Read Game of Thrones: Chronological and Publication Book Order
House of the Dragon | Source: IMDb

II. A Dream of Spring (TBA)

A Dream of Spring will be the seventh and last book in the ASOIAF series. There are no concrete details attached to this title, and it is unknown if Martin has begun penning it down either. There are no excepts available either. 

III. Dunk & Egg Novellas (TBA)

Martin has plans for writing more Dunk and Egg novellas, in addition to the three that have already been published. However, he has made it clear that he’ll only work on these after The Winds of Winter has been completed. 

One of the stories under the working title of “She-Wolves” will depict the women in the Stark House, while another under the working title of “The Village Hero,” who explore a story in the Riverlands. 

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7. About Game of Thrones

A television phenomenon, Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama series created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for HBO. 

Set in the fictional universe of Westeros, nine dignified families fight to mark their claim to the Iron Throne and rule over the Seven Kingdoms. The HBO production is based on the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series by George R.R. Martin and features a number of converging arcs convoluted by political conflicts among factions.

 The series features a large ensemble cast including Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Nikolaj-Coster Waldau, Kit Harrington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke and many others.