The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinIf the past is prologue, then George R. R. Martin’s masterwork—the most inventive and entertaining fantasy saga of our time—warrants one hell of an introduction. At long last, it has arrived with The World of Ice and Fire.
This lavishly illustrated volume is a comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms, providing vividly constructed accounts of the epic battles, bitter rivalries, and daring rebellions that lead to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones. In a collaboration that’s been years in the making, Martin has teamed with Elio M. Garcia, Jr., and Linda Antonsson, the founders of the renowned fan site Westeros.org—perhaps the only people who know this world almost as well as its visionary creator.
Collected here is all the accumulated knowledge, scholarly speculation, and inherited folk tales of maesters and septons, maegi and singers. It is a chronicle which stretches from the Dawn Age to the Age of Heroes; from the Coming of the First Men to the arrival of Aegon the Conqueror; from Aegon’s establishment of the Iron Throne to Robert’s Rebellion and the fall of the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen, which has set into motion the “present-day” struggles of the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons, and Targaryens. The definitive companion piece to George R. R. Martin’s dazzlingly conceived universe, The World of Ice and Fire is indeed proof that the pen is mightier than a storm of swords.
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We may have to wait a bit longer for George R. The volume is fit for a king though, preferably not Joffrey and Vanity Fair has an exclusive look at 10 of its images—as well as the story behind how the new edition came together. The Simonetti illustration is several years old; in fact, many of the images in the book have been re-purposed from old Song of Ice and Fire calendars, board games, or the edition of The World of Ice and Fire. But Groell balanced familiar imagery with some surprising new paintings. Then, what does that leave me?
When the regent of the Vale rushed out to confront [Visenya], with a dozen guards at her back, she found Visenya with Ronnel Arryn seated on her knee, staring at the dragon, wonderstruck. No threats were spoken, no angry words exchanged. The two queens smiled at one another and exchanged courtesies instead. Aries: the first morning of the spring, fire reflecting through, warmth that melts the ice away gently but fast. Taurus: the first flowers of the year, dawn of the day, beauty of the world, relaxed and gentle, hot tea after work, silent but meaningful like forest.
Battle of the Trident
The westerlands are a place of rugged hills and rolling plains, of misty dales and craggy shorelines, a place of blue lakes and sparkling rivers and fertile fields, of broadleaf forests that teem with game of every sort, where half-hidden doors in the sides of wooded hills open onto labyrinthine caves that wend their way through darkness to reveal unimaginable wonders and vast treasures deep beneath the earth. - George R.