A Game of Thrones (Song of Ice and Fire) book summary

Date Published: August 1, 1996

A Game of Thrones:

TL;DR Summary

In a realm where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime, intrigue and treachery lurk behind every corner. Welcome to Westeros, the setting of "A Game of Thrones." Here, the Seven Kingdoms are ruled by the Iron Throne, a seat every noble house covets. The honorable Stark family of Winterfell, led by Eddard Stark, becomes embroiled in the political machinations of King's Landing when he is named the Hand of the King.

As the Starks navigate the treacherous waters of court politics, across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of a deposed dynasty, rises with the hope of reclaiming her birthright. Amidst all this, an ancient and malevolent force stirs in the far North, reminding everyone that winter is coming. Loyalties are tested, alliances forged and broken, and battles fought, all in the quest for power. But in the game of thrones, you win or you die.

Spoilers (click here to reveal spoilers)

A Game of Thrones:


Epic Fantasy
High Fantasy
Political Intrigue
Sword and Sorcery

A Game of Thrones:

Main Characters

Eddard Stark: The honorable lord of Winterfell, values duty and family. When he discovers the truth about the royal children’s parentage, he chooses honor over personal safety.

Daenerys Targaryen: The last Targaryen, values freedom and justice. She rises from a pawn in political games to a queen, freeing the enslaved people of Astapor.

Tyrion Lannister: A witty dwarf, values knowledge and wit. He uses his intellect to navigate the treacherous politics of King’s Landing, advising the king on matters of state.

Jon Snow: Eddard Stark’s bastard son, values loyalty and honor. He befriends Samwell Tarly at the Night’s Watch, defending him from bullies.

Cersei Lannister: The queen of Westeros, values power and family. She masterminds the downfall of Eddard Stark to protect her children’s claim to the throne.

A Game of Thrones:


Power and Ambition: The quest for the Iron Throne showcases the lengths individuals will go for power, as seen in the Lannisters’ schemes.

Honor vs. Survival: Characters like Eddard Stark grapple with choosing between personal honor and pragmatic survival.

Identity and Legacy: Jon Snow’s struggle with his bastard status and Daenerys’s journey to reclaim her family’s throne highlight the theme of identity.

Loyalty and Betrayal: The shifting allegiances, such as Theon Greyjoy’s betrayal of the Starks, underscore the fragile nature of loyalty in Westeros.

The Inevitability of Change: The recurring phrase “winter is coming” serves as a reminder of the inevitable changes and challenges that lie ahead.

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