Fire & Blood: 300 Years Before A Game Of Thrones (a Targaryen History) by George R. R. MartinFire & Blood: 300 Years Before A Game Of Thrones (a Targaryen History) by George R. R. Martin

Fire & Blood: 300 Years Before A Game Of Thrones (a Targaryen History)

byGeorge R. R. Martin

Hardcover | November 20, 2018

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The thrilling history of the Targaryens comes to life in this masterly work by the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the inspiration for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire & Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why was it so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What were Maegor the Cruel’s worst crimes? What was it like in Westeros when dragons ruled the skies? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire & Blood is the the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros.

Praise for Fire & Blood

“I love it so much. Fire & Blood is Martin Unbound . . . and I couldn’t put it down. . . . There’s an addictive quality to the prose that’s outright gossipy. . . . The obvious comparison here is J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. . . . Writing centuries after the events he’s describing, the Gyldayn voice complicates this game of thrones with a clash of perspectives and a storm of debatable facts. . . . Heavy stuff, but Fire & Blood flies.”—Entertainment Weekly

“A masterpiece of popular historical fiction.” —The Sunday Times

“The saga is a rich and dark one, full of both the title’s promised elements. . . . It’s hard not to thrill to the descriptions of dragons engaging in airborne combat, or the dilemma of whether defeated rulers should ‘bend the knee,’ ‘take the black’ and join the Night’s Watch, or simply meet an inventive and horrible end.”The Guardian
George R. R. Martin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including those of the acclaimed series A Song of Ice and Fire—A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons—as well as Tuf Voyaging, Fevre Dream, The Armageddon Rag, Dying of the Light, Windhaven (with ...
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Title:Fire & Blood: 300 Years Before A Game Of Thrones (a Targaryen History)Format:HardcoverDimensions:736 pages, 9.51 × 6.36 × 1.89 inPublished:November 20, 2018Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:152479628X

ISBN - 13:9781524796280

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bloody, Brutal, and Brilliant I thought I knew what to expect from a new GAME OF THRONES book, having endured their brutality before. Boy, was I wrong. This was one of the most emotionally exhausting books I've ever read. And I loved it. The story spans hundreds of years, starting from the legendary King, Aegon the Conqueror, and carries on the stories of his centuries for roughly 150 years. From there, readers are swept up in adventure, betrayal, passion, brutality, consequence, and constant struggles for power. It's honestly hard for me to pick down a favourite era of Kings, since each one had a different core conflict, and each carried a different tone. Which leads me to a minor warning: This book is HEAVY. I love that it's realistic and sets the tone for GOT and draws you into the darkness of the world and the dangers of living in a world of power hungry royalty and their fierce dragons, but there were more than a few moments where I needed to stop and take a break from its contents. It gets almost unsavoury at parts, but I completely loved the stories and the world, so it was impossible for me not to be engrossed. Another minor complaint was that there were soooooo many characters, and many of them used the same names for their many children. It added to the lore and the legacy of the Targeryans, but left me a little confused at some moments. But both of those are minor complaints that anyone who's ever read a GAME OF THRONES book will be aware of and prepared for. All in all, this prequel is everything I could have ever asked for, and more. I love the Targeryan legacy, and this beautifully illustrated book only added to that love. It felt like a hundred stories in one, and I'm dying for the next book to continue its legacy.
Date published: 2018-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Omg can’t put down leave you spell bound I bought about a week ago and already on page 300 , his books never disappoint I’m a huge fan !!! It’s the kind of book you take on the bus even though it’s kinda heavy cause you can’t wait to get home to find out what happens next !!! Can’t say enough great things about this book !!!!
Date published: 2018-12-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Wow Well, jokes on me. I thought this book was similar to the last one that came out (I liked the encyclopedia-esq feeling of it and all the visuals). It's a struggle getting through this and to not mix up everyone, and to stay engaged. Not sure I would recommend this one.... but I still eagerly await The Winds of Winter.
Date published: 2018-11-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome Just the best, Mr. Martin knows how to write epics
Date published: 2018-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Immersive With all the fire and fury fans have come to expect from internationally bestselling author George R. R. Martin, this is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros. Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire & Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.
Date published: 2018-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic 'Fake History' At the time of writing this, the book itself isn't out yet. However, I've read some of the content which appears here beforehand; which can be found in the Dangerous Women and Rogues anthologies. Like A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, this isn't Book 6. But does that mean that this book itself isn't good? No it doesn't. Here you get some history which takes place about 300 years before Book 1 even begins. What The Silmarillion was for Tolkien, this book is for Martin. If you enjoy reading Martin's series, enjoyed A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, and and are looking forward to Book 6, hopefully this will slake your thirst until then. Westeros publishing timeline as of 2018: Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Book 4 Book 5 A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms Fire and Blood Chronological timeline as of 2018: Fire and Blood A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms Books 1-5
Date published: 2018-07-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from meh Love the series, have trouble reading the books. But glad they're written because we get the series from them!
Date published: 2018-07-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from IT OK yo i'm down with all the medieval shenanigans but idk why no dragons?
Date published: 2018-07-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Its ok the plot was a little dry, hard to get into and the characters are grossly foreshadowed.
Date published: 2018-06-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from sounds interesting, but not what i'm waiting for this is an amazing author however I wish he would stop writing prequels and stand alone books, and give us the real sixth book of a game of thrones
Date published: 2018-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from so excited! love game of thrones so really looking forward to this!
Date published: 2018-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing Our son cant get enough and now has me hooked!!! Truly another wonderful one!!
Date published: 2018-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!!!! Our son cant get enough and now has me hooked!!! Truly another wonderful one!!
Date published: 2018-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wicked good book wicked good book. must read again!!! Really recommend
Date published: 2018-04-25

Read from the Book

Several years had passed since the king had last made a progress, so plans were laid in 58 AC for Jaehaerys and Alysanne to make their first visit to Winterfell and the North. Their dragons would be with them, of course, but beyond the Neck the distances were great and the roads poor, and the king had grown tired of flying ahead and waiting for his escort to catch up. This time, he decreed, his Kingsguard, servants, and retainers would go ahead of him, to make things ready for his arrival. And thus it was that three ships set sail from King’s Landing for White Harbor, where he and the queen were to make their first stop.The gods and the Free Cities had other plans, however. Even as the king’s ships were beating their way north, envoys from Pentos and Tyrosh called upon His Grace in the Red Keep. The two cities had been at war for three years and were now desirous of making peace, but could not agree on where they might meet to discuss terms. The conflict had caused serious disruption to trade upon the narrow sea, to the extent that King Jaehaerys had offered both cities his help in ending their hostilities. After long discussion, the Archon of Tyrosh and the Prince of Pentos had agreed to meet in King’s Landing to settle their differences, provided that Jaehaerys would act as an intermediary between them, and guarantee the terms of any resulting treaty.It was a proposal that neither the king nor his council felt he could refuse, but it would mean postponing His Grace’s planned progress to the North, and there was concern that the notoriously prickly Lord of Winterfell might take that for a slight. Queen Alysanne provided the solution. She would go ahead as planned, alone, whilst the king played host to the Prince and Archon. Jaehaerys could join her at Winterfell as soon as the peace had been concluded. And so it was agreed.Queen Alysanne’s travels began in the city of White Harbor, where tens of thousands of northerners turned out to cheer her and gape at Silverwing with awe, and a bit of terror. It was the first time any of them had seen a dragon. The size of the crowds surprised even their lord. “I had not known there were so many smallfolk in the city,” Theomore Manderly is reported to have said. “Where did they all come from?”The Manderlys were unique amongst the great houses of the North. Having originated in the Reach centuries before, they had found refuge near the mouth of the White Knife when rivals drove them from their rich lands along the Mander. Though fiercely loyal to the Starks of Winterfell, they had brought their own gods with them from the south, and still worshipped the Seven and kept the traditions of knighthood. Alysanne Targaryen, ever desirous of binding the Seven Kingdoms closer together, saw an opportunity in Lord Theomore’s famously large family, and promptly set about arranging marriages. By the time she took her leave, two of her ladies-in-waiting had been betrothed to his lordship’s younger sons and a third to a nephew; his eldest daughter and three nieces, meanwhile, had been added to the queen’s own party, with the understanding that they would travel south with her and there be pledged to suitable lords and knights of the king’s court.Lord Manderly entertained the queen lavishly. At the welcoming feast an entire aurochs was roasted, and his lordship’s daughter Jessamyn acted as the queen’s cupbearer, filling her tankard with a strong northern ale that Her Grace pronounced finer than any wine she had ever tasted. Manderly also staged a small tourney in the queen’s honor, to show the prowess of his knights. One of the fighters (though no knight) was revealed to be a woman, a wildling girl who had been captured by rangers north of the Wall and given to one of Lord Manderly’s household knights to foster. Delighted by the girl’s daring, Alysanne summoned her own sworn shield, Jonquil Darke, and the wildling and the Scarlet Shadow dueled spear against sword whilst the northmen roared in approval.A few days later, the queen convened her women’s court in Lord Manderly’s own hall, a thing hitherto unheard of in the North, and more than two hundred women and girls gathered to share their thoughts, concerns, and grievances with Her Grace.After taking leave of White Harbor, the queen’s retinue sailed up the White Knife to its rapids, then proceeded overland to Winterfell, whilst Alysanne herself flew ahead on Silverwing. The warmth of her reception at White Harbor was not to be duplicated at the ancient seat of the Kings in the North, where Alaric Stark and his sons alone emerged to greet her when her dragon landed before his castle gates. Lord Alaric had a flinty reputation; a hard man, people said, stern and unforgiving, tight-fisted almost to the point of being niggardly, humorless, joyless, cold. Even Theomore Manderly, who was his bannerman, had not disagreed; Stark was well respected in the North, he said, but not loved. Lord Manderly’s fool had put it elsewise. “Methinks Lord Alaric has not moved his bowels since he was twelve.”Her reception at Winterfell did nothing to disabuse the queen’s fears as to what she might expect from House Stark. Even before dismounting to bend the knee, Lord Alaric looked askance at Her Grace’s clothing and said, “I hope you brought something warmer than that.” He then proceeded to declare that he did not want her dragon inside his walls. “I’ve not seen Harrenhal, but I know what happened there.” Her knights and ladies he would receive when they got here, “and the king too, if he can find the way,” but they should not overstay their welcome. “This is the North, and winter is coming. We cannot feed a thousand men for long.” When the queen assured him that only a tenth that number would be coming, Lord Alaric grunted and said, “That’s good. Fewer would be even better.” As had been feared, he was plainly unhappy that King Jaehaerys had not deigned to accompany her, and confessed to being uncertain how to entertain a queen. “If you are expecting balls and masques and dances, you have come to the wrong place.”Lord Alaric had lost his wife three years earlier. When the queen expressed regret that she had never had the pleasure of meeting Lady Stark, the northman said, “She was a Mormont of Bear Isle, and no lady by your lights, but she took an axe to a pack of wolves when she was twelve, killed two of them, and sewed a cloak from their skins. She gave me two strong sons as well, and a daughter as sweet to look upon as any of your southron ladies.”When Her Grace suggested that she would be pleased to help arrange marriages for his sons to the daughters of great southern lords, Lord Stark refused brusquely. “We keep the old gods in the North,” he told the queen. “When my boys take a wife, they will wed before a heart tree, not in some southron sept.”Alysanne Targaryen did not yield easily, however. The lords of the south honored the old gods as well as the new, she told Lord Alaric; most every castle that she knew had a godswood as well as a sept. And there were still certain houses that had never accepted the Seven, no more than the northmen had, the Blackwoods in the riverlands chief amongst them, and mayhaps as many as a dozen more. Even a lord as stern and flinty as Alaric Stark found himself helpless before Queen Alysanne’s stubborn charm. He allowed that he would think on what she said, and raise the matter with his sons.The longer the queen stayed, the more Lord Alaric warmed to her, and in time Alysanne came to realize that not everything that was said of him was true. He was careful with his coin, but not niggardly; he was not humorless at all, though his humor had an edge to it, sharp as a knife; his sons and daughter and the people of Winterfell seemed to love him well enough. Once the initial frost had thawed, his lordship took the queen hunting after elk and wild boar in the wolfswood, showed her the bones of a giant, and allowed her to rummage as she pleased through his modest castle library. He even deigned to approach Silverwing, though warily. The women of Winterfell were taken by the queen’s charms as well, once they grew to know her; Her Grace became particularly close with Lord Alaric’s daughter, Alarra. When the rest of the queen’s party finally turned up at the castle gates, after struggling through trackless bogs and summer snows, the meat and mead flowed freely, despite the king’s absence.Things were not going as well at King’s Landing, meanwhile. The peace talks dragged on far longer than anticipated, for the acrimony between the two Free Cities ran deeper than Jaehaerys had known. When His Grace attempted to strike a balance, both sides accused him of favoring the other. Whilst the Prince and the Archon dickered, fights began to break out between their men across the city, in inns, brothels, and wine sinks. A Pentoshi guardsman was set upon and killed, and three nights later the Archon’s own galley was set afire where she was docked. The king’s departure was delayed and delayed again.In the North, Queen Alysanne grew restless with waiting, and decided to take her leave of Winterfell for a time and visit the men of the Night’s Watch at Castle Black. The distance was not negligible, even flying; Her Grace landed at the Last Hearth and several smaller keeps and holdfasts on her way, to the surprise and delight of their lords, whilst a portion of her tail scrambled after her (the rest remained at Winterfell).Her first sight of the Wall from above took Alysanne’s breath away, Her Grace would later tell the king. There had been some concern how the queen might be received at Castle Black, for many of the black brothers had been Poor Fellows and Warrior’s Sons before those orders were abolished, but Lord Stark sent ravens ahead to warn of her coming, and the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Lothor Burley, assembled eight hundred of his finest men to receive her. That night the black brothers feasted the queen on mammoth meat, washed down with mead and stout.As dawn broke the next day Lord Burley took Her Grace to the top of the Wall. “Here the world ends,” he told her, gesturing at the vast green expanse of the haunted forest beyond. Burley was apologetic for the quality of the food and drink presented to the queen, and the rudeness of the accommodations at Castle Black. “We do what we can, Your Grace,” the Lord Commander explained, “but our beds are hard, our halls are cold, and our food—”“—is nourishing,” the queen finished. “And that is all that I require. It will please me to eat as you do.”The men of the Night’s Watch were as thunderstruck by the queen’s dragon as the people of White Harbor had been, though the queen herself noted that Silverwing “does not like this Wall.” Though it was summer and the Wall was weeping, the chill of the ice could still be felt whenever the wind blew, and every gust would make the dragon hiss and snap. “Thrice I flew Silverwing high above Castle Black, and thrice I tried to take her north beyond the Wall,” Alysanne wrote to Jaehaerys, “but every time she veered back south again and refused to go. Never before has she refused to take me where I wished to go. I laughed about it when I came down again, so the black brothers would not realize anything was amiss, but it troubled me then and it troubles me still.”

Editorial Reviews

“I love it so much. Fire & Blood is Martin Unbound . . . and I couldn’t put it down. . . . There’s an addictive quality to the prose that’s outright gossipy. . . . The obvious comparison here is J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. . . . Writing centuries after the events he’s describing, the Gyldayn voice complicates this game of thrones with a clash of perspectives and a storm of debatable facts. . . . Heavy stuff, but Fire & Blood flies.”—Entertainment Weekly “A masterpiece of popular historical fiction.” —The Sunday Times “The saga is a rich and dark one, full of both the title’s promised elements. . . . It’s hard not to thrill to the descriptions of dragons engaging in airborne combat, or the dilemma of whether defeated rulers should ‘bend the knee,’ ‘take the black’ and join the Night’s Watch, or simply meet an inventive and horrible end.”—The Guardian “Lean and efficient and slyly seductive and instructive . . . The text is filled with such a wealth of incident and so many colorful characters.” —Locus “The overall narrative of the book is wonderfully fluid. . . . Fire & Blood was a great surprise to me. I found myself becoming deeply emotionally invested in the Targaryens, thrilling when they achieved great victories and lamenting when they succumbed to their more idiotic desires. (And they have a lot of idiotic desires.) This book feels like A Song of Ice and Fire. And you know how I know? Because I want the next book right away.” —Tordotcom “[There are] treasures hidden in this new Targaryen history.”—Vanity Fair “The world of ice and fire only gets more fascinating the more we learn about it.”—Mashable “Martin is still a powerfully gifted, inventive writer. . . . [Fire & Blood] has hundreds of fascinating anecdotes, ranging from the cruel fate of a jester named Tom Turnip to a dragon that, tellingly, refuses to venture beyond the Wall. . . . Fire & Blood is a lavish object, with charts, family trees, and stunning illustrations by comic book artist Doug Wheatley. . . . In this sense it fits into a venerable tradition, from J.R.R. Tolkien in his Silmarillion to Diana Gabaldon in her companion to the Outlander series.”—USA Today “[Fire & Blood] explores the dragon-fueled secrets upon which the current saga is built.”—Hollywood Reporter “Martin has done it again. . . . [Fire & Blood is] a beautiful weaving of the wars, marriages, deaths, dragons, and politics that shape the world Martin has created, leaving the reader feeling like this is a true history rather than a piece of fantasy. This is a masterpiece of world-building. . . . Beyond Martin’s legions of fans, anyone with a taste for richly, even obsessively detailed historical fiction or fantasy about royalty will enjoy this extraordinary work.”—Booklist (starred review)