Happy birthday, ‘Game of Thrones’!


Can’t get enough “Game of Thrones”? Here’s what to devour once you’ve finished every episode of HBO’s show (or maybe even before you start watching).

It’s been 20 years since “A Game of Thrones” was released. In August 1996, a very different Clinton was president of the US, “Macarena” and “Wannabe” were at the top of the charts, and NASA announced the discovery of evidence of primitive life on Mars contained within a meteorite.

“A Game of Thrones” was not George R. R. Martin’s first book. By the time it was published, Martin was already a three-time Hugo Award winner (once each for best novella, novelette and short story), an established novelist, and a screenwriter (including writing episodes for the 1985 revival of “The Twilight Zone”).

Now, five books and seven HBO seasons later, we all know there’s a lot more going on in Westeros and Essos than most people realize. The official universe (or “canon,” as it’s called) of “A Song of Ice and Fire” books (commonly referred to as ASOIAF) includes everything written within the main books, plus quite a few prequels, some excerpts and a couple of history and art books — plusthe prerelease “Winds of Winter” chapters and the graphic novels based on the main book series.

Phew. It’s a lot for anyone to keep track of.

GRRM has been busy over the years. In between writing the ASOIAF series, he’s published other books, edited multiple sci-fi and fantasy anthologies, made numerous appearances at conferences and been quite involved with the HBO show.

On this birthday, to ease both our pain at still not having any idea when book 6 will arrive and those now-extended “Game of Thrones” withdrawals, here is nearly every major work in the canon, plus some related to the TV show only. They’re broken down by book canon, show-related and some non-canon works that are just fun to check out. They’re not in any order, nor am I trying to say that you should read them in this order. I’m just trying to give you the keys to the kingdom.

HBO show-related books

  • “Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros.” This book features five large fold-out spreads of areas in Westeros and for some reason one of them is “The Continent of Essos,” hmm.
  • “Game of Thrones: The Noble Houses of Westeros Seasons 1-5.” Illustrated with show photography, this book features sigils, profiles, and family trees and histories.
  • “Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones.” Released in 2012, this book covers the production of the show through its first two seasons and includes a preface by GRRM, spectacular set photos and interviews with cast members.
  • Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones, Seasons 3 & 4.”Like the original, this 2014 book features behind-the-scenes look at the making of the successful show.
  • Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion.” Published in 2013, this funny book features Tyrion’s best one-liners paired with illustrations.
  • “Living Language Dothraki.” This is actually a book and a learning CD to help you pronounce and learn to speak Dothraki, and comes complete with basic phrases, step-by-step grammar guides and vocabulary exercises.
  • “Game of Thrones: In Memoriam.”Released at the beginning of this year, this book is an account of all the show’s dead up to season 5. Can we expect an update soon HBO?
  • “Game of Thrones: The Poster Collection Book” and “Volume II.” Exactly what it sounds like, this 2013 book is made up of 40 removable posters including a map of Westeros.

Various related works

  • “The Official A Game of Thrones Coloring Book.” Featuring almost 100 pages of drawings for you to obsess over.
    • A second coloring book is coming in November from Chronicle Books.
  • Limited edition “Game of Thrones” Moleskines. For keeping track of your own lists.
  • “Beyond the Wall.” A collection of essays about author GRRM and his influences.
  • “The Art of Ice & Fire, Volume I & Volume II.” Both books feature paintings and artwork inspired by ASOIAF.
  • “A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook to A Game of Thrones.”Published in 2012, this official cookbook features a foreword by GRRM.
  • Various games, both virtual and board games, including:
    • Monopoly Game of Thrones Collector’s Editionseems self-explanatory; it’s just a GOT-branded version of the classic.
    • Game of Thrones Cluecomes with a double-sided board so you can solve murder mysteries in either The Red Keep or Meereen.
    • PC gameA Game of Thrones: Genesis, which is also available onSteam.
    • Game of Thrones: The Game, available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows machines.
    • Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series, a video game based on the TV show, is available in various formats including Android and iOS, with in-app purchases for each playable “episode.”
    • Game of Thrones: Ascentis a free-to-play social-media game available to play on iOS, Android, Facebook and online.
    • A Game of Thrones, The Card Game. A massive collection of cards from Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) based on the book series and first released in 2002.
    • A Game of Thrones, The Board Game.Also by FFG and based on the book series, the first edition was released in 2003, with the second edition in 2011.
    • Battles of Westeros. A two-player board game from FFG and based on the books, it was released in 2010.

Like I said in the beginning, there’s a a lot out there to (attempt to) satisfy you until either “Winds of Winter” is released or “Game of Thrones” returns for its final seasons. How will you pass the next year+ of waiting??

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