George R. R. Martin began a fantasy series of books under the name of A Song of Fire and Ice. The adventure began in 1996 with the publication of A Game of Thrones book. The first book was intended to be the beginning of a trilogy, but its popularity grew so much after publication, Martin has continued to publish books in this series. Currently there are five in publication with two more planned in the future.
According the Bantam Books, the publisher of the series, more than seven million copies of the series has been sold in the United States, more than 15 million copies have been sold throughout the world. The series has been published in about 20 different languages and fans all point back to A Game of Thrones being the novel that started it all.
The novel is set in the fictional world with two different continents, Essos and Westeros. Being the first novel in a series, A Game of Thrones book, has to set the story lines for the entire series. In this book, three different story lines are being told simultaneously. The first story lines introduce the reader to the Seven Kingdoms. King Robert has died and a fight for the Iron Throne has begun. The throne is originally claimed by the son of King Robert, Joffrey, but another main character, Lord Eddard Stark, has found out that all the King’s children are illegitimate. This makes the Stannis the rightful king. Another of Stannis’ brothers, the youngest, makes a claim for the throne. This begins the struggle for the Iron Throne.
Lord Eddard Stark’s heir, Robb Stark, is declared King in the North, where he is seeking to return that region to self-rule. Within the same time frame, another situation develops on the Iron Islands. Balon Greyjoy has finally reclaimed the throne in this region of the fictional continents.
The next story line moves you to the northern borders of the continent of Westeros. The leaders of this part of Westeros built an ice wall, with the help of some magic, to prevent an attack from The Others. The wall has protected this area for thousands of years. The Others have not been seen for more than 8,000 years and the defenders of the wall, the Night’s Watch, have deteriorated into a band of refugees and criminals. Since it had been so long since the last attack by those mythical creatures, The Others, the Night’s Watch seemed to have turned into a penal colony. The main character in this story line is the bastard child of Lord Eddard Stark, Jon Snow. As Snow realized the real threat from The Others, he attempts to prepare the northern borders for a war.
The last story line takes place in the fictional continent of Esos. This huge eastern continent finds you reading about the adventures of another legitimate claimant to the Iron Throne, Dearneys Targaryen. She is the last of the House of Targaryen, which was placed in exile long ago. You follow Targaryen’s growth from a pauper who had been sold into marriage to the barbarian warlord she eventually becomes. She is helped by three dragons, which had been thought to be extinct at the time. However, someone had given her three dragon egg fossils, which she nurtured and eventually hatched. Targaryen’s main goal throughout this story line is to reclaim the Iron Throne which is rightfully hers.