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

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

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

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

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George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones Leather-Cloth Boxed Set (Song of Ice and Fire Series): A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons

George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones Leather-Cloth Boxed Set (Song of Ice and Fire Series): A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524796280
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/20/2018
Series: Song of Ice and Fire Series
Pages: 736
Sales rank: 86
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

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 Lisa Tuttle), and Dreamsongs Volumes I and II. He is also the creator of The Lands of Ice and Fire, a collection of maps featuring original artwork from illustrator and cartographer Jonathan Roberts, and The World of Ice & Fire, with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson. As a writer-producer, he has worked on The Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and pilots that were never made. He lives with the lovely Parris in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
 
Doug Wheatley is a comic book artist, concept designer, and illustrator who has worked on such properties and characters as Star Wars, Aliens, Superman, The Incredible Hulk, and Conan the Barbarian, to name just a few. Wheatley was the artist on the comic book adaptation of the film Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and contributed illustrations to The World of Ice & Fire.

Hometown:

Santa Fe, NM

Date of Birth:

September 20, 1948

Place of Birth:

Bayonne, NJ

Education:

B.S., Northwestern University, 1970; M.S., Northwestern University, 1971

Read an Excerpt

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.”

Customer Reviews

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Fire & Blood: 300 Years Before A Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...it was written by a Maester of the Citadel. It's supposed to be that way...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exhaustive book about the Targaryen dynasty
Anonymous 9 months ago
It is a (boring, mostly)history of the Targaryen, and in no way helpful to GOT story line, Prehaps, the good author would be so kind as to finish the series whilst I am still among the living.
Anonymous 9 months ago
It is as it is titled. A history! Quit whining about character development! Few of the reviewers recognize this fact. I found it informative. I actually enjoyed it! I found it fills in many references made in all the various books in the Ice and Fire universe. I wish the history book of my school years could have been just half as interesting!
Anonymous 10 months ago
About 100 pages in and can’t put it down. Love Westeros and it’s history.And as the others leaving “reviews” so astutely put, this is not Winds of Winter. Get over it. You’re more than welcome to go write your own epic fantasy books at your own pace. Take 20% off coupons from 100promo.com
Anonymous 11 months ago
Ppl complaining it's a history book must have been misinformed. It's an excellent account of the history. If you know it's a history book going in, what's the complaint?
Anonymous 10 months ago
Great history
Anonymous 11 months ago
A definite read for any GOT fan, and a favorite for any house Targaryen fan.
Anonymous 12 months ago
This book is supposed to be a history written from the viewpoint of a Maester of the Citadel. It isn't the next novel in A Song of Ice and Fire. So why are so many people complaining about it being dry? It reads exactly like "A World of Ice & Fire."
Anonymous 10 months ago
Tough to keep up with the names, but very interesting and a great read.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Very cool how in depth it is
reececo331 11 months ago
Fire & Blood (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin I anticipated the release of this book with joy. I feel that GRRM has given his fans just as many lovingly developed characters in this story as his original novels. I think that this book is worth the read. Having read prior histories of Westeros. I loved Dunk the Lunk and Egg in the Hedge Knight. Fire and blood is nice to look in to the prior history of the world of Ice and Fire. Aergon I's conquest of the seven kingdoms and his unifying of its conflicting people is something I had always questioned. The dynamic arrival and quick overwhelming conflict make a dramatic splash to the history of the land. His conquest was not the only riotous change of the government but one of many many plots and scandals that continually plague the Red Keep. His familiar relations and their conflict with the faith fuel many years of conflict. Finding out some of the motivations and conflicts that fueled Robert's rebellion. GRRM astonished me with the ebb and flow of the political turmoil within the seven kingdoms.
Anonymous 11 months ago
At first I was disappointed hearing that this book was not Winds of Winter but a prequel of sorts. I vowed I would not buy it but I broke down a bought Blood and Fire. It made me remember why I loved A Song of Ice and Fire so much. Even a history book format Martin is a great story teller. I'm glad I give Fire and Blood a chance. You should too.
Anonymous 12 months ago
good history of the dragons!!
Anonymous 7 days ago
Ended kinda abruptly. Thought it would end at the beginning of the game of thrones story
Anonymous 16 days ago
was+expecting+a+finished+story+of+daheary+and+her+dragons.....
Anonymous 4 months ago
enjoyed+it+very+much+
Anonymous 5 months ago
I+think+the+book+was+well+written.++I+have+enjoyed+RR+Martin%27s+series+over+the+very+much.+I+have+one+question+though%3F++Why%27d+you+stop+at+Aegon+lll+with+no+history+for+the+remaining+Kings+reigns+of+the+Targaryens+line%3F
Anonymous 5 months ago
Good Book
Anonymous 6 months ago
I enjoyed this book but if I had not read all the books for “A Game Of Thrones” it probably would not have held my interest. Being familiar with the family names & their general locations definitely made it easier to follow...
Clouded-Leopard 8 months ago
Before the events covered in the “Game of Thrones” series, the Targaryens conquered and united the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. “Fire & Blood” describes from the conquest to about half way through the reign of the dynasty. All the excitement of “Game of Thrones” is present. There is a slight difference in the storytelling. “Game of Thrones” has each chapter told from the point of view of one person. Even though told in the third person, this makes it a personal narrative “Fire & Blood” is more history, told from the records of the Maesters. This allows several concurrent incidents to be told together, but it loses the thoughts of the participants. We have to learn their views from their conversations, or the surmises of the Maesters. Yet the book still contains all the violence, sex, intrigue, and bloodshed so dearly loved by “Game of Thrones” aficionados. The one complaint I have is common with “Game of Thrones”. George Martin loves names. When a group of people are together, he will tell us three dozen names, their houses, and perhaps include a brief history of them, even if they are never mentioned again. So much is told that I skipped over all those lists. Thus if any of them later became important, I had no idea who they were. To make confusion worse, many of the main characters have very similar names, making it difficult to remember who has done what. Yet this is a minor problem compared with the magisterial sweep and fast action of the story. I unreservedly recommend this book for all “Game of Thrones” fans.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Anonymous 11 months ago
We can sit around and draw “connections” and talk about “history repeating itself” but no amount of stretching Martin’s words will make this anything but a cash grab in my eyes. It’s closer to a text book than a novel, as is necessary when covering so much time, and seems more driven to name dropping and generating fan-fiction possibilities than helping us understand what’s going on in A Song of Ice and Fire. It lacks the George R. R. Martin tendency toward complex characters as well since it’s so shallow compared to the novels. All of this said: I couldn’t put it down once i started and I’m invested now and would gladly read a continuation.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I+regret+buying+this.+I+expected+a+bit+more+excitement+to+come+from+the+history+of+the+Dragons+of+Westeros.+This+was+dull.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I just can't keep reading this. And i Anna huge fan. So disappointed. It reads like the Bible. So slow.