A Game of Thrones Deluxe Edition (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) (A Barnes and Noble Exclusive)by George R. R. Martin
A NEW ORIGINAL SERIES, NOW ON HBO.
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective/b>
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A NEW ORIGINAL SERIES, NOW ON HBO.
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective walls.
Sweeping from a harsh land of cold to a summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, A Game of Thrones tells a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards who come together in a time of grim omens.
Included in this unique and limited edition package:
• A handsome slipcase edition featuring a linen slipcase and book cover, foil stamped original design, acid-free paper and a satin ribbon marker.
• A special conversation between George R. R. Martin and Barnes & Noble. The author discusses his writing influences, his own style, his characters and their perspectives, having his vision come to the screen, and more!
• Barnes & Noble' s online series Meet the Writers interview with George R. R. Martin, in which the author talks about A Dance With Dragons, the fifth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series and a love of reading.
• George R. R. Martin answers questions about the new HBO original series A Game of Thrones.
• A special full-color preview, including original character sketches, of A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, No. 1based on George R. R. Martin's novel of the same name.
Read an Excerpt
The morning had dawned clear and cold, with a crispness that hinted at the end of summer. They set forth at daybreak to see a man beheaded, twenty in all, and Bran rode among them, nervous with excitement. This was the first time he had been deemed old enough to go with his lord father and his brothers to see the king's justice done. It was the ninth year of summer, and the seventh of Bran's life.
The man had been taken outside a small holdfast in the hills. Robb thought he was a wildling, his sword sworn to Mance Rayder, the King-beyond-the-Wall. It made Bran's skin prickle to think of it. He remembered the hearth tales Old Nan told them. The wildlings were cruel men, she said, slavers and slayers and thieves. They consorted with giants and ghouls, stole girl children in the dead of night, and drank blood from polished horns. And their women lay with the Others in the Long Night to sire terrible half-human children.
But the man they found bound hand and foot to the holdfast wall awaiting the king's justice was old and scrawny, not much taller than Robb. He had lost both ears and a finger to frostbite, and he dressed all in black, the same as a brother of the Night's Watch, except that his furs were ragged and greasy.
The breath of man and horse mingled, steaming, in the cold morning air as his lord father had the man cut down from the wall and dragged before them. Robb and Jon sat tall and still on their horses, with Bran between them on his pony, trying to seem older than seven, trying to pretend that he'd seen all this before. A faint wind blew through the holdfast gate. Over their heads flapped the banner of the Starks of Winterfell: a grey direwolf racing across an ice-white field.
Bran's father sat solemnly on his horse, long brown hair stirring in the wind. His closely trimmed beard was shot with white, making him look older than his thirty-five years. He had a grim cast to his grey eyes this day, and he seemed not at all the man who would sit before the fire in the evening and talk softly of the age of heroes and the children of the forest. He had taken off Father's face, Bran thought, and donned the face of Lord Stark of Winterfell.
There were questions asked and answers given there in the chill of morning, but afterward Bran could not recall much of what had been said. Finally his lord father gave a command, and two of his guardsmen dragged the ragged man to the ironwood stump in the center of the square. They forced his head down onto the hard black wood. Lord Eddard Stark dismounted and his ward Theon Greyjoy brought forth the sword. "Ice," that sword was called. It was as wide across as a man's hand, and taller even than Robb. The blade was Valyrian steel, spell-forged and dark as smoke. Nothing held an edge like Valyrian steel.
His father peeled off his gloves and handed them to Jory Cassel, the captain of his household guard. He took hold of Ice with both hands and said, "In the name of Robert of the House Baratheon, the First of his Name, King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, by the word of Eddard of the House Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, I do sentence you to die." He lifted the great sword high above his head.
Bran's bastard brother Jon Snow moved closer. "Keep the pony well in hand," he whispered. "And don't look away. Father will know if you do."
Bran kept his pony well in hand, and did not look away.
His father took off the man's head with a single sure stroke. Blood sprayed out across the snow, as red as summerwine. One of the horses reared and had to be restrained to keep from bolting. Bran could not take his eyes off the blood. The snows around the stump drank it eagerly, reddening as he watched.
The head bounced off a thick root and rolled. It came up near Greyjoy's feet. Theon was a lean, dark youth of nineteen who found everything amusing. He laughed, put his boot on the head,and kicked it away.
"Ass," Jon muttered, low enough so Greyjoy did not hear. He put a hand on Bran's shoulder, and Bran looked over at his bastard brother.
"You did well," Jon told him solemnly. Jon was fourteen, an old hand at justice.
It seemed colder on the long ride back to Winterfell, though the wind had died by then and the sun was higher in the sky. Bran rode with his brothers, well ahead of the main party, his pony struggling hard to keep up with their horses.
"The deserter died bravely," Robb said. He was big and broad and growing every day, with his mother's coloring, the fair skin, red-brown hair, and blue eyes of the Tullys of Riverrun. "He had courage, at the least."
"No," Jon Snow said quietly. "It was not courage. This one was dead of fear. You could see it in his eyes, Stark." Jon's eyes were a grey so dark they seemed almost black, but there was little they did not see. He was of an age with Robb, but they did not look alike. Jon was slender where Robb was muscular, dark where Robb was fair, graceful and quick where his half brother was strong and fast.
Robb was not impressed. "The Others take his eyes," he swore. "He died well. Race you to the bridge?"
"Done," Jon said, kicking his horse forward. Robb cursed and followed, and they galloped off down the trail, Robb laughing and hooting, Jon silent and intent. The hooves of their horses kicked up showers of snow as they went.
Bran did not try to follow. His pony could not keep up. He had seen the ragged man's eyes, and he was thinking of them now. After a while, the sound of Robb's laughter receded, and the woods grew silent again.
That was when Jon reappeared on the crest of the hill before them. He waved and shouted down at them. "Father, Bran, come quickly, see what Robb has found!" Then he was gone again.
Jory rode up beside them. "Trouble, my lord?"
"Beyond a doubt," his lord father said. "Come, let us see what mischief my sons have rooted out now." He sent his horse into a trot. Jory and Bran and the rest came after.
They found Robb on the riverbank north of the bridge, with Jon still mounted beside him. The late summer snows had been heavy this moonturn. Robb stood knee-deep in white, his hood pulled back so the sun shone in his hair. He was cradling something in his arm, while the boys talked in hushed, excited voices.
The riders picked their way carefully through the drifts, groping for solid footing on the hidden, uneven ground. Jory Cassel and Theon Greyjoy were the first to reach the boys. Greyjoy was laughing and joking as he rode. Bran heard the breath go out of him. "Gods!" he exclaimed, struggling to keep control of his horse as he reached for his sword.
Jory's sword was already out. "Robb, get away from it!" he called as his horse reared under him.
Robb grinned and looked up from the bundle in his arms. "She can't hurt you," he said. "She's dead, Jory."
Bran was afire with curiosity by then. He would have spurred the pony faster, but his father made them dismount beside the bridge and approach on foot. Bran jumped off and ran.
By then Jon, Jory, and Theon Greyjoy had all dismounted as well. "What in the seven hells is it?" Greyjoy was saying.
"A wolf," Robb told him.
"A freak," Greyjoy said. "Look at the size of it."
Bran's heart was thumping in his chest as he pushed through a waist-high drift to his brothers' side.
Half-buried in blood stained snow, a huge dark shape slumped in death. Ice had formed in its shaggy grey fur, and the faint smell of corruption clung to it like a woman's perfume. Bran glimpsed blind eyes crawling with maggots, a wide mouth full of yellowed teeth. But it was the size of it that made him gasp. It was bigger than his pony, twice the size of the largest hound in his father's kennel.
"It's no freak," Jon said calmly. "That's a direwolf. They grow larger than the other kind."
Theon Greyjoy said, "There's not been a direwolf sighted south of the Wall in two hundred years."
"I see one now," Jon replied.
Bran tore his eyes away from the monster. That was when he noticed the bundle in Robb's arms. He gave a cry of delight and moved closer. The pup was a tiny ball of grey-black fur, its eyes still closed. It nuzzled blindly against Robb's chest as he cradled it, searching for milk among his leathers, making a sad little whimpery sound. Bran reached out hesitantly. "Go on,"Robb told him. "You can touch him."
Bran gave the pup a quick nervous stroke, then turned as Jon said, "Here you go." His half brother put a second pup into his arms. "There are five of them." Bran sat down in the snow and hugged the wolf pup to his face. Its fur was soft and warm against his cheek.
"Direwolves loose in the realm, after so many years," muttered Hullen, the master of horse. "I like it not."
"It is a sign," Jory said.
Father frowned. "This is only a dead animal, Jory," he said. Yet he seemed troubled. Snow crunched under his boots as he moved around the body. "Do we know what killed her?"
"There's something in the throat," Robb told him, proud to have found the answer before his father even asked. "There, just under the jaw."
His father knelt and groped under the beast's head with his hand. He gave a yank and held it up for all to see. A foot of shattered antler, tines snapped off, all wet with blood.
A sudden silence descended over the party. The men looked at the antler uneasily, and no one dared to speak. Even Bran could sense their fear, though he did not understand.
His father tossed the antler to the side and cleansed his hands in the snow. "I'm surprised she lived long enough to whelp," he said. His voice broke the spell.
"Maybe she didn't," Jory said. "I've heard tales . . . maybe the bitch was already dead when the pups came."
"Born with the dead," another man put in. "Worse luck."
"No matter," said Hullen. "They be dead soon enough too."
Bran gave a wordless cry of dismay.
"The sooner the better," Theon Greyjoy agreed. He drew his sword.
"Give the beast here, Bran."
The little thing squirmed against him, as if it heard and understood.
"No!" Bran cried out fiercely. "It's mine."
"It be a mercy to kill them," Hullen said.
Bran looked to his lord father for rescue, but got only a frown, a furrowed brow. "Hullen speaks truly, son. Better a swift death than a hard one from cold and starvation."
"No!" He could feel tears welling in his eyes, and he looked away. He did not want to cry in front of his father.
"Lord Stark," Jon said. It was strange to hear him call Father that, so formal. Bran looked at him with desperate hope. "There are five pups," he told Father. "Three male, two female."
"What of it, Jon?"
"You have five true born children," Jon said. "Three sons, two daughters. The direwolf is the sigil of your House. Your children were meant to have these pups, my lord."
Bran saw his father's face change, saw the other men exchange glances. He loved Jon with all his heart at that moment. Even at seven, Bran understood what his brother had done. The count had come right only because Jon had omitted himself. He had included the girls, included even Rickon, the baby, but not the bastard who bore the surname Snow, the name that custom decreed be given to all those in the north unlucky enough to be born with no name of their own.
Their father understood as well. "You want no pup for yourself, Jon?" he asked softly.
"The direwolf graces the banners of House Stark," Jon pointed out. "I am no Stark, Father."
Their lord father regarded Jon thoughtfully. Robb rushed into the silence he left. "I will nurse him myself, Father," he promised. "I will soak a towel with warm milk, and give him suck from that."
"Me too!" Bran echoed.
The lord weighed his sons long and carefully with his eyes. "Easy to say, and harder to do. I will not have you wasting the servants' time with this. If you want these pups, you will feed them yourselves. Is that understood?"
Bran nodded eagerly. The pup squirmed in his grasp, lickedat his face with a warm tongue.
It was not until they were mounted and on their way that Bran allowed himself to taste the sweet air of victory. By then, his pup was snuggled inside his leathers, warm against him, safe for the long ride home. Bran was wondering what to name him.
Halfway across the bridge, Jon pulled up suddenly.
"What is it, Jon?" their lord father asked.
"Can't you hear it?"
Bran could hear the wind in the trees, the clatter of their hooves on the ironwood planks, the whimpering of his hungry pup, but Jon was listening to something else.
"There," Jon said. He swung his horse around and galloped back across the bridge. They watched him dismount where the direwolf lay dead in the snow, watched him kneel. A moment later he was riding back to them, smiling.
"He must have crawled away from the others," Jon said.
"Or been driven away," their father said, looking at the sixth pup. His fur was white, where the rest of the litter was grey. His eyes were as red as the blood of the ragged man who had died that morning. Bran thought it curious that this pup alone would have opened his eyes while the others were still blind.
"An albino," Theon Greyjoy said with wry amusement. "This one will die even faster than the others."
Jon Snow gave his father's ward a long, chilling look. "I think not, Greyjoy," he said. "This one belongs to me."
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Meet the Author
George R.R. Martin sold his first story in 1971 and has been writing professionally ever since. He has written fantasy, horror, and science fiction, and for his sins spent ten years in Hollywood as a writer/producer, working on Twilight Zone, Beauty and the Beast, and various feature films and television pilots that were never made. In the mid 90s he returned to prose, his first love, and began work on his epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. He has been in the Seven Kingdoms ever since. Whenever he's allowed to leave, he returns to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lives with the lovely Parris, a big white dog called Mischa, and two cats named Augustus and Caligula who think they run the place.
- Santa Fe, NM
- Date of Birth:
- September 20, 1948
- Place of Birth:
- Bayonne, NJ
- B.S., Northwestern University, 1970; M.S., Northwestern University, 1971
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Please release the other titles in this deluxe format!
I really hope they release the rest of A Song of Ice and Fire in these special editions. It looks great on my bookshelf (and makes the other editions seem not as awesome). Great book as well, started reading it after hearing about the series (the series is great btw) and was astonished. This book definitely re-kindled my love for reading
I bought this book a while ago and thought it was a great value. ASOIF has become a fantasy classic and this deluxe edition of AGOT has a perfect look for the grand story that its pages contain. Mostly, I am writing this review to beg Barnes & Noble to produce the other books in the series in this format (minus the comic at the end). Do it B&N, ASOIF is more popular than ever, you are sure to make some money.
I think that this binding is superior to the standard hardcover edition. This was a gift for my husband; he loved it! B&N, any estimates on deluxe editions of the other books in this series?
I ordered this edition just last last week and received it in the mail Tuesday. I must say, I really love the way this deluxe edition was put together. Much superior to the UK slipcase editions of the series. I am really hoping Bantum/B&N decide to publish the rest of the series in this special slipcase/deluxe edition format, as promised at the end of this book. Spring 2012 has passed...
The book is amazing! and i love the cover, binding and just overall look of it! I hope B&N releases the rest of the series in a Deluxe format. Sooner rather than later since I'm about half way thru it!
Loved this deluxe edition. When will the other ones be released????
For the love god.. please released the rest of the other books in this edtion!!! I would buy all of them.
Please release the other books in this edition! I really don't want to buy the other installments outside of these editions.
Pretty please release the other books like this.......or there will be dire consequences.
I'm from Germany and bought this edition to train my English. I knew the story from the tv, but almost there is something missing in tv-series, so I wanted to read the original story from the author. It's really fantastic and I'm looking forward, that the rest of the story is made as deluxe edition. Please release it.
The book looks great! Includes part of the graphic novel with original character sketches at the end of the book. I only hope B&N releases the rest of the books in this same format!
I just received my book and it looks awesome!! Will the other books be released in the same format?? Please!!
We love this Deluxe Edition. We are very hopeful that the other books in this series will too come out this way. The book is way more awesome than the show and that is saying something. It is on the same scale as LotR and HP.
A beautiful hardcover edition for the true fan and collector! B&N PLEASE continue to give the other books in the Song of Ice and Fire Series this same hardcover treatment, especially with the upcoming release of Game of Thrones Season 2 on HBO (based on the equally incredible Book #2-A Clash of Kings). Now that I see this edition listed for $16.99 (while it was originally published at $50.00) has me a bit concerned about future volumes. This is truly a beautiful edition that is far superior to any of the other hardcovers out there. If you are a fan and want a beautiful edition on your bookshelf, do yourself a favor and get this now while you still can.
Martin fashions a story in the fantasy genre that is all encompassing and not lacking in imagination with "Game of Thrones." King Robert Baratheon needs a new "Hand" after the death of Jon Arryn and so seeks out Eddard Stark of Winterfell, but many secrets threaten Westros and the Seven Kingdoms. The story opens with a threat presenting itself along the great northern wall. The threat was long thought gone, but now summer is ending and winter is coming. However, the seven kingdoms, united under King Robert are distracted by greed, avarice, pride, and secrets. Robert has recently lost "The Hand of the King," Jon Arryn, so he seeks out his old friend, Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell to be the new hand. Reluctantly, Eddard agrees and travels to King's Landing with his daughters. When Eddard leaves the north, his bastard son, Jon Snow, goes to the wall with the intent to "take the black," and act as a protector. Jon has an interesting story to tell as he comes to accept his new way of life. Robert's wife, Cersei, is a member of the Lannisters, who are wealthy and influential in their own right. Cersei has 3 children she is determined to protect and secure their birthright as Robert's heirs, however, the secret she keeps close to her breast threatens to destroy Westros from the inside. Another outside threat comes from the previous defeated king's progeny - Daenerys. A young woman, Daenerys and her brother, Viserys Targaryen, have sought out the help of the Dothraki to raise an army and take back Robert's throne. When Robert dies in a hunting accident, many discover that when you play the game of thrones you win or you die. Martin's novel is incredibly long, but encompasses three major plots and a host of characters. His writing is easy to read. His descriptions use a good economy of words to paint vivid pictures without lingering. The plot is intricate, but moves well, and keeps the reader turning the page. What makes this book shine are the characters - all of them are interesting and unique - and they all have a story to tell. Daenerys was one of my favorites. The reader meets her a young woman who learns to become more assertive with a kind heart who gains resolve from love and heartbreak. The most rewarding aspect of Daenerys and her story is watching her assume her full heritage as a Targaryen. "Game of Thrones" will take the reader through a gambit of emotions and leave them hungering for more. A must read that will take the imagination a ride of a lifetime.
Just received my Deluxe Edition of this fantastic novel and I'm really happy with the quality and looks of this edition. Please release the other books the same way!!
I enjoyed Game of Thrones on t.v, but nothing bets the book. loved every min of it. This is a must read if you enjoy on t.v.
I learned about this series from a forum dedicated to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. The ever growing interest and recommendations for Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series caught my attention. When people began talking of Martin's penchant for killing off main characters, I became intrigued. I had to find out what it was all about, so I picked up a paperback of Game of Thrones and haven't looked back since. It was the first book to have me so involved with the characters that I found myself throwing the book across the room in anger at their actions. This piqued my husband's interest and eventually he bit the bullet and began reading as well. Nothing compares to Martin's writing. He has created a fantasy world with enough reality mixed in to suck you right into the world with the characters. I laugh with them, cry with them, yell at them, and each time I finish a book, I miss them as I would a relative or dear friend leaving to go home after a long vacation. If you have never read this series, I strongly recommend you give it a try. There is something in it for lovers of just about every genre. You'll experience mystery, suspense, family feuds, love, sex, war, political intrigue, magic, just to name a few points. I think Martin covers just about every aspect of life in his books! If you've seen the TV Series and are thinking about reading, don't be afraid to start now. The show is pretty accurate with the books, and from what I've seen, leaves out little. Some details were changed out of necessity for U.S. audiences, but they made no difference in the story progression. If you don't want spoilers, don't read ahead. If you want added detail to what you've seen on TV, dive in and enjoy the ride. You won't regret it!