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A Game of Thrones Audiobook
A Game of Thrones
Written by: 
George R. R. Martin
Narrated by: 
Roy Dotrice
A Game of Thrones Audiobook

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: A favorite of Audible listeners, the first book in Martin's series introduces a world of deep intrigue, dark fantasy, and varied characters. It might prove overwhelming, were it not for Roy Dotrice. With a voice so seasoned and gripping that he may have stepped from, well, a George R. R. Martin novel, Dotrice gives each character their own persona and regionality, helping to anchor the listener throughout the action and intrigue. —Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow. At the center of the conflict, the Starks of Winterfell hold the key: a reluctant Lord Eddard is summoned to serve as the king's new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder both family and kingdom. In this land of extremes, plots and counterplots, soldiers and sorcerers, each side fights to win the deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

©1996 George R.R. Martin, (P)2003 Books On Tape, Inc., published in arrangement with Random House Audio Group,a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Locus Award, 1997

"Martin's trophy case is already stuffed with major prizes...He's probably going to have to add another shelf, at least." (Publishers Weekly)
"The first volume in Martin's first fantasy saga combines intrigue, action, romance, and mystery in a family saga." (Booklist)
"Grabs hold and won't let go. It's brilliant." (Robert Jordan)
"This novel is an absorbing combination of the mythic, the sweepingly historical, and the intensely personal." (Chicago Sun-Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (52131 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Megan Arlington, TX, United States 06-21-13
    Megan Arlington, TX, United States 06-21-13

    Megan in TX

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love the Book, Hate the Narrator"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I've listened to over 50 audiobooks at this point, and this is the first time I have ever had such a negative experience with a narrator. Horrible! The voices are not even remotely aligned with the age or personality of the characters. A 15 year old sounds like a shaking voiced 80 year old. Just awful. So disappointed. So, no I wouldn't recommend the audiobook to anyone, especially people who are sensitive to bad narrators. But i've powered through and am on book 4 at this point- purely because I love the series that much.


    What didn’t you like about Roy Dotrice’s performance?

    Everything. I am praying that with the renewed interest in this series, they will redo the audiobooks. Tyrion Lannister is the absolute worst though. I almost can't listen to it, it's so grating and annoying.


    84 of 99 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KPsquared+1 06-07-14
    KPsquared+1 06-07-14 Member Since 2014

    A some-what long commute so a lot of time to listen to audiobooks!

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    "This book captivates even after seeing the series"
    If you could sum up A Game of Thrones in three words, what would they be?

    Fantastic, enthralling, epic.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tyrion Lannister is my favorite. He provides some of the best lines in the book. He knows his weaknesses and strengths and uses those to accomplish his goals.


    Which character – as performed by Roy Dotrice – was your favorite?

    Tyrion Lannister was still my favorite. Mr. Dotrice did an excellent job of reading his lines and providing the emphasis and emotions I felt were needed for each line.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I have seen the series so I knew what to expect from the book (which is refreshing to see how well HBO stuck to the storyline). Even so, I found myself anxious anticipating the next time I could listen to the book. I can't say there were any extreme reactions but there were some funny parts that literally made me laugh, simply because they were so unexpected (and most were from Tyrion Lannister). However, even knowing the fate of Lord Stark prior to reading the book, the anxiety of the moment was still there.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not big on fantasy stories but A Game of Thrones (and the saga A Song of Ice and Fire) isn't your ordinary fantasy. In my opinion, it truly rates high with The Lord of the Rings. You become attached to characters and truly come to love or hate them. The descriptions are vivid to the point you can actually envision the person or item being described. Each chapter brings anticipation about the next chapter about the character but your anticipation on another character is relieved. And the narration by Mr. Dotrice was exceptional to the point that I could believe the character voices were what that character would really sound like. Overall, an incredible novel with great narration.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle Los Angeles, CA, United States 03-15-13
    Kyle Los Angeles, CA, United States 03-15-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing Story Basically Ruined By Narrator"
    What didn’t you like about Roy Dotrice’s performance?

    I love the Game of Thrones series on HBO so let's just get that out of the way. And it may not be fair to compare Roy Dotrice's performance to those of the amazing actors on the show, but it's really hard to listen to his vocalizations of Tyrion and Varys after seeing them so expertly portrayed by Peter Dinklage and Conleth Hill.

    If you are coming to the books fresh, you may find Mr. Dotrice a good narrator. He does put a lot of variety in his characterizations and inflections. It's just that for me they were almost all bad choices.

    Plus, the language of the books is very unique and Mr. Dotrice's accents did not assist in understanding. There were multiple moments when I was unclear if I didn't understand what he was saying because it was literally a foreign language (e.g. Dothraki), a specifically medieval reference (e.g. portcullis), or I just couldn't make out the English word he was saying (e.g. Did he say wolf or wife???). I was constantly rewinding to re-listen to sections and wishing I had a transcript. Oh wait, I do, it's called the book!

    In fact, I ended up buying a box set of the first four books in paperback, returning my purchase of the second book on Audible and I've found great joy in simply reading them.

    The entire series is comprised of amazing writing and storytelling that I just could not allow to be further destroyed for me by Roy Dotrice. I would not discourage anyone from jumping into the world of Ice and Fire, in fact just the opposite, but you should be very wary of these recordings.


    28 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liza115 03-11-13
    Liza115 03-11-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Story - didn't care for the reader"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The reader made listening very difficult.


    What didn’t you like about Roy Dotrice’s performance?

    Although I understand that there are many characters, and the timeperiod lends itself to "gruff" characters, I didn't like listening to the gruff and harsh voice of some of the characters. It was a difficult listen for me personally.


    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gilmara Lima Mendes Piscataway, New Jersey 03-16-13
    Gilmara Lima Mendes Piscataway, New Jersey 03-16-13 Member Since 2016

    Audible Obsessed wishes she had more time for so many audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not for the soft hearted"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Well, I would recommend the print version since I did not like the narrator's acting. I felt awkward and disgusted at times.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way that George R. R. Martin makes you connect with the characters and keeps you hooked to long to know what happens to them.


    What didn’t you like about Roy Dotrice’s performance?

    At first I thought It was just annoying and picky me, but then, I should it to my students and they also thought they were listening to the narration of a drunk orc. It is the first time I say this, but I am not going to buy the next ones because of the narrator. When he was only reading and not doing the voices it was ok, but then when he started doing the voices I just couldn't continue. I felt disgusted at parts. This is the kind of book you want to read / listen to in one sitting, but maybe with a different performance.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Because of the book, I started to see the HBO series and see how loyal it is to the book. I surely would go see it if it were a movie.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is not for the soft hearted. This is not for the mellow people. If being violent and explicit is what you call adult reading, well, this is it. There are some pretty rough scenes that are pretty shocking. So, if you decide to read it, brace yourself.

    26 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan 05-17-15
    Jonathan 05-17-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely horrible narration"

    I have seen the HBO series on game of thrones so I can keep up with the story but i got through 2 chapters and couldn't stand to listen to this terrible narration any longer. I thought I had it set at X1.5 for a minute but it was just the narration. His voices were terrible and the wens voice sounded like big burly men. Please get someone else to read these as I really do like the series and want to hear the books as well, since HBO has rushed things IMO.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon H. Ewing Houston, Texas United States 02-27-04
    Sharon H. Ewing Houston, Texas United States 02-27-04 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Game of Thrones"

    I found this book unbelievably well read. I have listened to books before read with feeling, accents and no one does it like the British. From the accents of Wales, Northern England, Ireland and even London's back streets, Mr. Roy Dotrice's reading leaves nothing to be desired. Why that Wiley LIttle Finger can't be mistaken for anyone else! Thanks for making the book come alive with it's pageantry and scope. Mr. Martin's skill of characterization is not diminished by this audio presentation, it is given the breath of life.

    124 of 153 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Uzoma 05-14-16
    Uzoma 05-14-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrator was a disaster"

    This is my first review after hundreds of books. I am writing to try to spare someone else all the misery. The narrator simply cannot handle a variety of characters. If everyone in the book were a middle aged army captain, he would have been awesome. But that's not the case. He made Sansa Stark sound like a dirty old man in a trench coat. In a word, it was ridiculous. An audiobook without good narrating is like a birthday cake without sugar. No flavor. It was so bad that it made me confused at several points because I couldn't understand who the speaker was. This is truly bad narration. Do your ears a favor and read the physical books. The only
    hope is a complete rerecording of the series.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ComicGurlGeek 08-15-15

    wheee

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Maybe I'm just spoiled by TV"

    Like many, I decided to finally read George R.R. Martin's epic novels after being drawn in by the HBO TV series based on the books. But perhaps the awesome visuals and great cast of actors spoiled me, because I couldn't get in to the audiobooks. I found the narrator's pace plodding and his accents irritating...again, this could just be because I already had voices for the characters in mind. In any case, I finally just bought the series for my Kindle and am reading them the old-fashioned way.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    WickedySplit 02-23-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrator ruins this epic fantasy"
    What did you like best about A Game of Thrones? What did you like least?

    I love this series. I've read it already but decided to go through it again, but this time through audible.


    How could the performance have been better?

    In a story that is built off the richness and complexity of characters, it behooves the narrator to familiarize himself with the names, ages, and personalities of at least the main cast. This guy consistently misreads names, puts on an idiotic oaf voice for large and fierce characters, narrates a teenage boy's dialogue in the voice of an old man, and makes practically every other make character out in the same gruff voice. Completely ruins the diversity and dynamics of this great sory.
    Further, after 30+ hours of him, I can say his prose and tone at times are just odd. They confuse the meaning of the passages and are littered with random pauses and abrupt continuations. It's like an actor breaking the fourth wall. His performance really jars you out of the story and is completely distracting.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a crime this guy goes on to narrate several more books in this series. I hope he improves, he's just awful.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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