We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1 | [George R. R. Martin]

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

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.
Regular Price:$31.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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

4.5 (25576 )
5 star
 (17684)
4 star
 (4980)
3 star
 (1483)
2 star
 (668)
1 star
 (761)
Overall
4.6 (19491 )
5 star
 (14584)
4 star
 (3125)
3 star
 (953)
2 star
 (386)
1 star
 (443)
Story
4.5 (19422 )
5 star
 (13262)
4 star
 (3836)
3 star
 (1376)
2 star
 (465)
1 star
 (483)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    DCinMI Fairview, MI 09-12-13
    DCinMI Fairview, MI 09-12-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    279
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    30
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    37
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Review of First 5 Books"

    I understand that there are to be 7 books in this series, but as of this writing there are only 5. I listened to them all, one right after the other, so it is difficult for me to review them separately. Besides, I think anyone new to the series should know what they're getting into right up front. However, there are no spoilers here.

    I'm going to use the word "read" instead of "listen" because it's all the same to me and "read" is shorter.

    My sons, both of them "men grown," have been nagging me for at least two years to read these books. Recently, they both accosted me about it from different parts of the country on my birthday, so I grudgingly agreed to try the first book. I have now read them all, as I said. My sons have been disinherited several times during the reading process. They had better hope that the last two books come out before I die.

    I have read a number of reviews comparing Martin to Tolkien. This might be true if Tolkien had been a warped, sadistic bastard who enjoyed tormenting his readers. During the course of reading these books, I have called Martin everything but a good guy. Lucifer, Beelzebub, and Spawn of Satan top the list, along with accompanying adjectives. But I read all the books and am biting my nails waiting for the next one. True to his nature, however, Martin is making no promises about when that will be. Judging from the spacing of these first 5 books, I may have no fingers left by the time book 6 hits the presses. (This would help me relate better to some of his characters, I guess.)

    So, for those of you who have not yet begun this series: If you are very squeamish, you'd better not start. There is a lot of torture, violence, explicit sex, and explicit violent sex. Even worse, there's some really bad language.

    It is set in a world that seems to be based on Medieval England, but is not England nor any other place on this earth. The number of characters and story lines that are converging on each other seems daunting at first glance, but I was surprised at how easily I could keep the major ones straight in my head.

    There are some characters that you will love and others that you will love to hate, and still others that you will hate to love. Some of them you will hate and then come to love or pity, and the other way around, too. Some of them, mostly Tyrion Lannister, are very witty and humorous no matter what the situation, so that provides a little relief sometimes. Some of them you will forget about entirely, as a whole book might go by before they pop up again.

    If you like to feel safe and secure when reading a book, this series is not for you. Nothing is sacred, no one is safe. Bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. If I had been reading a paper book, I would have a lot of holes in my walls from repeatedly throwing the books against them. However, reading them has given me plenty of practice climbing the walls. (Unfortunately, as a woman, I would still not be able to become a Black Brother.) No one is happy in any of the seven kingdoms. The only joy comes from vengeance or, more rarely, justice. I hate books like that! But I read all the books and am biting my nails waiting for the next one.

    I have given the series 5 stars because I could not stop reading once I had started, no matter how angry it made me. I would never have read these books if my sons had not hounded me into it. But wait--no--I have no sons. That was that other woman who lived before she embarked on the torturous journey that is Game of Thrones.

    227 of 232 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristie SAVAGE, MN, United States 05-09-13
    Kristie SAVAGE, MN, United States 05-09-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    131
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    167
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible editing, though..."

    Great story and fantastic narration. I have nothing to add on that front.

    About the quality, however...once an hour a sentence repeated itself. I'm assuming they recorded from a CD where the last sentence of a disc is repeated as the first sentence of the next disc. Also, the last 40 minutes of Audible's Part 3 were repeated at the beginning of Part 4. Not at all on par with Audible's usual quality...surprising and disappointing that they would let one of their best sellers go out in this condition.

    130 of 138 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brent BOISE, ID, USA 02-17-04
    Brent BOISE, ID, USA 02-17-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    185
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    18
    0
    Overall
    "A fantastic tale!"

    I read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi, and I can promise you that this series of books is among the best.

    This tale takes place in a land known as the "Seven Kingdoms." However, these kingdoms are actually ruled by a single King with various Lords under him. The history of these kingdoms is expertly blended into the plot, so that you effortlessly become emersed into the world. I can't overstate the skill with which the author draws the reader into his world. It feels as if this land, with its people, traditions and history is as real as our own.

    Magic does exist in this world, but it is rare. It is used to color the plot, not to dominate it. There are hints of other races, but varieties of humans are all we encounter. There is some profanity, but it's fairly rare and in context. There is some sexual content. I wouldn't recommend this book for children.

    Large sections of the plot revolve around the "palace intrigue" of the King, his family and the Lords. This is a book about the nobles of this realm and, as the title suggests, the high stake games they play for power. The characters in the book are deep, colorful and simply splendid. Their lives have a depth to them that few authors accomplish. I confess that, when not reading the book, I actually thought about them during the day and laid awake wondering about them at night. In the audio version, the narrator does a wonderful job of giving voice to these vivid characters.

    The plot has numerous twists and turns. Sometimes I think the author intentionally speculates about what the reader would expect in the plot of a fantasy novel, and then does something completely different. I gave up trying to predict what would happen, and decided to just enjoy the ride. However, there is an overall "master" plot that is slowly unveiled in this and subsequent books.

    If you enjoy fantasy, this is a must read. Even if you usually don't like fantasy, you may very enjoy this one.

    218 of 233 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 08-07-10
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 08-07-10 Member Since 2009

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3558
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    366
    214
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2154
    12
    Overall
    "5 Stars with reservations"

    Thank goodness for reviews. I am happy with my Audible subscription but I might not be had I made many mistakes in spending my credits. I have not made many mistakes thanks to reviews by listeners.

    This was an incredible book. The narrator took some getting used to in particularly the way children and women are spoken. Otherwise, the narrator is brilliant. He sounds like the great actor that he is. This is not just a good narration; it is a great performance. As strange as it was at times, I have been tempted to listen to the next book in the series just for the narrator.

    The story is deep and complex… exactly what I was looking for. The characters are rich and it is easy to become invested in their fate. Therein lies the rub. If the character is good and kind and honorable, they are probably going to die. This is a story in which it pays to be bad. Maybe that was the way things were back then, whenever then or where is. The sex and violence did not seem gratuitous… only the evil that men and women do. Okay, there was a lot of violence, which brings me to my conclusion.

    I give the book 5 stars because the book was that good. Reading beyond the first in the series feels, for me, like self-flagellation. The book was just too dark and depressing. There was too much torturing of characters and eventually, I felt like was starting to feel the pain myself. I am not a sadist nor am I a masochist. So as well as the book was written and narrated, I do not think I will continue beyond Vol 1.

    123 of 132 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 01-09-12
    Teddy Bronx, NY, United States 01-09-12

    "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2764
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    96
    93
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1143
    22
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "OMG! OMG! OMG!"

    I am without words.... This book is just epic! I am still reeling from the captivating storyline and the amazing narration! This is what mature fantasy literature is all about, it is magical and yet feels so realistic. The vast array of characters are engaging and beautifully developed. The characters age so realistically in the book and the many sub-plots and intertwining leaves you just wanting more and more. The narration is so spot on I can't think of anyone else that could do this book any more justice, Roy Dotrice, you are just plain great. This was one of those books that you CANNOT stop listening to. I mean I listened to this book non stop, going to bed some UNREAL hours because of it. I am so impressed, so so so impressed!

    267 of 288 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Smyrna, GA, USA 08-27-09
    John Smyrna, GA, USA 08-27-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    251
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    0
    Overall
    "I beg to differ..."

    Just wandered over here and the reviews currently sitting on the page paint a picture of people who, with all due respect, have interesting tastes.

    Roy Dotrice is a brilliant reader who ranks up there with Jim Dale. I say this because every character has his or her own distinct voice and there's 14,712 of them, so that's impressive. The only problem I will tell you up front is that in Book 3, one character changes voices and it's a bit disconcerting. Beyond that, he's amazing.

    For people who think this is too long and is slow to get started, I admit it took me until the bit at the inn (that description will make sense) and then I was hooked. And if you prefer things that aren't, well, epic, then yes, this isn't your book.

    It's frankly brilliant. And the best put-together fantasy world I've read since Tolkien. If you are a patient reader/listener who loves epic fantasy, a twisty plot, and don't mind not having any idea how big a story is actually happening (not at first anyway), then you'll dig the heck out of it. If that's not for you, then look elsewhere.

    Just felt compelled to say something.

    251 of 277 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 2012

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

    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    70
    67
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur Morristown, TN, United States 06-06-05
    Arthur Morristown, TN, United States 06-06-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    184
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    0
    Overall
    "Simply Outstanding."

    Wow. George R. R. Martin has renewed my faith in the Fantasy genre. I enjoyed this book so much I was pulling my hair out waiting for the month to end so I could download the next 2 books in the series. The writing is excellent. The dialogue is wonderful. The setting is dark, intriguing and original. The narrator, an experienced actor, is exceptional and he easily allowed me to immerse myself in the story. The only thing that I fear would turn people off from this book is the intense violence and certain taboo situations--but such things are expected in a more gritty, realistic medieval setting. So if you prefer your fantasy novels rated PG, than A Game Of Thrones is not for you. Also, those of you who expect all of their fantasy novels to end with shiny, happy people holding hands can just stop reading now and find another book. R.R. Martin isn't afraid to kill characters. So if you're not already squeamish by what I've said above, then read this book. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll shake your fists into the air and seethe with rage. I have found my new favorite fantasy author, and his name is George R. R. Martin.

    133 of 148 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Block Island, RI, United States 04-06-11
    Leslie Block Island, RI, United States 04-06-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    106
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Great book - not so great audiobook"

    I should start off by saying that my comments will not pertain to the story, plot, characters or descriptions contained within "A Game of Thrones." If you are curious about these things, other reviewers have described them at length and in a far better manner than I ever could. If I was just going to judge this book based on its content, I would have given it the highest score possible.

    However, I was sorely disappointed by the quality of this audio book. It is obvious that the producers did not spend a good deal of time reviewing these recordings or they would have noticed several things.

    First - The narrator does not pronounce character names the same every time he says them. Within the first six hours, I heard Lady Stark referred to as CAT-LYNN, CAT-EH-LYNN, and CATE-LYNN. I also heard Prince Joffrey referred to as Jeffrey, Theon referred to as both THEE-ON and THAY-ON and the man somehow managed to put an "h" into Sansa's name several times. There are similar problems with some of the place names and words invented by the author. This is distracting, to say the very least.

    Second - No less than three times during the first six hours, a small portion of the text was repeats at least twice (either due to a poor editing cut or some sort of glitch with a track break).

    Third - When not reciting dialogue, the narrator's voice is fairly flat and monotonous. During scenes of heavy description/exposition (the set-up for the tournament, for example) this slows the pace of the book to a crawl.

    IN short, I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who wanted to read it, but I would suggest that they stay away from the audio version. Sadly, the others in the series have the same narrator, so I suspect that they suffer from the same problems. I, however, am not going to spend the money to find out.

    105 of 119 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan Arlington, TX, United States 06-21-13
    Megan Arlington, TX, United States 06-21-13

    Megan in TX

    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.


    24 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 1285 results PREVIOUS12129NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.