House of the Dragon: How many books are there in the Game of Thrones series?

Author George RR Martin is the mastermind behind House of the Dragon (Picture: HBO/Getty)

Can you hear that? Dragons are approaching.

That’s right, two years since it was first announced by HBO, Game of Thrones prequel series is

The first episode, entitled Heirs of the Dragon, will premiere on August 22 at 2am UK time on Sky Atlantic, before repeating at 9pm on Monday night.

The series, based on George RR Martin’s supplementary novel Fire and Blood, will follow the ancestors of the original show’s Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke).

The group of novels written by Martin is called the A Song of Ice and Fire series. But how many books are there?

When was the first book published?

Kit Harington as Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow, one of the show’s main characters (Picture: HBO)

George RR Martin has been a professional author and screenwriter for over 50 years, having sold his first story back in 1970. He then made a living as a novella and short story writer throughout the rest of the decade.

In the 1980s, he joined the reboot of US series The Twilight Zone, before returning to novels shortly afterwards. A trip to Hadrian’s Wall inspired The Wall from Game of Thrones, and soon the first A Song of Ice and Fire novel was born.

A Game of Thrones, the first novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, was published in 1996. Much like the TV show it inspired, the story followed the trials and tribulations of Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark, Hand of the King to Robert Baratheon.

How many books are in the series?

George RR Martin has written all five novels in the series (Picture: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for HBO)

There are currently five books in the series published.

The success of A Game of Thrones resulted in more A Song of Ice and Fire books being published. The first novel was followed by sequel A Clash of Kings, which was published in November 1998 – it would eventually be adapted into Game of Thrones’ second season.

That was then followed by A Storm of Swords in November 2000, which was split into two parts by Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who adapted it into season three and season four of the HBO fantasy show.

From then on, things got a little more complicated. The fourth and fifth books in the novel series, A Feast for Crows (published in 2005) and A Dance with Dragons (published in 2011), were published with much larger gaps in between. Not only that, but both books took place at the same time.

Matt Smith will star in House of the Dragon, based on Fire and Blood (Picture: Tolga Akmen/EPA)

The events of those two novels were significantly condensed by the show and adapted into a single season of 10 episodes, which aired in 2015. Game of Thrones then overtook the novels, and Benioff and Weiss took their own creative path with the story.

It was around 2015 that huge changes were made to the TV series, with Benioff & Weiss aware that they would not have a sixth novel to adapt. That sixth novel, set to be titled The Winds of Winter, is still yet to be released as of 2022.

Are there any extra novels?

The mastermind of the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series (Picture: Christopher Polk/NBCU/Getty)

The book that House of the Dragon is based on is Fire and Blood, which was published in 2018. The book is a supplementary novel – a companion to the main series – written in the style of a historical text. It details the first two centuries of House Targaryen’s reign in Westeros.

There is also another companion series of novellas in the A Song of Ice and Fire universe entitled The Tales of Dunk and Egg – the tales are set roughly 100 years before the events of A Game of Thrones. There are currently three books in this series.

In 2013 and 2014, two extra novellas were published, entitled The Princess & the Queen and The Rogue Prince. Both short stories were eventually expanded upon and were turned into chapters for Fire and Blood, upon which House of the Dragon is based.

Watch House of the Dragon on Sky Atlantic from August 22.


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