March is almost over, but... Winter is Coming!

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By Lara Spahr

Game of Thrones House Sigils"I can't wait to see how they film the Red Wedding."

"The series should end with Tyrion, Jon, and Daenerys riding dragons into battle."

"Winter is coming!"

These are frequent topics of conversation in my home. Yes, I'm married to a Song of Ice and Fire enthusiast. And although it's now officially spring, this year millions of fans of the hugely-successful George R.R. Martin series have shifted the start of the winter season to March 31.

That's when the television show Game of Thrones, based on the series of fantasy books, will premiere its third season on the cable network HBO. So don’t be surprised in the weeks ahead if you start to hear your friends and neighbors talking about wights, the Wall, or green wildfire. If they’re really hardcore, they might try learning how to speak Dothraki.

The Song of Ice and Fire series, which Martin began writing in 1991 and is two books away from finishing, is known for its meticulous attention to cultural, historical, and sensory detail within the boundaries of a unique world that is surprisingly grounded in actual historical fact. My medieval historian friends have said it does a better job of capturing the mindset of that period than most historical fiction. Think of it as what our world could have been once upon a time, had dragons and a limited amount of magic actually existed. And oh yeah, in this world, the winters can last for up to a decade at a time (think mini ice ages).

Game of Thrones CoverI have to confess that I have yet to finish reading A Dance with Dragons, the fifth and most recent book in the series. Mostly, this is due to the fact that I work in a library and am constantly distracted by other books. However, I like to tell my husband that it’s because the hardcover clocks in at a ridiculous 1016 pages and weighs approximately 3 pounds.

If you have also been daunted by the length or weight of the books, take heart! The Pratt Library owns copies of titles in this series in multiple formats, including paperback, audiobook, and ebook and eaudio. We also allow renewals for most materials, in case (like me) you need some extra time to finish. And don’t forget Marina interlibrary loan, in case holds on the books get heavy (which can happen around Game of Thrones premiere time).

Happy reading!

Also of note:

  • George R.R. Martin writes at—shall we say—a "leisurely" pace. Here are his reading recommendations for impatient fans. Many can be found in the Pratt Library catalog.
  • The world of Song is grand, sprawling, and unruly. A Wiki of Ice and Fire provides a wealth of information on characters, houses, chapter summaries, and more, in case it’s been awhile since you’ve started reading and have forgotten anything. George R.R. Martin himself uses fan-created guides like this to help him remember details as he writes!
  • Plan a Game of Thrones premiere night dinner party with authentic medieval food!

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