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George R. R. Martin brought the world of ASOIAF (henceforth called Planetos) to the public when he published his first book A Game of Thrones in 1996. He would go on to write 4 more books over 15 years with at least 2 more in the works. There exists a comic book adaptation which released four volumes in their adaptation of the first book.

The first of his derived works, released in the Legends anthology, was the novella The Hedge Night, which would form the start of The Dunk and Egg Series. He would go on to write two more Novellas in the series with several more in the works. Three other novellas were released, titled The Princess and the Queen, The Rogue Prince, or, the King's Brother and Sons of the Dragon.

Onto other media, there is the award winning TV series which has adapted By David Benioff and D.B Weiss and has since overtaken the books. As well as five spin-off shows, which were confirmed earlier this year. The show itself has lead to the creation of other related material more of which can be found here: Game of Thrones: Other media and products

There exists plenty of other material such as Video games, RPGs, Card games, Board games, miniatures, display weapons and music. As well as reader's guides, compilations, commentaries, art books and recipes.

How do all these different works fit into the canon for A Song of Ice and Fire and the writings and content on the works set in Planetos? Has George R. R. Martin, anyone from his legal team or anyone else official made statements on these points? Are there canon levels that the various works may slot into?

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    Looks like some nerd already mentioned the answer to this. – Paul D. Waite Nov 27 '17 at 10:00
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    @PaulD.Waite I did answer those, but I was incredibly unsatisfied with my inability to find more information there. I was also more interested on how the whole thing worked in general. – Edlothiad Nov 27 '17 at 10:05
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Only the books are canon

GRRM has said this on at least two occasions.

angelos_l: I recently played the Telltale Game of Thrones game. I know that House Forrester exists in your books, so I just wanted to clarify: Is the information that we get about them and the Whitehills (their seats, their sigils and their words) valid, or is it only canon within the tv series universe? Thanks.

GRRM: Only the books are canon.

GRRM: Not A Blog

RL: How much back story have you created? Have you mapped out the world’s physics, geography, history, astronomy, etc.?

Martin: I have a huge number of genealogies that are in the appendices. The appendices grow with each book. I also have a fair amount of back story in my head. In the genealogy for a house, I’ll list the three children of a particular lord and lady. As I write them down, I have something in my head or in my notes. I have some secret about them or their personality or their fate. There is back story-but it is subject to change. Nothing is actually canon until it appears in the novel.

I’ve made this point with some of the spin-off products. Some of the gaming products want to use my notes or some materials I have. I’ve allowed that, but I caution them that I’m still telling the story. If I change it, the version in the books is canon. The spin-off products are fun, but not canon.

Reader's Lane interview

This includes the seven books in the main series:

  • A Game of Thrones
  • A Clash of Kings
  • A Storm of Swords
  • A Feast for Crows
  • A Dance with Dragons
  • The Winds of Winter (unpublished)
  • A Dream of Spring (unpublished)

This also includes the short stories and prequel novels written by himself.

The Tales of Dunk and Egg series:

  • The Hedge Knight
  • The Sworn Sword
  • The Mystery Knight
  • The She-Wolves (unpublished)
  • The Village Hero (unpublished)
  • The Sellsword (planned)
  • The Champion (planned)
  • The Kingsguard (planned)
  • The Lord Commander (planned)

The following short stories were posted in various anthologies:

  • The Princess and The Queen (Dangerous Women)
  • The Rogue Prince (Rogues)
  • The Sons of the Dragon (The Book of Swords)

The World of Ice and Fire and The Lands of Ice and Fire are both considered to be canon but they fall under the "unreliable narrator" (see foot-note).

@westerosorg Hello, I've been looking into the various levels of canon and recently wrote up what I believe to be correct. I was wondering if you could have a look over it to see if everything looks fine from your understanding. Thanks!

Pretty good. TWoIaF and TLoIaF are canon, as GRRM authored them, but TWoIaF is a special case in that it's a maester's account of history and so on and that can be wrong, just as accounts of history from characters in the novels can be mistaken if they were not involved.

And sometimes even if they were involved, as with Barristan and his foggy memory about events decades past. :)

Twitter, @westerosorg

Is TWoIaF another case of the "unreliable narrator" then?

Yep. Not everything is deliberately unreliable, but history itself is unreliable.

Twitter, @westerosorg

There is also Fire and Blood which is a history of House Targaryen. This is meant to be published in two volumes the first of which was released in 2018 titled Fire & Blood.

Semi-Canon

There is also a list of semi-canon sources where GRRM has given information to the authors but reserves the right to change anything. The information is considered canon unless contradicted by the novels.

  • Any preview chapters (is canon until the main novel is released)
  • Blood of the Dragon, Path of the Dragon and Arms of the Kraken: These are novella's inspired by chapters from the main series. According to @BCdotWEB these novellas differ slightly from the chapters, as such they will be semi-canon. The linked reddit posts also discuss these differences (credit to @Edlothiad for finding these).
  • A Game of Thrones: The Roleplaying Game (the d20 System and the Tri-Stat dX system)
  • House arms and words supplied to westeros.org
  • A Game of Thrones, Graphic Novels: These appear to be semi-canon as they worked alongside GRRM in the writing but again as GRRM didn't write it himself he reserves the right to change anything. More information can be found in this related answer by @Edlothiad.
  • Interviews

    As always, remember that until actually published in the series or some other canonical work, statements made in on-line chats, e-mails with fans, etc. are not canonical and may be changed, contradicted, or discarded.
    Westeros, So Spake Martin Update

  • A Game of Thrones: The board game and the card game.

    Only the novels (and the Dunk & Egg novellas) are canon.
    The videogames, the board games, the card games, the comic book, even the television shows... all great in their own right, I hope, but still secondary. The books are canon. Nothing else.

    Not A Blog, grrm comment

  • Any other information supplied/approved by GRRM.

Non-Canon or separate continuity

The following sources are considered non-canon or seperate canon.

  • Game of Thrones TV series: This is considered to be in a separate continuity from the books. Any of the supplementary material for the TV show is considered to be in this separate continuity too. Bryan Cogman has used the words "show canon" several times himself and of course we also have GRRM saying his quote.

    Which means it’s been decided that Loras and Margaery are the only children of Lord Tyrell, I take it? No Garlan or Willas?

    “At this point, in show canon, they’re the only children of Mace Tyrell. Margaery is eldest, Loras is the heir. Considering this plotline dominates the season, it was felt we needed the Tyrell engaged to Sansa (and then Cersei) had to be the Tyrell the audience is familiar with, as opposed to an unseen character.”

    Season 3 Interview: Bryan Cogman

    The show is the show, the books are the books; two different tellings of the same story.

    The Show, the Books

  • Game of Thrones - A Telltale Games Series: According to Elio this should be considered part of the TV show canon and is probably also semi-canon for the books. For more information see this related answer of mine.

    Still, in most respects the game feels reasonably plausible as part of the Game of Thrones series, but it should not be considered canon for A Song of Ice and Fire unless GRRM confirms that various aspects are canon. Per a user on our forum, Martin replied to a query concerning the canonicity of the game:

    “All I really control is what is “book canon” (the novels and the Dunk & Egg stories and the worldbook). It’s up to HBO and David & Dan to determine what is “TV canon.”

    The Telltale guys worked with Ty Franck, who was my right hand here for half a decade.”

    westeros.org, Review of Game of Thrones: Episode 1

  • Game of Thrones: The RPG (Computer game): Apparently this is not considered canon for either the books or the show.

  • Anything else: Essentially any fan made material or stuff that has not been approved by GRRM himself.

Just a quick side note on that there are sometimes canon conflicts in the novels themselves. Sometimes these are mistakes but sometimes these are intentional as GRRM likes to use the "unreliable narrator".

[GRRM is asked about Sansa misremembering the name of Joffrey's sword.]

The Lion's Paw / Lion's Tooth business, on the other hand, is intentional. A small touch of the unreliable narrator. I was trying to establish that the memories of my viewpoint characters are not infallible. Sansa is simply remembering it wrong. A very minor thing (you are the only one to catch it to date), but it was meant to set the stage for a much more important lapse in memory. You will see, in A STORM OF SWORDS and later volumes, that Sansa remembers the Hound kissing her the night he came to her bedroom... but if you look at the scene, he never does. That will eventually mean something, but just now it's a subtle touch, something most of the readers may not even pick up on.

So Spake Martin SF, Targaryens, Valyria, Sansa, Martells, And More

Q: How do you stay plugged into the story and keep track of the details?

A: "Most of the stuff is kepts in my head. I do have notes and charts, but not as many as I should." And he emails Ran with questions about character details. :) He said he gets upset with himself when he makes a mistake, because there are already intentional mistakes in what characters say. "Some inconsistencies are deliberate. There are unreliable narrators, especially when they are remembering things."

So Spake Martin, Union Square Signing

  • The three novellas do differ in some ways from the chapters they're compiled from. I recall recently reading a looong post on Reddit where the differences were listed for one of those, but I can't find it right now. – BCdotWEB Nov 27 '17 at 13:11

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