Every now and then I look up something about Game of Thrones (exceedingly tentatively, as I haven’t read the books and am trying to avoid spoilers), and end up on A Wiki of Ice and Fire, a wiki describing the book series, not the TV series.

Often I can spend ages clicking through various pages and not get spoiled, as a lot of the information there seems to describe the distant past of Westeros (and the rest of the world), before the events depicted in the TV show (which, presumably, are the events depicted in the five novels too).

And there’s an enormous amount of stuff there. Each major family that we see in the show/books seems to have a fully-fleshed out dynasty stretching back hundreds or sometimes thousands of years, with descriptions of what each significant member did during their lives — what battles they fought in, how they gained and lost their power, and so on.

Do all of these stories really come from the books? (Presumably from conversations where characters discuss history.) I know the books are pretty hefty, but the history of the world as described by the wiki seems way more fleshed out than would be possible even in five novels.

Are there other sources from which this stuff comes from?

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    Ooh hello, I think I’ve gone and made a dupe. Jun 9, 2014 at 21:54

2 Answers 2


Currently, these are the confirmed sources of A Song of Ice and Fire canon:

  • The five (so far) books and their appendices: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons. Two more books, The Winds of Winter and A Time for Spring are scheduled to be released sometime before the Big Crunch ;).

  • The four (so far) prequel novellas: The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword, The Mystery Knight, The Princess and the Queen. A fifth novella The Rogue Prince, is slated for release in July 2014.

  • The World of Ice and Fire is a companion book scheduled to be released in October 2014.

  • Various quotes by George R R Martin provided by him during conventions, readings and the like. The semi official compendium, Thus Spake Martin, collects them.

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    Yeah see I feel like if he wasn’t intent on filling in 8,000 years’ worth of history, he could finish these books a bit quicker than he has done recently. The first one came out when I was still in secondary school. I’m 33 now. Jun 9, 2014 at 21:14
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    @PaulD.Waite - Lightweight! I waited for 10 years for the fifth installment of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series. ;P Jun 9, 2014 at 21:43
  • Well indeed, and I’m not even really waiting for them. I’m just worried the plotting in the TV show will get even slower if they feel like Georgie ain’t cranking out the books on schedule. Jun 9, 2014 at 21:49
  • For anyone keeping track at home, I'm 38 now, there still hasn’t been another Song of Ice and Fire novel published, and I'm still wasting my time on this site. Mar 7, 2019 at 10:42
  • ...scheduled to be released sometime before the Big Crunch - citation needed. Jun 21, 2019 at 20:22

Mostly, it's the 5 books of the series. The books have a lot of history about the world. Most of those stuff aren't mentioned on the TV Show, and even those that are, are mentioned briefly. If you really want to learn the history of the families, the world etc, you should pick up the books from the first one.

There are also appendices on the books that give some more insight on the history of the families.

There have also been 4 prequels (Tales of Dunk and Egg) that give some insight on the history of the world.

Apart from those, I have never seen any other source for historical events.

Also, (TLP added this in the comments -- I had totally forgotten about it), there is a companion book for the series, called The World of Ice and Fire

P.S: All those stuff don't come solely from conversations. Sometimes, a protagonist might remember or read about an event that happened many years ago.

(All those historical events help you understand the plot way better)

  • Don't forget about A world of ice and fire
    – TLP
    Jun 9, 2014 at 19:53
  • There are also a couple RPGs, both tabletop and computer ones, that add to the world. As well as the upcoming telltale: game of thrones series. Its debatable how canon teh various aspects of those are.
    – Lawton
    Jun 9, 2014 at 20:22
  • Only three of the current prequels belong to the Tales of Dunk and Egg series. Jun 9, 2014 at 20:36
  • @Lawton: oh, games too? Do you have references for those? Jun 9, 2014 at 21:53
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    @PaulD.Waite The ones I know of are "Game of Thrones", a computer rpg, "Game of Thrones:Intrigue", a computer RTS, Game of Thrones D20, a tabletop rpg, and "Song of ice and fire roleplaying", another tabletop. Of those I would not expect any to necessarily be canonical but apparently some consultation was had with GRRM for at least the original D20 RPG (according to the pdf)
    – Lawton
    Jun 10, 2014 at 2:07

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