Does anyone know true meaning of volume names in A Song of Ice and Fire books? (e.g., Steel and Snow, Dreams and Dust).

In some regions (including UK, Australia, and Israel), these were appended when certain novels were published as two volumes:

  • A Storm of Swords Part 1: Steel and Snow.
  • A Storm of Swords Part 2: Blood and gold.
  • A Dance with Dragons Part 1: Dreams and Dust.
  • *A Dance with Dragons Part 2: After the Feast.
  • 3
    Those are not original titles. Perhaps they are names of parts of books, i.e. A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow. As far as I know, they have no meaning.
    – TLP
    Commented May 2, 2015 at 12:40
  • @TLP, that's correct, by some publishers in both hardcopy and eBook.
    – Mac Cooper
    Commented May 2, 2015 at 15:18
  • +1 this has always bugged me, especially "After the feast" (what feast? Surely not the Bolton / Manderley / Frey pie feast, hardly seems like a defining moment?). I'd guess they're vague allusions to plot lines (steel & snow = battles and Jon's escapes up north, blood & gold = the two big weddings, dreams & dust = people pursuing big ambitions over dusty landscapes, after the feast = ???). I know GRRM mentioned he likes abstract, vague, evocative titles (don't remember when), maybe there's some other official comment. Commented May 5, 2015 at 13:05
  • 4
    @user568458 I always assumed "After the feast" referred to "A Feast for Crows", as the first part of ADWD happened during AFFC and the second part/volume takes place after AFFC. But I could be mistaken, I read the books without the splitting into volumes. Commented May 5, 2015 at 13:44
  • 1
    @prisonmonkeys you are probably right, but it was weird to me in ASOS volume names and I wondered whether George was chosen names? :/ Commented May 5, 2015 at 17:29

1 Answer 1


I couldn't find any official statements about this, but they seem like vague descriptions about some of the plot points.

A Storm of Swords

As @user568458 mentioned in the comments, the Snow in Steel and Snow refers to Jon Snow's adventures north of the Wall, while the Steel refers to the battles in the South (I can't directly remember any particular events it points to).

Blood and Gold alludes to the two big weddings.

A Dance with Dragons

Dreams and Dust contains people pursuing big ambitions over dusty landscapes (thanks, @user568458).

After the Feast is the second part of A Dance with Dragons, where we see events taking place after the previous book A Feast for Crows, in contrast to the first part which happens during the events of AFFC.

  • pretty good answer :) i was wrong, they have meaning... Commented May 6, 2015 at 17:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.