Details on the 20th Anniversary Illustrated Edition of A Game of Thrones

grrm

This week, Bantam Spectra is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the first novel in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, the book that started it all and ultimately brought us together here. The company is publishing a special illustrated edition of A Game of Thrones, described as having “gorgeous full-page illustrations to open every chapter, the mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure of this magnificent saga come to life as never before.”

Martin himself has all the details on his blog, along with his memories of the early days.

Reviews were generally good, sales were… well, okay. Solid. But nothing spectacular. No bestseller lists, certainly. I went on a book tour around that same time, signing copies in Houston, Austin, and Denton, Texas; in St. Louis, Missouri; in Chicago and Minneapolis; and up the west coast to San Diego, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Portland, and Seattle. Turnouts were modest in most places. The crowds didn’t reach one hundred anywhere, and at one stop (St. Louis, if you must know), not only was attendance zero but I actually drove four patrons out of the bookshop, allowing me to set my all time “bad signing” record at minus four (on the plus side, I had the time for long friendly talks with the readers who did show up).

But my oh my, things have changed a bit in these last twenty years.

As he notes, it’s twenty years later, and he’s “still working on book six… ((and no, sorry, I have no announcement to make on that front)).”

According to Martin, the new edition has an introduction by John Hodgman and a total of seventy-three black and white interior illustrations, plus eight full-color plates.

Some of the artwork is pulled from a variety of sources such as the A Song of Ice & Fire calendars, The World of Ice and Fire, and artwork from cards and games. However, forty-eight of the pieces of art (like this one below) are brand new.

HodorBran

Artists involved in the Illustrated Edition include John Picacio, Paul Youll, Gary Gianni, Didier Graffet, Victor Moreno, Michael Komarck, Arantza Sestayo, Magali Villeneuve, Ted Nasmith, Levi Pinfold, Marc Simonetti, and more. This will be the first version to feature multiple artists’ work.

A Game of Thrones: The Illustrated Edition will be available for sale beginning October 18th, 2016.

63 responses

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    1. I love a song of ice and fire/game of thrones and I love good art 🙂
      This buy is a must buy.

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    2. … things have changed a bit in these last twenty years.

      The understatement of the year. LOL. So, so, so glad his books eventually became best-sellers and the TV show based on the series became a hit!

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    3. Jeez. I’m not going to rain in anyone’s parade, but they’ll just keep selling us the same books over and over, right? By the time (if) TWOW comes out, I don’t think anyone in the world will have a complete matching set. People with OCD will go insane.
      Now, seriously, it’s just a tiny detail with no real importance, but still annoying how they keep milking the old books.

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    4. We need a tarot deck based on Game of Thrones if there isn’t one yet. I Googled and only found online representations (cartoonish) of what some thought that might look like. Also checked the great god Amazon and found nothing. George R.R. Martin, if you’re reading (I doubt it) then please think about it. The artwork provided here reminded me how beautiful they could be. I’m no artist but I’d totally buy the deck if done well.

      Sorry if this comment is off the subject, but I had the thought and wanted to share, thinking there have to be others here who’d feel the same.

      Karen

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    5. I’m not buying this or any other item until Winds of Winter is done. He’s lost interest and I’m tired of funding his retirement. I was a staunch GRRM champion, zealously defending him in many an email chain, but the fact he is going to miss delivering in 2016 after telling us he had a (self-imposed) end of 2015 deadline just speaks volumes. He’s like that family member that just repeatedly keeps missing events and letting you down to the point where you just go numb to them and move on without them.

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    6. I cannot imagine starting reading the books in 96. So those who were in mid-to-late teens back then, are now in mid-to-late thirties? If anyone wants to know, I started reading the books in 2011 a couple months before TV series started and with no prior knowledge of the TV series.

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    7. That plate above is gorgeous but I don’t know if I’ll go out and buy another copy of GOT. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the art and it’s my favorite book of them all, but I’d really like a complete set before I start buying multiple copies of the same book…course I don’t think I’ll live long enough to see all TWOW and ADOS…haha.

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    8. Before anyone asks “how big is it,” I’ll just provide the answer so one doesn’t have to look. 😛
      It’s slightly over 6″x9″(152×229), so roughly the size of a typical ‘trade paperback’ (the bigger soft cover).

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    9. I’m actually curious to see the Jon illustrations and see what Targ features are depicted. In the GRRM approved artwork I’ve seen so far he resembles Aegon the Conqueror.

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    10. Mihnea,

      Books 4 and 5 were released in autumn 2011 and summer 2012 in my country (the first book was translated in 2006), so I didn’t need to wait for particulary long time. Thank God that there is a TV series now, so we only need to wait one year before the next season.

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    11. Lord Parramandas,

      Actually I didn’t wait for the translations, read hem in English.

      Funny thing is I didn’t even bought the books… My sister at that time was in the UK and she used to send me some gifts from time to time, trinkets mostly.
      But she remembered how much I loved LOTR, both the movies and the book(s), so she bought them as a birthday present for me.

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    12. Rhaenys Stark: Is this legit? It says that Angela Lansbury will appear as a guest actress in S07.

      Not true. I spoke with someone who would know, and the rumors in the news were the first they’d heard about it. I’d put it in the unfounded rumor pile.

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    13. Flayed Potatoes:
      I’m actually curious to see the Jon illustrations and see what Targ features are depicted. In the GRRM approved artwork I’ve seen so far he resembles Aegon the Conqueror.

      Do you have a link for this? I would love to see it.

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    14. Lord Parramandas:
      I cannot imagine starting reading the books in 96.

      Not quite 1996, it was 2000 (or possibly late 1999) when I first read them.

      Had read The Hedge Knight in 1999 and then picked up second hand copies of aGoT and aCoK and later a new copy of Storm of Swords when it came put in 2000.

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    15. Lord Parramandas:
      I cannot imagine starting reading the books in 96. So those who were in mid-to-late teens back then, are now in mid-to-late thirties? If anyone wants to know, I started reading the books in 2011 a couple months before TV series started and with no prior knowledge of the TV series.

      I started reading them in 2004, just before AFFC was published, when I was 20 years old. I listened to the audiobooks over the course of about a year, then read ‘Crows in late 2005 in it’s initial hardcover release. Then, with everyone else, I waited, and waited, and waaaaited for ‘Dance.

      Though, it’s still hard for me to imagine waiting for each of the books as they come out…

      “Thank the Gods” the show came along to break up the waiting a little bit.

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    16. QueenofThrones: I started reading them in 2004, just before AFFC was published, when I was 20 years old.I listened to the audiobooks over the course of about a year, then read ‘Crows in late 2005 in it’s initial hardcover release.Then, with everyone else, I waited, and waited, and waaaaited for ‘Dance.

      Though, it’s still hard for me to imagine waiting for each of the books as they come out…

      “Thank the Gods” the show came along to break up the waiting a little bit.

      To break up the waiting? More like to finish the story 😛

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    17. QueenofThrones,

      And I thought my one-year-waiting for ADWD’s translation was long… and then, I was even disappointed with it (especially with the parts which included Penny). I was still in high school back then.

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    18. After waiting years and years for The Weel of Time to be finished and the ongoing pain of ASoIaF (started reading the series in 2002…), my skin has definitely thickened, and I almost find it funny by now that the last book might never be published. It taught me to NEVER start reading a series before all the books are written. One series I’ve stalled for this very reason is Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicle, and as it turns out that was a very good decision, even if it was officially communicated that he had written all three books already when the first appeared. Anyone here in pain over The Doors of Stone? :p

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    19. Morgoth: To break up the waiting? More like to finish the story

      LOL! Thank God for D&D and HBO. 🙂

      I only read aGOT and the rest of the books right after I finished watching S1. (To the unsullied!) I did enjoy not knowing what’s going to happen in each episode back then. But I couldn’t wait for a year to find out what happened next so I consumed the 5 books within about 1.5 years. Now I will just go back to enjoying the show without knowing where the stories will go.

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    20. QueenofThrones,

      I also started reading in 2004 and finished the existing books just in time to catch AFFC in 2005. I, however, started reading when in my 50s. Now I wonder if I will live long enough to read ADoS. At least I will have some idea of the story end from the show.

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    21. AGoT is the best book out of all the five books for me..

      I read it first when I was 16 back in 2008 and wanting to read something after finishing deathly hallows and was looking for books similar to LOTr and harry that’s when I found about ASoiaf and swords of shannara..

      Like tar kidho above said the one thing I learned from ASOIaF is never start a series that is unfinished ..
      Regarding the portraits like always its going to be difficult capturing dany as GRRm imagines …every time people have been having a difficult time with depicting her ..

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    22. Sam,

      I also read the books after the TV series started. After S2 in fact (I had binge watched 1 and 2 together, just before S3 was due to start). I heard about ASOIAF only through the TV show. By the time I finished S2, I had to get hold of the books, because I loved the show so much. Loved the books as well, I don’t regret reading them even if they don’t get finished, mainly because I know the show will provide us with an ending, lol.

      I guess I had it easier than the others in terms of having to wait for the books, I cannot imagine sustaining interest in an unfinished series for 20 years!

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    23. Tar Kidho,

      Well that’s one of my favorites but like you said it doesn’t sbow any features of her..
      I prefer the rhaenerya one from TWOIAF as close to what GRrm imagines of dany..
      I think the difficulty comes with the age and structure of dany.

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    24. On ‘waits’: I remember waiting for Dorothy Dunnett’s historical fiction – just as complicated as GRRM’s fantasy-medieval – especially for ‘Checkmate’ in 1975, and then between her two linked series until 1986. The books were written from 1961 to 2000. I found the third one ‘The Disorderly Knights’ first, had to go back and get the two previous, caught up with the fourth and fifth, seemed to wait forever for ‘Checkmate’ and then there was nothing for a bit. And then the second part came on stream from 1986.
      OK, the space between books is mostly a bit quicker than GRRM’s, but the scope of the drama and the geographical theatre is huge. So I’ll recommend them to anybody who hasn’t met them and wants really complicated historical late-medieval/early modern based fiction.

      And they would make fantastic TV, so please recommend them to anybody who might be in the market…

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    25. ghost of winterfell,

      I was creating a new career, and had little time for reading new things – but when the TV series started, I had to read on. I saw the first episode of series 1, read AGOT before the second episode, and had read all the published volumes by the end of series 1. And then had the wait…

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    26. Halfman,

      I think it’s so cool that HBO did this haha.Every line in Cersei’s part is pure gold.My favourite is Inheritance rights of illegitimate children being on Jon’s platform and Inovation in Transportation being on Littlefiger’s lol

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    27. spaewife,

      Well it’s a campaign after all lol.My favourite part is that if you haven’t seen the show and read Baelish’s profile you go this guy sounds great I might vote for him haha.Also Cersei’s Separation of church and crown is amazing

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    28. Jenny,

      Heh, yes. Without back story and record of voting (on the small council) all is possible via propaganda. And Baelish is the master of propaganda. 😀

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    29. ghost of winterfell,

      A dornish Tyrell,

      Yes, we had it easier – not having to wait that long. I’m still glad that I discovered the books because of the show. And I’m glad the show exists to finish the story that the book started!

      There’s a certain joy in being unsullied as well as sullied. Hence, I have no complaints about having to go back to the unsullied life. 🙂

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    30. Maybe this is not the right place to comment but I had a thought bugging in my head. I read a lot about the option of Bran going south of the Wall to tell Jon about his parents and the risk implied in this (since theoretically then he would allow the White Walkers to follow him and bypass the magic of the Wall + the 3ER in my opinion is supposed to remain north of the Wall, albeit I will admit that this is just a super subjective thought of mine).

      I think Jon will discover about his parents via Howland Reed! And I think it makes sense since the crannogman:

      1) Knows about the ToJ
      2) Is still alive
      3) Is a true Stark loyalist
      4) Has to show up sooner rather than later (as GRRM pointed out himself)

      What better reason for him to finally reveal himself?!!

      ps. Hodor!!!

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    31. Tar Kidho:
      Anyone here in pain over The Doors of Stone? :p

      Ya I read The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear last year and the waiting for Doors of Stone is hard, mostly because it was “written” years ago and because there is absolutely no news about it! I think the first year of waiting for a new book is hard… I read the A Song of Ice and Fire books in 2013 and I was constantly checking and hoping for Winds of Winter through 2013 and 2014… now I hardly care or mind about its progress.

      On a similar note I recently started (I’m on book 2) Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive and realised it’s going to be a 10 book series… so I’m locked in waiting for another 20 years :’) DON’T START A BOOK SERIES BEFORE IT’S WRITTEN PEOPLE

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