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This article is about the book. For the episode, see: Fire and Blood

US (left) and UK (right) cover art.

Fire & Blood is a fantasy book presented as an in-universe history tome written by George R.R. Martin. It chronicles the history of House Targaryen from the Doom of Valyria to the Regency of King Aegon III, from the perspective of Archmaester Gyldayn.

The full title of the in-universe book as written by Gyldayn is Fire & Blood, Being a History of the Targaryen Kings of Westeros.

Publication history

Fire & Blood was first announced on August 31, 2013 on Martin's blog "Not A Blog", with the working title GRRMarillion (a reference to J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion.)

In 2014, more than 200,000 words from the manuscript of the companion book The World of Ice & Fire were incorporated into Fire & Blood. In the summer of 2016, Martin had already pitched the Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon, based on material from the book.

On July 22, 2017, Martin revealed on Not A Blog that Fire & Blood had grown so large that it would have to be published in two volumes.

In April 2018, the manuscript for the first volume was revealed to be 989 pages long. An excerpt was released in October the same year. The book was published on November 20, 2018.

Contents

  • Aegon's Conquest
  • The Peace of the Dragon (collective title of the following two chapters; this title does not appear in the book)
    • Reign of the Dragon — The Wars of King Aegon I
    • Three Heads Had the Dragon — Governance under King Aegon I
  • The Sons of the Dragon
  • Prince into King — The Ascension of Jaehaerys I
  • The Year of the Three Brides — 49 AC
  • A Surfeit of Rulers
  • A Time of Testing — The Realm Remade
  • Birth, Death, and Betrayal under King Jaehaerys I
  • Jaehaerys and Alysanne — Their Triumphs and Tragedies
  • The Long Reign — Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain
  • Heirs of the Dragon — A Question of Succession
This particular section contains MAJOR spoilers for House of the Dragon. Anyone wishing to avoid spoilers for the upcoming prequel series should not click [Expand].
  • The Dying of the Dragons
    • The Blacks and the Greens
    • A Son for a Son
    • The Red Dragon and the Gold
    • Rhaenyra Triumphant
    • Rhaenyra Overthrown
    • The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II
  • Aftermath — The Hour of the Wolf
  • Under the Regents
    • The Hooded Hand
    • War and Peace and Cattle Shows
    • The Voyage of Alyn Oakenfist
  • The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency

The hardcover version of the book contains more than 75 black-and-white illustrations by comic book artist Doug Wheatley. The paperback version contains 5 additional illustrations.

Reception

Fire & Blood received mixed reviews from critics. Hugo Rifkind of The Times described it as "interminable, self-indulgent crap." Roisin O'Connor of The Independent stated that reading the book feels like "you've been assigned a mildly interesting, but often tedious, piece of homework." Publishers Weekly stated that "Martin's evocative storytelling style and gift for gripping narrative are mostly absent from this dry history."

More positive critics of the book included Dan Jones of The Sunday Times, who called it "a masterpiece of popular historical fiction," and Chris Lough of Tor.com who proclaimed it as "the best Song of Ice and Fire book in 18 years," referencing A Storm of Swords.

Adaptation

In October 2019, George R.R. Martin's pitch for House of the Dragon was greenlit by HBO, receiving a 10-episode straight-to-series order. Ryan Condal was announced as co-creator, and also as showrunner along with Miguel Sapochnik. The series will cover the "Dying of the Dragons" portion of the book.

See also

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