Where Does House of the Dragon Sit in George R.R. Martin’s Book Series?

Where Does House of the Dragon Sit in George R.R. Martin’s Book Series?
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Last night, the first season of House of the Dragon ended in dire straits, with the realm of Westeros sitting on the verge of war. Unfortunately, we won’t find out what will happen following that cliffhanger until sometime in 2024. But, if you read the book it’s based on, you can get a sneak peek of all the action to come.

For those who’ve yet to jump on the House of the Dragon bandwagon, HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-off centres on the Targaryen family and is filled with fire, bloodshed, politics, a dash of incest, and of course, some dragons.

While most know that Game of Thrones is based on the A Song of Ice and Fire book series by George R.R. Martin, some fans weren’t aware that House of the Dragon is based on a “history book” about the exhaustive legacy of the Targaryen dynasty.

So, if you’re wondering how House of the Dragon fits into George R.R. Martin’s Westerosi dream, then you better read on.

So, which books did House of the Dragon’s story come from?

Game of Thrones: House of the dragon book
Image: HBO

House of the Dragon is based on the prequel to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, Fire and Blood. First released back in 2018, Fire and Blood was written in between the publication of A Dance With Dragons and Winds of Winter.

Fire and Blood is a recount of the Targaryen dynasty, from the arrival of Aegon the Conqueror to the reign of King Aegon III. Set centuries before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen, you’ll learn all about her family’s complex and bloody history as they all tussle for the Iron Throne.

The book is divided into six volumes, each chronicling the reign of a different Targaryen successor. From what we’ve seen so far, HBO’s House of the Dragon covers the fourth part in the book, “Heirs of the Dragon” and will likely delve into its fifth part, “The Dying of the Dragons”, in future seasons (if we’re lucky). So far, it’s a pretty faithful adaptation of the book but reimagines the context of certain events to add more depth and drama to the show.

The series follows the volume containing the rule of King Viserys (Paddy Considine), who chooses to name his daughter, Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), as his successor over his brother, Prince Daemon (Matt Smith). You can find a recap for the turbulent first episode here.

There are a few notable differences between the characters in the book and in the show. For instance, King Viserys was aged up in House of the Dragon while Alicent was aged down. But if you want to find out all of the differences between the book and the TV show, you’ll have to read Fire and Blood for yourself.

Where to buy the book that inspired House of the Dragon

You can buy a copy of the book behind House of the Dragon from any of the retailers below:

Amazon ($14.95) | Big W ($12) | Booktopia ($14.95) | eBay ($19.99)

How to read the Game of Thrones books in order

A Game of Thrones The Story Continues
Image: Voyager

In case you didn’t know, George R.R. Martin’s books aren’t referred to as the Game of Thrones series. In fact, they’re actually known as the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The HBO show takes its name from the first book in the series, A Game of Thrones.

Just like the TV series, the books follow a multiperspective structure, which means that we often jump from the POV of one character to another in a chapter-by-chapter fashion. This is why we would often switch between the perspective of characters such as Jon, Tyrion and Daenerys in the show, since it’s following the way the story unfolds in the books. Of course, this can make reading rather difficult, especially if you’re not particularly engaged in one character’s story arc.

Here’s how you should read books that inspired the Game of Thrones series in order:

  1. A Game of Thrones (1996)
  2. A Clash of Kings (1998)
  3. A Storm of Swords (2000)
  4. A Feast for Crows (2005)
  5. A Dance with Dragons (2011)

If you don’t want any spoilers, we recommend skipping the new few paragraphs, but if you want some context behind what each book is about, then keep scrolling.

Jon Snow battles through a Game of Thrones episode we did get to watch. (Image: HBO)
Image: HBO

A Game of Thrones follows Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark’s appointment as Hand of the King, a dangerous position that’ll put him by his best friend, Robert Baratheon’s side. Leaving behind his wife and children, he moves to the South with his two daughters and attempts to navigate court politics and intrigue. Meanwhile, his bastard son Jon Snow joins the Night’s Watch, a brotherhood of thieves, rapists and murderers. On The Wall, he protects the Seven Kingdoms from otherworldly threats that lie beyond. Meanwhile, Daenerys Targaryen, the teenaged daughter of the deposed Mad King, has come of age and is married off to a barbarian warlord. Together with her older brother, Viserys, Daenerys hopes to raise an army so they can take back the kingdom that is rightfully theirs.

In the second book, A Clash of Kings, a new king sits on The Iron Throne. However, two newcomers – Stannis Baratheon, brother of the former king and Robb Stark, heir of the North – challenge his legitimacy by throwing their hats into the ring for the crown. Meanwhile, Winterfell is betrayed by its young ward, Theon Greyjoy, who captures the fortress, and forces the youngest Stark brothers to flee for their lives. In the East, Daenerys goes in search of new allies, carting her three new baby dragons with her.

In A Storm of Swords, tensions increase as the three leaders still grapple for the Iron Throne. Over at the Wall, undead wights wage war on the Watch while Jon infiltrates the Wildling clans in the north. Daenerys, Mother of Dragons, heads to Slaver’s Bay to cultivate her new army.

Following their victory in the War of Five Kings, the Lannisters are sitting pretty at the beginning of A Feast For Crows. A young king sits on the Iron Throne under the watchful eye of his mother Cersei. In the fall out, other characters have seen their fortunes turn: Jon has become Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Tyrion has fled the Capital after murdering his father and Sansa Stark has escaped the city under the protection of Petyr Baelish and her aunt.

Told simultaneously with A Feast For Crows, A Dance With Dragons continues with Jon navigating his enemies both outside and inside of The Wall. Tyrion Lannister reveals he is onboard a ship to Pentos, where his fate remains unknown. Daenerys, relishing in her victory over Meereen, decides to stick around and hone her leadership skills. But unfortunately, her power and influence reaches the ears of Westeros, which causes many emissaries to sail and attempt to manipulate the young queen.

There are expected to be a total of seven books in the series but old mate George hasn’t gotten around to finishing them yet. The upcoming books are meant to be titled Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring respectively.

If you were paying close enough attention to the publish dates, you’ll notice that the last book Martin wrote for us was published 11 years ago. Given that the TV show wrapped up in 2019, the final season of Game of Thrones isn’t actually “canon” if we’re following the books. This also means that its ending could’ve been wildly different to the one we got, but we won’t know until Martin sits down to finish it.

Whether you choose to read the A Song of Ice and Fire series before Fire and Blood is completely up to you. Since Fire and Blood was written as a prequel, you won’t run into any spoilers on the following books or the Game of Thrones show. However, we highly encourage you to tackle the A Song of Ice and Fire books first, since you’ll develop a better appreciation for the Targaryens, and George R. R. Martin’s easter eggs, when you go back and read Fire and Blood.

Where to buy the Game of Thrones books to read in order

Image: HBO

You can buy an individual copy of the A Song of Ice and Fire series from any of the retailers below:

You can also read the Game of Thrones books in order through the boxed set below:

Amazon ($59.95) | Booktopia ($68.90) | eBay ($62.99)

Please note: Due to demand, some copies in the A Song of Ice and Fire series are out of stock, but keep checking back if you want to secure your next read. At this point in time, we highly recommend grabbing the boxed set which will save you more in the long run.