A Song of Ice and Fire, to the tune of Game of Thrones

Last night marked the long awaited return of the popular series Game of Thrones. Two years ago, viewers were left with the climactic moment of a romance and war, and the potential clash of the two. But now, the battle for the Iron Throne is back for it’s final season.

Some may question the reasons why there was a two year gap between the show’s penultimate season and its final season, and the timeline of the Game of Thrones dynasty has an interesting timeline.

The popular HBO show is based on George R.R. Martin’s book series A Song of Ice and Fire, of which the first book is title A Game of Thrones. The first book in the series was first published in August 1996, while the first season of the TV adaptation was produced in April 2011. From there, the HBO adaptation produced a new season each spring for the next six years, completing its seventh season in 2017.

And then, our two year long watch for the return began.

An interesting trend has started to permeate the book to screen industry recently, and that trend can be analyzed within the Game of Thrones saga. It’s the move that questions where the film versions of a story goes once the pages of the novel run out.

And the answer: the show must go on.

Shows are now expanding or surpassing the book pages and proceeding with their own script pages instead. This is what happened with Game of Thrones. The fifth book, A Dance with Dragons, in a planned series of seven was published in 2011 — the year the TV series adaptation began.

But then the show caught up with the books, and the question of whether or not to move on without the book came to pass. And the show moved on. Plans were made for the last two schedule books to be published in 2017 or 2018, but instead George R.R. Martin published a bonus novel for the story: Fire and Blood, the story of the history of the House Targaryen. Both author and producers have admitted that the show and the books have diverged and will differ from one another, but that just gives us more surprises to look forward to.

So while readers do not yet have the forthcoming final two novels in the series, fans now finally have the final season of the show.

If you love the show and haven’t already taken a stab at the books, here’s the order to read them in:

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) *The year that the TV series first began.
6. The Winds of Winter (forthcoming)
7. A Dream of Spring (forthcoming)
*Fire and Blood (2018) *History of House Targaryen