B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

Wordcount of A Song of Ice and Fire

with 5 comments

IMG 0149
A Dance with Dragons

I finished zipping through the first five books of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels in record time (started the first novel, April 4th, finished the last May 9th.) Heavy, dense histories and political dissertations are my more usual fare, but I never consume those kind of books quite so fast as I sprinted through the faux history of Westeros and Essos and the dynastic civil wars engulfing these continents. Almost 2 million words in a month. Yikes…

Was it great literature? No, but it was fun to read, and iBooks/ebooks are easy enough to read while running on my treadmill, or whenever I have a moment before a meeting somewhere.

Wordcount of A Song of Ice And Fire – George R. R. Martin

  • A Game of Thrones: 298k words
  • A Clash of kings: 326k words
  • A Storm of Swords: 424k words
  • A Feast for Crows: 300k words
  • A Dance with Dragons: 422k words

Total: 1M 770k words

(click here to continue reading Wordcount of popular (and hefty) epics | The Cesspit..)

I enjoyed puzzling over the various maps of the kingdoms as well. The maps changed, grew more detailed as the series continued. According to the author, this was intentional.

My main complaint is that the sixth volume of the series, to be called The Winds of Winter, is not published, and only the Seven know when it will be, besides the author. So there are plenty of cliff-hangers waiting to be resolved.

The previous installment, A Dance with Dragons, covered less story than Martin intended, omitting at least one planned large battle sequence and leaving several character threads ending in cliff-hangers. Martin intended to resolve these cliffhangers “very early” in The Winds of Winter, saying “I’m going to open with the two big battles that I was building up to, the battle in the ice and the battle at Meereen—the battle of Slaver’s Bay. And then take it from there.”

Martin confirmed in March 2012 that the final two novels will take readers farther north than any of the previous books: “What lies really north [The Land of Always Winter], we haven’t explored that yet, but we will in the last two books.” The sample chapter on Martin’s website is written from Theon Greyjoy’s viewpoint and shows his interactions with Stannis Baratheon as they are camped in the snow on his march to Winterfell. Martin has also said that “you’re definitely going to see more of the Others in The Winds of Winter”.

At 2011 WorldCon, Martin read an Arianne chapter, during which she heads for Griffin’s Roost to see the young boy who is calling himself Aegon. Victarion’s chapter will take off five minutes after A Dance with Dragons, taking place on the eve of the Iron Islanders’ surprise attack on the cities in Slaver’s Bay

The HBO series is fun, too, btw, if a bit like a Reader’s Digest version of the plot, and with more sexposition.

Written by Seth Anderson

May 10th, 2012 at 7:13 am

Posted in Books,Suggestions

Tagged with

5 Responses to 'Wordcount of A Song of Ice and Fire'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Wordcount of A Song of Ice and Fire'.

  1. Reading these in a bit more than a month is quite an accomplishment. I enjoyed them too, but was frustrated by the last installment, which seemed to move characters around a lot without anything of consequence being resolved on multiple fronts. I’m concerned I’ll lose the many threads by the time the next comes out.

    We just watched the first season of the HBO series. I thought it was great fun.


    11 May 12 at 4:31 am

  2. Agreed, the fifth volume introduced new characters seemingly just to flush out the page count. I do feel guilty that I read them all so fast, I’ve been reading Manning Marable’s Malcom X bio for what seems like forever

    Seth Anderson

    11 May 12 at 7:06 am

  3. […] me enough to momentary take me out of the story. According to Seth Anderson’s blog, here, http://www.b12partners.net/wp/2012/05/10/wordcount-of-a-song-of-ice-and-fire/. the first five volumes have brought us to somewhere around 1,770,000 words. I would say that if […]

  4. Good post there! Thanks for sharing.

    Shannon Basil

    11 Jul 15 at 3:22 pm

  5. The numbers are approximate and should omit indexes, appendices and stuff not directly belonging to the text itself.


    4 May 17 at 9:09 am

Leave a Reply