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A Game of Thrones Audiobook

A Game of Thrones: Book 1 of A Song of Ice and Fire

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Publisher's Summary

The complete, unabridged audiobook of A Game of Thrones.

HBO’s hit series A Game of Thrones is based on George R. R. Martin’s internationally best-selling series A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A Game of Thrones is the first volume in the series.

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must...and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.

The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.

©2011 George R. R. Martin (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What the Critics Say

"A Game of Thrones grabs hold and won’t let go. It’s brilliant." (Robert Jordan)

"Colossal, staggering... Martin captures all the intoxicating complexity of the Wars of the Roses or Imperial Rome in his imaginary world...one of the greats of fantasy literature." (SFX)

"Fantasy literature has never shied away from grandeur, but the sheer-mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy writers away shaking their heads… Its ambition: to construct the Twelve Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias." (Guardian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (847 )
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4.8 (764 )
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Story
4.4 (765 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Dan Bowen Sydney 29/09/2014
    Dan Bowen Sydney 29/09/2014

    Tunes, flicks, surf and smelling 2-stroke from a classic Italian.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "Utterly compelling story, flawed narration"
    Any additional comments?

    Was ever there a story with such a vast and rich array of characters and sub-plots? I can't think of one off-hand. Like many others I came to A Song of Ice and Fire from the HBO TV series and I haven't been disappointed in audiobook format as it's just such a wonderful tale. Unfortunately the narration here is not the best. It's not so much the narration as the acting, if Roy Dotrice was just to read straight from the page his voice is fine. However when he embodies the characters (which is what is required after all) his voices are often tedious and the weird choices to add a Welsh or Irish twang to the accent of some characters is frankly just odd, especially when direct family members have completely different accents. That said it is not a big enough problem to ruin my enjoyment overall and the quandary I find myself in now is do I go beyond the TV series or wait patiently for it to catch up? I'll make that decision when I catch up myself, for now it's on to Part 2 of this book and then A Clash of Kings awaits!

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Morayfield, Australia 30/01/2014
    Steven Morayfield, Australia 30/01/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "Story is amazing. Narrator is not."
    Would you try another book written by George R. R. Martin or narrated by Roy Dotrice?

    Yes I would try another George R.R. Martin Book.
    No chance in any lifetime i'd listen to another thing narrated by Roy Dotrice,


    How could the performance have been better?

    Lack of emphasis sometimes makes it seem that the performer stopped mid sentence. The voices are so similar and Roy's apparent disdain for a slight pause between dialogue can seem like a character is delusional asking and answering questions to themselves.

    A more theatrical reading would have been lovely.


    25 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mitchell T. 08/05/2016
    Mitchell T. 08/05/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Excellent book, bad narrator..."

    As stated in the title, the book is excellent but it is plagued by a bad narrator.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo Holland Park West, Australia 27/02/2014
    Jo Holland Park West, Australia 27/02/2014 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    "Good Story - Unbearable Narration"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend the book, but not the audio version. I found Roy Dotrice tried to hard to vary the characters accents, to the point where it actually diminished the story because at times I was struggling to understand what the hell he was saying. There's one part - in book 3 I believe - where he puts on such a thick accent, I had no idea what he was saying and it really frustrated me. Also, siblings who grow up and live in the same place together, should have similar accents - not completely different ones like he did with the Lannisters and a few other people.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Roy Dotrice’s performances?

    No. My experience with his GoT performance was horrible. I had to rewind several parts to figure out what was being said, and even then sometimes I didn't get it. I listen to books to relax, I don't like having to constantly rewind because the performer can't keep the words in understandable english.

    I have listened to other performers who varied the accents successfully, but that's because they didn't do it so over the top, and it was still clear and understandable.


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    Yes, I love the TV show, it is amazing and they stick quite close to the books - if a little out of order at times, but they have done an absolutely fantastic job with the show.


    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tegan 23/04/2015
    Tegan 23/04/2015 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Loved it"

    I am hooked and I can't wait to listen to the next one, so much better than the TV series

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E 04/05/2015
    E 04/05/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Great story. I'm hooked"

    I enjoyed the book. Narrator was pretty good. Took a bit to get used to at first but then you were so enthralled, the voices didn't matter!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 16/03/2015
    John 16/03/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "outstanding "

    captivating as it is memorable. i loved the character voices the narrator bestowed upon us. jumping around the story keeps us on edge.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kerri Moolap, Australia 18/08/2014
    Kerri Moolap, Australia 18/08/2014 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    36
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    "Swords and intrigue to the hilt"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a wonderful escape from humdrum traffic and random telemarketers. I stuck my headphones on and spent hours in battles, in bedchambers and in draughty castles, listening to plans and plots and enjoying the way the character's stories complemented each other.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Game of Thrones (Part One)?

    I love the descriptions of things and when John and The Imp are on top of the world I could feel the cold in my bones and the dread from the unknown.


    What about Roy Dotrice’s performance did you like?

    It's like listening to my dad read me a bedtime story, including character voices.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I deeply sympathised with John. He lost more than he gained, and when he is alone in Castle Black he understands how much blood ties mean.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Brisbane, Australia 20/05/2015
    Jennifer Brisbane, Australia 20/05/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfect Match - voice and mood"

    The timber of Roy Dotrice's voice matches the mood and tone of this complex plot. George R R Martin has me suspending belief from the get go - even though the fantasy genre is not my preference. I purchased the rest of the available books upon hearing the first chapter! I must admit, I had seen the series prior to listening to this and found it complemented and extended my enjoyment of this fine tale! My family had difficulty getting my attention, while I found it to pause and quit the narration.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teena 25/06/2015
    Teena 25/06/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Love it love it love it!!"

    Such a brilliant story, great to listen to it, I know a few other reviews said the narration wasn't the best but I appreciated the different voices it helped me keep track of who was who

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • Darrell
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    19/11/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story and performance."
    Any additional comments?

    This would be a 5-star review, except that Audible has divided the book into 2 parts so that you have to use two tokens to finish the book. The US version of the book is sold in its entirety for a single token.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Damien
    Sydney, Australia
    13/03/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Australians getting ripped off again?"

    No one needs me to tell them how good George R. R. Martin's series is. However I did find it disappointing that Australians are forced to buy this book in two parts. The full book is available to other regions so why not for us? It is for this reason I have given the overall rating 1 star. Also if you are coming to the books from the brilliant TV series as I did you may find Roy Dotrice's performance of some characters off-putting as they are so different.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Karenza
    Wynyard, Australia
    29/08/11
    Overall
    "A feast of a tale faithfully narrated"

    I have read every volume of this saga published to date and watched the DVD - this audible edition is a marvellous rendition of a great tale and Roy Dotrice does an excellent job with the huge range of characters. He is especially good with the male characters and has a good range of voices for them. I respect the fact that he does not try to be the female characters, choosing instead to rely on the author's drawing of the character rendered in the narrator's voice. This is far more effective, for me, than trying to be what he is not. I am working my way through the audible editions of each volume and am sure I will revisit them more than once. George R R Martin's imagination is rich and powerful; he has provided a feast for his fans. Roy Dotrice has enhanced my enjoyment enormously.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • milla
    Napier, New Zealand
    21/01/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Almost Flawless"
    What did you love best about A Game of Thrones (Part One)?

    The novel is a favourite, but this talking book is really exceptional. The narrater is the master of voices and accents. Tyrion as a Welshman is masterful, and after listening enthralled through this I found one tiny flaw: Occasionally Roy forgets to step out of a characterisation when reading the narrative. Other than that I would call his performance flawless, and entirely in keeping with the quality of the storytelling.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Game of Thrones (Part One)?

    The most memorable moment was when Tyrion first spoke. I'd always pegged him as being frightfully plummy, like Roy's version of Littlefinger, but the accent and voice used were a delightful surprise, and now work for me. I'm rereading the text of another book in the series, and now am very happy to hear Tyrion as Welsh in my head.


    What about Roy Dotrice’s performance did you like?

    His eclectic and diverse range of both voice and accent stands out. He's got a vast array of distinct characters nailed down in a masterful way. He's very impressive.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Your move


    Any additional comments?

    Even if you haven't read the Ice & Fire series (shame on you) I recommend this audio book. It's like watching a movie, with a cast of hundreds, with your eyes closed.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Jeremiah
    KIARA, Australia
    31/10/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant, with a catch."

    I thoroughly enjoyed ever minute of this Audio book, the story is very engaging and hooks you in within the first 5 minutes. The narrator however has a very small revenue of voices he is able to lend the characters and it sometimes makes things a tad confusing. Also, and I put this as a caution. THIS IS ONLY ONE HALF OF THE FIRST BOOK. I understand some of you may think this point mute but with all the different versions of the one book on here I accidentally missed this rather obvious situation and proceeded to buy the Second half of the second book and listen to that after finishing this... However props must be given to the Author because despite this I managed to piece the important bits that I missed together, which is about a years worth of information.

    Anyway I hope this helps in your decision to purchase this truly wonderful book.

    Regards,
    Jeremiah.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Natassia
    North Booval, Australia
    1/05/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Many late nights because I just couldn't stop..."
    Any additional comments?

    A Game Of Thrones absolutely lived up to expectations and after HBO picking it up to do their most expensive series yet why wouldn't it. However, it was Roy Dotrice who really brought this book to life for me. His narration is smooth and lively, painting the world of Westeros in vivid colour and depth. Having an individual voice for each character was unexpected but welcomed giving another layer to each personality. I think my boyfriend is glad I've finished the series (for now) because he can have his girlfriend back. I can't wait for the next book in the series but more so I can't wait to here more from Roy Dotrice.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Laura-Jane
    Fitzroy North, Australia
    9/02/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Feast for the Ears"
    What did you love best about A Game of Thrones (Part One)?

    One of the best thing about reading novels is the ability to create your interpretation of the world in question, to flavour the characters beyond the story itself, or the words on the page. When books get adapted to film, the characters are presented in a very stark way (so that people complain


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Game of Thrones (Part One)?

    Not going to give away spoilers here, but the first few times Roy Dotrice went from regal narrator to guttermouth were pretty memorable to me! :P


    What about Roy Dotrice’s performance did you like?

    Dotrice has a talent of providing each character with their own unique voice - not a mean feat in a novel that has more antagonists than a YouTube comment section! It may be a slight lisp, or a throaty chuckle, but the variances in Dotrice's voice allow each character their own identity.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    Terranora, Australia
    19/12/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stories epic in scale and detail"
    What did you love best about A Game of Thrones (Part One)?

    There are so many great characters. It is too difficult to choose just one. One of the most amazing things about this author is that he treats the characters realistically. As a result, it is very difficult to predict what will happen to them


    What did you like best about this story?

    See above


    Which character – as performed by Roy Dotrice – was your favorite?

    They were all done well.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Lord Eddard died. From that point I knew that realism took priority over sentimentality. It makes reading the series so much more interesting.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mez
    Athelstone, Australia
    24/07/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "dull"
    What didn’t you like about Roy Dotrice’s performance?

    Roy Dotrice makes this a very dull listen, which is unfortunate because its a great story.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Aileen
    Armidale, Australia
    19/04/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "intense, multi-layered and vivid"

    I started reading this series years ago when only books 1 and 2 had been released. i was riveted but got frustrated waiting for each installment and gave them away. I'm really enjoying listening to them now. the narrator is fantastic - so many different voices and characters. Some of them are, for me, not quite right, but the major characters are brilliant.
    If you haven't been introduced to the series before, I can strongly recommend the audio version - with one reservation: the maps and genealogies the are available in book form really help to anchor the story. With so many characters and so much sweeping action, it can be a little confusing without these resources. Especially because audio doesn't really allow you to go back and pick up a detail you might have missed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Qasim
    Sale, United Kingdom
    16/09/11
    Overall
    "A truly brilliant fantasy novel"

    A Game of Thrones is one of the most enjoyable books I've listened to in years so much so I completed it very quickly. Without giving any of the story away, it's worth pointing out that the plot can initially be a little confusing as it switches between different characters but as the book progresses you soon gain a greater understanding of the world that the author has created. Another point is that the storyline may seem slow at first but this is essential so as to establish the characters and set the scene, for not just the rest of the book but the rest of the series. And once it gets going, believe me, it really does get going.

    Now for a word on the narrator. If you consider the number of different characters there are in this story, and how he has to make them all slightly different to distinguish them for the listener, I think he does an outstanding job. Of course it's natural you won't like all of his characterizations but his ability as a narrator really fits the the story and brings it to life.

    This novel is well crafted full twists and intrigue. I cannot enthuse enough about how good this book is and encourage everyone to download it and enjoy this epic story.

    88 of 90 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas
    Torpoint, United Kingdom
    1/09/11
    Overall
    "Brilliant, but..."

    A fantastic book and well worth it, however a bit of a con from Audible to split it into two parts, (needing to pay for each). It is only one book and should be sold as such. It is on iTunes and works out as cheaper there! Wish I'd noticed that earlier.

    180 of 189 people found this review helpful
  • Edward Archer
    1/10/11
    Overall
    "Love It"

    I have listened my way through this book several times now and it just keeps getting better, Roy Dotrice's narration manages to bring each character to life and I could now pick out each by his narration alone. It's been a long time since I found a book so engaging.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • James
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    16/08/11
    Overall
    "Really Good Listen and Great Characters"

    The first point I want to make about this audible book is - I Have to disagree with everyone saying the narrator was poor, I found him excellent and easy to listen too and have heard far worse.

    As for the story line yes there are lots of characters but that is what makes it great and the story itself is excellent. The imaginary world created and the characters are really interesting, which makes for a great yarn.

    Yes you have to keep your wits about you to follow the twist and turns and the various storylines and characters, but that is what makes this book great.

    All I can say is some of the other readers who have commented negatively towards this book and narrator must profer easier listening something with a handful of characters and simple quick storylines. If you want that then this is not the book for you. However if you want a great fantasy adventure with loads of interesting characters and a great storyline download this book.

    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Ralph
    Hull, United Kingdom
    10/06/12
    Overall
    "Great Story, Difficult Narration"

    I actually own the paperbacks to A Song of Ice and Fire. And I re-bought the entire series as eBooks for my Kindle. The I purchased the Season 1 DVDs for A Game of Thrones. And the Graphic Novel (Part I). So take it as read that I'm familiar with the books, the story, George R R Martin's writing style, and the cast of thousands that populate Westeros and the lands across the Narrow Sea.

    As you might surmise, I love the story. Unfortunately, this audiobook was a struggle to listen to because I just couldn't get on with the narration. Leaving aside the characterisation, for a moment, Roy Dotrice has this bizarre habit of pausing... mid-sentence so you're not sure if the sentence is finished... or if there's another portion... to come. At some points, these pauses almost change the sense of what's being said, and you find yourself having to mentally re-wind to re-phrase the words in your head to get the proper meaning.

    In a similar vein - just concerning the narration rather than the characterisation - at some points the narrator's choice of tone doesn't jibe with my own interpretation of the story's tone; the first time we hear the Stark's motto, '"Winter is Coming", we're given it in almost upbeat fashion, rather than the heavy, almost portentous phrase that I have in my head.

    However, my biggest obstacle with the narration was the characters' voicings; to be fair, the book has a cast of thousands (probably literally, although I haven't counted), and it would be impossible to form a distinct voice for every single person. But characters frequently sound much older than written (Theon Greyjoy, for example), the cod-Irish accent deployed for some characters is almost unlistentable, and, most disappointingly, Tyrion's accent changes mid tale, from Lancastrian to something that oscillates between Welsh and Irish.

    It's a hard job, and I wish Mr Dotrice no ill, but I would've liked to hear Steven Pacey's reading of this instead.

    62 of 67 people found this review helpful
  • William
    Melton Mowbray, United Kingdom
    27/09/11
    Overall
    "An unexpected surprise"

    I am new to audible books, and value peoples reviews. I was nearly put off A Game of Thrones, by some poor reviews. I actually like Roy Dotrice, and find his style suits me. It has probably helped that I have seen the first series of the HBO TV production and got to know the characters. I am enjoying the extra detail and background of the characters, which the TV series skated over. I will certainly be purchasing the next instalment of this book and hope to finish it before the next TV series.

    41 of 44 people found this review helpful
  • Marcus
    London, United Kingdom
    1/01/12
    Overall
    "Best fantasy around if you have the time"

    I started this series having watched the Game of Throne series on TV and it has not disappointed.  It does take time to get into the stories as there are so many characters, plot lines and background history.  What really helped me to follow what is happening was a website called Tower of the Hand, which has summaries of each chapter and links to biographies of all the characters. 

    A great ranges of interesting characters with most showing shades of good and bad in their actions.    Tyrion the dwarf is a great literary creation.  The author is a natural  story teller,  packing the narrative with sparkling dialogue, inventive action, and most chapters end on cliffhangers.  Unusually for a fantasy series many of the early battles are only described to us in the third person, although later books start to describe the battles as first person encounters.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Miss H Tierney
    7/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Oh dear the narration really lets this down"

    I know there are a lot of characters to remember but Roy really doesn't do the book justice. The accents are odd and change wildly. Names are also repeatedly mispronounced.

    it is also a bit cheeky making folk pay twice for the same book.

    this is my first experience with audible and I'm not sure I'll continue after the trial period is over.

    So disappointed.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Gale
    Bedford, United Kingdom
    2/08/11
    Overall
    "A perfect listen"

    Another book where one is sad when it comes to an end, but, on the plus side......we have more to come!!!

    Perfect candidate for the audio format, Roy Dotrice does a difficult job of breathing life into all the characters... not sure I like all of them (his characterisations) but as I only listened to this after watching the excellent HBO production maybe I had preconceptions.

    Notwithstanding all of that, I can't recommend this highly enough, makes a car journey never long enough!

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Haringey, United Kingdom
    30/05/12
    Overall
    "I was really enjoying it up to the point when"

    Tyrion Lannisters accent changes from Yorkshire to Welsh, I actually like Dotrices narration its like being told a story by an old man around a villages community fire, but a story teller needs to be more aware of his use of accents. What I think actually happened is Dotrice read the rest of the book and saw that Tyrion Lannister became a hero rather than a Rumpelstiltskin character, he couldn't become the hand of Gofrey and talk like a Clegg from last of the summer wine.

    26 of 29 people found this review helpful

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