A Dance with Dragons is the fifth of seven planned novels in the epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire by American author George R.R. Martin. The book was released July 12, 2011.[1]

The 'Dance of Dragons' is the name given to a civil war in the prior history of Westeros.

A Dance of Dragons was originally the title of the second novel in the sequence, when Martin still envisaged the series as a trilogy. Some early US editions of A Game of Thrones list A Dance of Dragons as the forthcoming second volume in the series. The anthology Legends, which features the novella The Hedge Knight, lists it as the fourth installment of the series.

Plot summaryEdit


Working UK cover, art by Larry Rostant

A Dance with Dragons picks up where A Storm of Swords left off and runs simultaneously with events in A Feast for Crows. The War of the Five Kings seems to be winding down. In the North, King Stannis Baratheon has installed himself at the Wall and vowed to win the support of the northmen to continue his struggle to claim the Iron Throne, although this is complicated by the fact that much of the west coast is under occupation by the ironborn. On the Wall itself Jon Snow has been elected the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, but has enemies both in the Watch and beyond the Wall to watch for. Tyrion Lannister has been taken by ship across the Narrow Sea to Pentos, but his eventual goals are unknown even to him. In the far east, Daenerys Targaryen has conquered the city of Meereen, but has decided to stay and rule the city, honing her skills of leadership which will be needed when she travels on to Westeros. But Daenerys' presence is now known to many in Westeros, and from the Iron Islands and Dorne, from Oldtown and the Free Cities, emissaries are on their way to find her and use her cause for their own ends.

Sample chapters are available on[2] and George R.R. Martin's website.[3]

Viewpoint charactersEdit

The tale is told through the eyes of 16 point-of-view characters and, as with previous volumes, a one-off prologue point-of-view and an epilogue.

Split in publicationEdit


Variant US cover, seen in some previews

When the fourth novel in the series, A Feast for Crows, was published it did not contain point-of-view sections from many of the main/key characters of the series. This was because the book had become far too large to publish as one volume. Rather than simply split it in half and publish it as 'Part 1' and 'Part 2', Martin decided to split the book by character and location. Thus, characters in the South of the Seven Kingdoms and in the new locations of the Iron Islands and Dorne appeared in A Feast for Crows. Characters in the North and across the sea were held back for A Dance with Dragons, although Arya Stark and Asha Greyjoy will appear in both volumes.

Approximately one-third of the published A Dance with Dragons will consist of material that had been written for the pre-split A Feast for Crows, although much of this has already been rewritten by Martin.[5] Martin has also promised to try to include some 'catch-up' chapters at the end of the novel to reveal what happened to some of that novel's characters after the cliffhanger endings of A Feast for Crows, such as Brienne of Tarth, Jaime and Cersei Lannister, but only if he has enough room at the end of the book. Martin has confirmed that, contrary to earlier statements, Sansa will not appear in the novel. Sansa chapters initially slated for Dance have instead been pushed back to The Winds of Winter, the planned sixth book in the series [6].

Delays in publicationEdit

Despite original predictions of possible completion in late 2006, the book was not finished by the end of 2008.[7] Martin´s blog has featured updates on his progress, and in January 2008, he posted an update on his website affirming his vigilant commitment to finishing the book.[8] In early 2008, publisher Spectra (a division of Random House) announced that A Dance with Dragons would be released on September 30, 2008,[9] but Martin stated this would only be possible if he finished writing by the end of June, before a trip to Spain and Portugal,[10] and he did not meet this goal.[11]

On February 19, 2009, Martin posted on his website, "I am trying to finish the book by June. I think I can do that. If I do, A Dance with Dragons will likely be published in September or October."[12] During Martin's visit to Finland and Estonia in July 2009, he confirmed that finishing the book had required an extension of the writing time to September or October, and he hopes that the book could be published as early as February 2010 in the UK[13].


Proposed cover art for both the UK and US editions was unveiled in 2008. The UK cover art is by Larry Rostant and consistent with the newer cover styles introduced in 2003. The US cover is consistent with newer cover styles introduced in the USA in 2005. However, a variant US cover (which shows the same dragon image on a black background with a spiral of green colour) has also been seen in some publicity material. It is unclear if this cover is meant to replace the earlier one.

Subterranean Press has confirmed that Marc Fishman has already started work on the illustrated edition of A Dance with Dragons for release after the Bantam and Voyager editions.


  2. Template:Cite web
  3. Template:Cite web
  4. George R.R. Martin's LiveJournal
  5. Fantasy Hotlist
  6. Not A Blog, Feb 19th 2009
  7. Martin's live blog
  8. Template:Cite web
  9. Template:Cite web
  10. Template:Cite web
  11. Template:Cite web
  13. Report from Estonia

v  d  e
A Dance with Dragons
PrologueTyrion IDaenerys IJon IBran ITyrion IIThe Merchant's ManJon IITyrion IIIDavos IJon IIIDaenerys IIReek IBran IITyrion IVDavos IIDaenerys IIIJon IVTyrion VDavos IIIReek IIJon VTyrion VIDaenerys IVThe Lost LordThe WindblownThe Wayward BrideTyrion VIIJon VIDavos IVDaenerys VMelisandre IReek IIITyrion VIIIBran IIIJon VIIDaenerys VIThe Prince Of WinterfellThe WatcherJon VIIITyrion IXThe TurncloakThe King's PrizeDaenerys VIIJon IXThe Blind GirlA Ghost In WinterfellTyrion XJaime IJon XDaenerys VIIITheon IDaenerys IXJon XICersei IThe QueensguardThe Iron SuitorTyrion XIJon XIIThe Discarded KnightThe Spurned SuitorThe Griffin RebornThe SacrificeVictarion IThe Ugly Little GirlCersei IITyrion XIIThe KingbreakerThe DragontamerJon XIIIThe Queen's HandDaenerys XEpilogueAppendix
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