I put together a preliminary list for a friend a couple years ago, and many know I’m a huge fan of the Dunk & Egg novellas, so they’ve asked me if/when they should read the novellas vs. the novels.
A reading order for A Song of Ice and Fire according to publishing date:
- A Game of Thrones (1996)
- Dunk & Egg I: “The Hedge Knight” (1998)
- A Clash of Kings (1999)
- A Storm of Swords (2000)
- Dunk & Egg II: “The Sworn Sword” (2003)
- A Feast for Crows (2005)
- Dunk & Egg III: “The Mystery Knight” (2010)
- A Dance With Dragons (2011)
- “The Princess and the Queen” (2013)
- “The Rogue Prince” (A prequel to tP&Q) (2014)
- The World of Ice and Fire (2014)
“The Hedge Knight” is currently in print in GRRM’s retrospective DREAMSONGS (Vol. 2 of paperback
“The Sworn Sword” is not currently in print, but can be found in LEGENDS II (found in the volume LEGENDS II: DRAGON, SWORD, AND KING in paperback). Note there is a difference between “Legends II” and “Legends 2“: the latter is the second volume of the paperback edition of Legends, another out-of-print collection of short stories and novellas (the first place “The Hedge Knight” was published).
“The Mystery Knight” can be found in WARRIORS (Vol. 1 of paperback)
“The Princess and the Queen” is published in DANGEROUS WOMEN (Vol. 1 of paperback)
“The Rogue Prince” is published in ROGUES (No paperback as of 02/15)
The first two D&E novellas have been released as graphic novels, with the third in the works.
The three D&E Novellas will be collected in an illustrated edition to be released October 2015.
There are three more novellas, drawn from existing chapters of published novels. They were published in magazines just before the release of their respective novels, but contain no new content (save this interesting tidbit from “The Blood of the Dragon”)
“The Blood of the Dragon” (1996) (Dany’s chapters, AGOT) (In print here)
“The Path of the Dragon” (2000) (Dany’s chapters, ASOS) (In print here)
“Arms of the Kraken” (2002) (The Iron Island chapters, AFFC)
For Context (AL=Aegon’s Landing):
- 1AL: The conquest of Westeros by the first Targaryen King, Agon the Conqueror
- 129-137AL – The [First] Dance of the Dragons, the civil war of succession chronicled in “Princess & The Queen”.
- 195-196AL – The [First] Blackfyre Rebellion, another civil war in Westeros, history and details are discussed in Dunk & Egg stories. “The Sworn Sword” features a to the end of the war.
- 209AL – “The Hedge Knight” takes place.
- 282-283AL – Robert’s Rebellion
- 298AL – The beginning of A Game of Thrones.
- 300AL – The final chapters of ASOS take place in year 300AL.
Three chapters of The Winds of Winter have been published online, and one in a section of the official ASOIAF mobile app. One can also find discussions/summaries of others he’s read at events/Comicon/etc. There is another chapter published in the paperback edition of ADWD.
There is also a book of maps called The Lands of Ice and Fire published in 2012 that features 12 maps of Westeros and the other continents.
- Dunk & Egg: The She-Wolves of Winterfell (working title)
- Dunk & Egg: The Village Hero (Working title)
- ASOIAF Book VI: The Winds of Winter
- ASOIAF Book VII: A Dream of Spring
- Fire & Blood (previously referred to as The GRRMarillion), a complete history of House Targaryen, including the full (80,000 word) version of “The Princess and the Queen”
I certainly recommend reading the books in published order— I only picked up the novellas after finishing ADWD, so the references were lost on me until I talked to a couple people about it, but there are some great gems in there. The novellas set the stage for what to come and flesh out things otherwise mentioned in passing, while key references to both Dunk and Egg pop up in unlikely places in both AFFC and ADWD.
Finally, an oft-cited combined reading order for AFFC and ADWD can be found here at Boiled Leather, with a version for those reading again, and a “first time readers” version in a slightly different order that prevents spoiling things revealed in ADWD before their time in AFFC. I haven’t read through them myself yet, but I think I’ll try to do that when we’re coming up on TWOW’s release.