A Storm of Swords: All You Need To Know About the Epic Fantasy

HBO’s hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R R Martin’s internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A STORM OF SWORDS book is the third volume in the series.

With the legendary The Red Wedding scene being contained in the pages of this book, this following novel is full of gore, betrayal and gruesome treason. It’s regarded as one of the best books in the series, so be sure to read ahead to catch up on everything you need to know.

Just a warning, there will be spoilers ahead!

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A Storm of Swords

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. . . .

But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others–a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords. . . .

“Why ask for truth when you close your ears to it? 

George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords

Our Overview

The Riverlands

Catelyn Stark released Jaime Lannister in order to secure the release of her daughters, Sansa and Arya. Robb reveals that he has married Jeyne Westerling, violating his promise to be wed to a daughter of House Frey.

Jaime and Brienna are captured by mercenaries working for Roose Bolton, who is plotting to undermine Robb to become Warden of the North. After a short scuffle, Bolton releases Jaime and Brienne and they travel to King’s Landing.

Arya Stark, who is travelling in the Riverlands, is taken by the Brotherhood Without Banners. The group captures Joffrey’s former bodyguard and offers him trial by combat for his crimes. The Hound, who killed Beric before he was resurrected, kidnaps Arya and plans to ransom her.

Robb needs the support of the Freys. The Freys propose a new wedding between Catelyn’s brother Edmure Tully (lord of the Riverlands) to compensate for Robb breaking the marriage agreement. At the wedding, the Boltons and Freys turn on the Starks. Robb and Catelyn are killed in the Red Wedding.

Arya and the Hound witness and escape the massacre. The Hound is wounded and Ayra escapes.

King’s Landing, Dragonstone, and the Eyrie

Davos attempts to assassinate Stannis’ advisor. He blames her for Stannis’ defeat in his prior assault on King’s Landing. Davos is imprisoned but Stannis releases him and he is then appointed Hand of the King. Melisandre curses three rival Kings. Balon Greyjoy’s death is reported shortly after.

King’s Landing welcomes new allies, the Tyrells. King Joffrey sets aside his betrothal to Sansa Stark for Margaery Tyrell. The Hand of the King, Tywin Lannister, asks Sansa to marry Tyrion to enable Lannister to hold control of the North, but Tyrion refuses.

During the wedding feast, Joffrey is poisoned and dies. Tyrion is accused and is arrested. Sansa escapes.

After the Three Kings die, Davos discovers a request by the Night’s Watch for aid against Mance Rayder. Stannis prepares to execute Davos for treason but changes his mind.

The spymaster Varys and Tyrion’s lover testify falsely against Tyrion at his trial. Tyrion is sentenced to death.

Upon returning to King’s Landing, Jaime gives Brienne a sword and sends her to find Arya and Sansa and bring them home. Jaime refuses to believe that Tyrion killed Joffrey and helps free him from prison. Jamie reveals that Tyrion’s first wife was not a prostitute as he had been told, and genuinely loved Tyrion. Tyrion kills both Shae and Tywin before fleeing Westeros.

At the Eyrie, Sansa is disguised as a daughter of Littlefinger. Lysa reveals that Littlefinger had convinced her to poison Jon, and to pin the blame on the Lannisters. Littlefinger, after a fight between Sansa and Lysa, kills Lysa.

The North

The Night’s Watch is attacked. Some of the Watch mutiny and kill Mormont, but Sam escapes with the help of a wilding girl.

Robb’s brother Bran are guided north by Bran’s dreams. At the Wall, Sam guides them and returns to the headquarters at Castle Black. He swears to keep Bran’s survival secret.

Jon, on a mission to infiltrate the wildings, convinces Mance that he deserted the Night’s Watch. Jon escapes and returns to Castle Black where he repels several assaults from the wildings. He is then falsely accused of treachery. Stannis’ army arrives while he is talking to Mance, and Mance is imprisoned. Stannis offers to make Jon Lord of Winterfell, but he declines and is elected as Night Watch’s new Lord Commander.

Slaver’s Bay

Daenerys Targaryen learns that slave armies can be bought in Slaver’s Bay. Daenerys trades her dragon for armies, and upon the exchange, she orders the dragon to turn on the slave traders. She frees the slaves and they join her army.

Alongside her army, Daenerys conquers the slaver cities. Darnery’s has the city’s rulers put to death. One of her traitors asks for forgiveness and becomes Lord Commander of her Queensguard, while the other traitor is banished.

A Clash of Kings:A Storm of Swords: All You Need To Know About the Epic Fantasy

Our Review

Every one of these books as managed to completely captivate us. There’s no way to predict what is going to happen in A Storm of Swords, and it takes countless turns and unexpected paths.

While the second book paved the way for multiple kings hoping to rise to the Iron Throne, this book brings the harsh reality crashing down. The power players in A Storm of Swords are ever-changing through treason, murder, treason, and more.

Now more than ever, Martin proves to us that there are no ‘bad’ or ‘good’ characters in the series. My feelings for characters changed throughout the novel.

The Red Wedding is one of the most famous scenes in Game of Thrones, and for good reason! Characters you love will die, and it is gruesome and brutal.

A Storm of Swords may be one of the most pivotal novels in the series, and we loved every second of it.

Our rating: ★★★★★

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the correct order of Game of Thrones Books?

The branching canons and miscellanies of genre fiction are commonplace to some fans but the unusual running order of A Song of Ice and Fire has been known to put off newcomers to the series. Have no fear though, the publishing order of the books is still the most sensible reading order.

Here are all the books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series in (publishing) order:

  1. A Game of Thrones (1996)
  2. A Clash of Kings (1999)
  3. A Storm of Swords (2000)
  4. A Feast for Crows (2005)
  5. A Dance with Dragons (2011)
  6. The Winds of Winter (unreleased)
  7. A Dream of Spring (unreleased)

How many chapters is A Storm of Swords?

A Storm of Swords has 78 chapters and an epilogue.

How long is A Storm of Swords?

It will depend on publication, but A Storm Of Swords is around 1008 pages.

Why is there 2 books for A Storm of Swords?

In certain publications, the publishers noted that there was too many stories and characters to fit nearly into one binding, so the decision came to split the novel into two books.

What is the best Game of Thrones book?

Call us biased, but the Red Wedding was too iconic not to bring Storm of Swords to the top of the list!

What seasons does A Storm of Swords follow?

The third season of Game Of Thrones roughly follows the plot of A Storm of Swords.

Have you read the second novel behind the acclaimed TV Series? Let us know!

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