Winter is coming: a new look for George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire

George R.R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire series – the books that inspired HBO’s Game of Thrones – have a brand new look, as Senior Designer Richard Augustus explains…

1. A-Game-of-Thrones

 

Our brief when we started working on a new look for A Song of Ice and Fire was to create covers that are beautiful, epic and would hint at the world George R. R. Martin has created. George’s books cover so much – family, relationships, politics, war – and we wanted the new look to reflect this epic scale. A key part of the brief was that the books should also appeal to readers who may have heard of or seen Game of Thrones, the HBO show based on the series, but aren’t familiar with the books yet.

2. A-Clash-of-Kings 3. A-Storm-of-Swords-I 4. A-Storm-of-Swords-II

With these things in mind, we decided to look at a photographic approach, starting with places like South Africa, Morocco and Ireland, where the TV has been shot, and then moving on to other settings that reflected George’s amazing world, like huge glaciers and desert sands. Akin to a gritty travelogue of the series.

From start to finish, the covers took around four months to complete and it was very much a team effort, with four designers contributing to the final designs. We produced dozens of visuals before settling on the final covers – playing around with different shots, the scale of the images, looking at wide open landscapes or focusing down onto intriguing details. We then started to think specifically about how the type should work, how it might need to be adapted to work on eBook, and what the finishes would be on the physical edition.

5. A-Feast-of-Crows 6. A-Dance-with-Dragons 7. A-Dance-with-Dragons-II

In the end, we have produced a new look that we are all very proud of and it has been really satisfying to see people’s reactions to the covers when they see them for the first time! They will be published alongside, rather than replacing, the existing iconic editions, so we’re really looking forward to seeing them stand side by side – two stunning looks for this epic series from George R.R. Martin.

 

Richard Augustus, for Waterstones.com/blog

 

The new editions will be published on 27th March but can be pre-ordered below:
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords Part 1: Steel and Snow
A Storm of Swords Part 2: Blood and Gold
A Feast for Crows
A Dance With Dragons Part 1: Dreams And Dust
A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After The Feast

 

What do you think of the new jackets? Let us know below.

 

 

40 thoughts on “Winter is coming: a new look for George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire

  1. These are really, really nice. Good to read that they will be published in addition rather than replacing the existing editions. So, will there be a boxed set with these new covers as well or do they have to be purchased individually? And I assume that the two final novels will also be published in this style? Alongside the other edition?

  2. …that’s it? All the scope of these books and landscape photos is all you could come up with to sell them? I find these desperately dull and disappointing, sorry to say.

  3. Thank you so much for continuing the ‘old’ covers, that really shows that you care about your readers imho. Because tbh I’m not really impressed by the ones – they just look to generic for me – and I’m so happy to be able to complete my collection with the other covers.

  4. Boring. Anodyne. Given the sweep of politics in the books and the landscapes, characters and creatures GRRM has created, this is the best anyone can do? They look like they belong in the travel guide section rather than fantastique.

    Thankfully I have the old ones and will look for any new books to continue in that style.

  5. There’s a spelling mistake where you give the links – it’s supposed to be Steel and Snow not Steel abd Arrow. Do I get a free book for pointing that out? :)

  6. These look terrible, very generic and quite boring covers. but hay your never going to please everyone, it just looks like o effort what so ever went in to this, im very disapointed. i do get that a revamp could be good, but nothing about these new covers is going to attract HBO watchers other then the logo horridly smeared on be front. tut tut. im glad i have the old covers.

  7. the old harcovers (ISBN: ISBN 9780007459483 – Game of Thrones: Book 1 A Song of Ice and Fire) is impossible to find. will they be avalilable again`?

  8. Great piece, guys. Apart from criticism I see a very distinguished work based on reality rather than fantasy clichés. If it’s supposed to appeal to newcomers not used to fantasy but aware of the show, congrats. You did a really good job.

    Again I see a fresh approach here, breaking the rules of fantasy.

  9. Yeah these are terrible. They say nothing about the actual story whatsoever, especially considering the fact that it doesn’t actually take place on earth. Generic calendar pictures at best. What ever happened to depicting a scene and giving the impression that you actually read the books when giving them covers?

  10. First of I’d like to say that I love the idea with a fresh version of the covers and to attract a different type of audience. The pictures are lovely, they do give a very plain and characteristic look to the series. And as someone else mentioned – it’s great to see you not using TV versions.

    Here comes the but: I don’t believe them appealing and they certainly do not do the books themselves any justice. I would’ve liked to see more of a photogenic complexity to better fit with the art inside, created by George R. R. Martin. In short, fine pictures but no covers.

    Hope you will continue with the old covers for the coming books AND as mentioned above I also hope to see a reprint of the first book in the series. It’s nowhere to be found! (ISBN 9780007459483)

    • I totally agree. I think these new cover pictures are beautiful, but very very boring. Dull & ordinary.

      George RR Martin’s world is supposed to be from another world filled with magic and excitement. The oppsite of what these covers feel like, just boring picures from our planet.

      It would be way better with just a black cover with white text.

      Just my two cents

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  13. Terrible covers. Looks like generic stock photographs from National Geographic. Great photography, but makes the novels have a cheap/cheesy feel to it. Very strange choice for new editions.

  14. Hi,

    I definitely want to get into this series of books, but I am having a REALLY hard time getting the hardback versions of Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3 from Voyager. Are these out of print? Is that state permament? Will these be reprinted along with the new cover ones? Will the new cover ones be available in hardback or only paperback?

    Thank you very much for your time.

    • Hi AvidReader.

      I do understand that there are problems with obtaining the Hardbacks but they are freely available in paperback. I’m afraid I have no information on future printings.

      The new look will be available in paperback only (alongside the classic PB look).

  15. They look nice but personally I could go without the blurbs on the bottom of the cover. It’s a pretty big name franchise now, save it for the interior and back cover. Keep the front clean.

  16. Pretty lifeless. The current TV tie-in covers do a much better job of enticing new readers, I think. Maybe they’re somebody’s cup of tea though…

  17. I love this series, but new covers are pretty pointless, unless you’re a collector. There are already several different covers for each book, ESPECIALLY the first one.

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  20. Will a Wind of Winter and a Dream of Spring continue with this design? It’ll be a bummer to have these and the the next two books on a different edition lol

  21. The covers look ok in a generic-kind-of-way, though what I’d really like to know is: “When Is The Author Going To Get The Next Book Published???!!!” as I’ve heard from a someone who works for Waterstones bookshop that at a Sci-Fi/Comicon convention recently that he told his fans how the series is going to end before the last however many books he’s got yet to finish and publish are even out!!! (how nuts is that if it is true??!!)

What do you think?