Game of Thrones is over for another year, and we will have the long winter to get through before it returns. By now, the show has deviated considerably from the books (it would make a really good, expensive fanfiction) but it’s insanely addictive and entertaining.
In the meantime, since we won’t be getting Winds of Winter any time soon (I won’t believe any hearsay until there’s a publication date!), there are other fantasy series we can wile away the time with.
Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The story of the most-notorious magician the world will ever see, who is also… an inn-keeper. But hear his story and be whisked into the breathtaking life of an orphan of a traveling troupe, who stumbles into a world shadowed by an ancient menace, and becomes the greatest wizard willing to combat it. This series is just as vivid and engaging as A Song of Ice and Fire. It will stick to your very marrow and stay there. Fair warning—Rothfuss is just as bad as George RR Martin for estimating when the final book will come out.
Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
Okay, so this is a lot more comedic than A Song of Ice and Fire, since Sir Terry Pratchett wrote it to make fun of the tropes in high fantasy. But still, there is a rich world full of adventure, charming characters such as the failed wizard Rincewood, a walking suitcase, and Death himself makes several appearances.
The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan
Everyone thinks the fate of this author could be George RR Martin’s fate too. Began by Robert Jordan, aka James Oliver Rigney Jr, this series was completed post-mortem by Brian Sanderson. Still, if you love high fantasy and want to read one of the classic fantasy series, this is it. A war comes to a peaceful faraway village and the savage attack forces three young heroes to meet their destiny which began in the time known as The Breaking of the World. The series spans 14 books, so you’ll have plenty to tide you over until Game of Thrones returns.
Mistborn series by Brian Sanderson
Speaking of Brian Sanderson, he’s written plenty of fantasy of his own. Mistborn takes place in a world where evil is rampant—ash falls from the sky and mist controls the night. No flowers blossom, nothing thrives. The world lives in fear under the Lord Ruler for thousands of years. But Kelsier, a troublemaker and skilled thief, unexpectedly challenges the chaos and tyranny with a group of the underworld’s elite.
Graceling Realm series by Kristin Cashore
A lot of fantasy series don’t pay enough attention to the women characters. This is something that George RR Martin has awesomely subverted. Graceling is about a world where everyone is born with a special talent, their Grace. Katsa’s is killing. She works as the king’s thug, killing those she’s ordered to, but starts to investigate the true meaning of her Grace.
The Lord of the Rings series by JRR Tolkien
I shouldn’t even have to list this one. But if you’ve read A Song of Ice and Fire and not Tolkien’s masterpiece that really pioneered the modern genre of fantasy, you are missing out. Pro-tip—there’s an especially great audiobook recording on YouTube that breathes life into the books if you’re having trouble.
There are so many high fantasy novels out there, so I know I haven’t even scratched the surface. But these will hopefully keep us busy until we get to see what happens next for the battle for the Iron Throne. Let us know if you have any more suggestions for the hiatus!
Gabriele Boland is an aspiring grown-up. She enjoys pretending she’s in a Disney movie, letting her dork flag fly, and writing stories that will never see the light of day. The other ramblings of her mind can be found at her website.