A Game of Thrones is potentially one of the most popular franchises in modern entertainment. Between Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Twilight, this fantasy world has ventured into new territories and brought the actual world of Westeros into the imagination of countless individuals in unprecedented detail.
Game of Thrones is actually the name of the first novel in the series. It is also the name of the television series based on the acclaimed novels. The actual series is called A Song of Ice and Fire, and it is a cultural revolution. This riveting tale is entrancing for a few reasons, but it really comes down to the balance between originality and influence.
See, A Song of Ice and Fire pulls a lot of influences from other high fantasy series, such as the Lord of the Rings and Wheel of Time. A lot of fantasy tropes are left intact. But the series takes a rapturous new form and creates an identity all its own. The author George RR Martin has tendency to expand on small details similar to Tolkiens own high fantasy trilogy. But he also gives the characters real life, a visceral and identifiable approach to the story.
There are no heroes and no villains. Every character is a shade of gray, some more than others. Even characters written as heroes have shades of moral grayness, which makes the series more complex on this merit alone. The author also has no loyalty to any one character. All of them face an equal chance of being rubbed out and killed in spectacular way. Martin plays with these conventional storytelling mechanics by not having a main character, being willing to toy with evil and good in a mixed bag of grayness, and by building this world with such unrestrained detail.
This is meant to be a seven part series. Volumes six and seven are still to be released, with volume five, A Dance of Dragons, having come out a number of years ago. A Game of Thrones a Song of Ice and Fire book 1 audiobook is a brilliant introductory point, because the narrator of the audiobook keeps an approachable pace into this densely layered world.