Dragons and Swords and Shields... oh my? (A Weekend to ReCOVER)

It's time for a mini-update on my Song of Ice and Fire Challenge.  What was supposed to be one book a month has been dastardly delayed due to the simple fact that I forgot just how long these books are!  We're talking grandiose chunksters.  But I love them.  Really.  Every literary trip to Westeros pulls me more deeply into the world and the expansive landscape is truly amazing!  Plus, as a reread, I'm stunned by Martin's brilliant use of foreshadowing in the series.  There are plenty of scenes that have a significantly increased impact the second time around.

Back to my challenge.  It's mid-to-late-June so I should technically be mostly finished or at least starting A Feast For Crows.  Unfortunately, I've only just begun the substitute barbell that is A Storm of Swords.  Yet, I'm still super excited for next month's release of A Dance With Dragons!  With just under a month to go, I thought it would be fun to peek into the world of marketing and share some of the changing cover images for this awesome book!  Those that follow GRRM's livejournal will know that he posted these images back in March, but I thought they would make a good discussion point for A Weekend to ReCOVER.

The first is the original cover announced back in 2006, the middle was the updated cover circa 2009, and the left is the current cover that will supposedly grace the book when it reaches the eager hands of readers in a few short weeks!  There are aspects of all three covers that I appreciate.  I'm a bit partial to the one on the right, only because it matches with the copies of the first four that I own, but the shield image on the right is really interesting as well.  I'm not sure I understand why the middle has a sword and nothing particularly dragon-ish, but this is a book that could be released with the most generic of covers and I would still be exceptionally excited about reading it. 

Do you have a favorite among the covers for A Dance With Dragons?  Which one best catches your eye?

A Weekend to ReCOVER is a meme hosted by Her Book Self dedicated to discussing book jackets and cover art.  Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts here or chime in with a post of your own on this book or any interesting attention-grabbing cover(s) that you want to discuss.  Leave me a link and I'll be sure to stop over and see what bookish art you're spying this week!

4 Response to "Dragons and Swords and Shields... oh my? (A Weekend to ReCOVER)"

  1. Anonymous Says:
    June 19, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    I just finished Game of Thrones yesterday and immediately got the next one, Clash of Kings. Unfortunately, I read the copy which has Sean Bean on the cover - which is alright, but he's not what I pictured Ned Stark to look like at all. But the throne of swords looks amazing.

  2. Enbrethiliel says:
    June 19, 2011 at 3:01 PM


    The shield cover is my favourite as well!

    While I'll agree with you that the second cover is a bit baffling, as there's nothing dragonish about the sword, I don't really like the green dragon cover because I find it too obvious. As if the artist looked at the title and said, "Oh, okay. A dragon. I can make that. Wonder what the story is about, though. Too bad I don't have time to read it . . ." =P

    Of course, that's probably not what happened. But I still love the shield for being both dragonish and not too obvious. =)

  3. lisa :) says:
    June 20, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Stephanie - I love, love, LOVE what HBO did with the Iron Throne! I actually like Sean Bean as Ned. I was able to watch the first episode of the series courtesy of a friend with cable TV, and I suppose as I was reading the book I pictured Ned Stark looking more like the actor cast as Benjen (darker hair, tall, more... I dunno... gaunt?) But Sean Bean won me over as Boromir in LotR so I was able to forgive any physical discrepancies due to my awe of his acting and talent for deeper characters.

    (Also, as a joke I always pronounce his name as a rhyme. I know it's actually "Shawn" but it's quite fun to say Sean as "seen" to rhyme with Bean! Am I the only one who does that??)

    Enbrethiliel - Ah yes, the dragon one is overly obvious, but the copies of the first four that I own have the same gradient color scheme covers going on. A Game of Thrones is gold with a lion in the center; A Clash of Kings is purple with a crown (also obvious); A Storm of Swords is blue with a sword (painfully obvious); and A Feast for Crows is red with a goblet (better, but still not creative). Part of me wanted the unoriginal dragon on gradient green just so they would all look the same on my shelf. (But I suppose Series Matching would make a great topic for another Weekend....) ;)

  4. Anonymous Says:
    June 25, 2011 at 8:00 AM

    I'm reading Clash of Kings now. Finding it a little slower read than Game of Thrones but I love Martin's characters and the breadth of the story and setting. I think I'll take my time with this series...

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