Most people agree that HBO’s acclaimed fantasy series “Game of Thrones” is complex, but the multi-layered narrative sprawl of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels is perhaps even more challenging to the uninitiated. With that in mind, Random House, the publishing company behind Martin’s books, is doing its best to guide casual readers through the author’s elaborate universe with a new smartphone app, “George R.R. Martin’s A World of Ice and Fire — A Game of Thrones Guide.”
Available now in Apple’s App Store, the guide contains 540 character profiles and more than 380 place profiles written by Elio García and Linda Antonsson of the top-ranked “Ice and Fire” fan site Westeros.org.
According to Ken Wohlrob, senior director of digital content and interactive media at Random House, “The app functions as a handy encyclopedia, with detailed information on characters, family houses and places in George Martin’s world.”
Additionally, the app features fully interactive maps of the lands of Westeros and Essos and the family trees of each house.
Though a wealth of reference information already exists online, curious readers always run the risk of learning something about future events they hadn’t intended to see, which the publisher kept in mind while designing the app.
“Probably the coolest thing in the app, at least for us, is the anti-spoiler functionality that lets users block any information from books they have not read yet,” Wohlrob said in an email.
The apps are available for $1.99 for info on the first book and $0.99 for each additional book package. Info on all five current books can be purchased for $4.99.
And there are plans to expand the app when Martin’s “Winds of Winter” and the final book, “A Dream of Spring,” are released. And when will that be? Only George R.R. Martin knows for certain.
– Patrick Kevin Day
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