Vying for a throne, battling White Walkers, and taming dragons can be a lot of work. The inhabitants in Westeros (and Essos) are quite busy. However, we like to think that, in between all the magic, murder, and mayhem, the GOT characters we love, love to hate, and outright despise would kick up their feet and read while they’re stuck indoors all winter. Here’s what we think their favorite books would be.
Whether or not you’ve seen the show, these 13 books are still worth a read—and they just might explain why your friends are absolutely hooked!
Favorite Book of Tyrion Lannister
There’s just something mesmerizing about an angsty, rich guy staring across a body of water longingly. Sure, Tyrion wants revenge and Gatsby wants Daisy, but the principle is the same, right? Cersei even gave Tyrion a green light when King’s Landing went up in wildfire. This American classic about money, parties, revenge, and dreams never goes out of style.
Some consider it “the great American novel.” The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his powerful love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan is an exquisitely crafted tale that has been essential reading since it was published.
Read the full review here.
Favorite Book of Bran Stark
This classic is a tale of self-identity disguised as a fantasy novel set in a world of islands. Ged, a powerful child-wizard, creates a shadow that he must defeat after a spell goes wrong. Ged has to travel his world to find the means to defeat the shadow. A great tale for fans of adventure or finding oneself.
Favorite Book of Daenerys Targaryen
This quick read added a new word to our vocabulary: mansplaining. MEN EXPLAIN THINGS TO ME puts the patriarchy under the microscope in seven fantastic feminist essays. Dany certainly has had more than enough men in her life who try to silence her because they (wrongly) believed they were smarter than she was.
Everyone felt some quiet justified rage when they finished reading Elena Ferrante’s quartet, right? Reading this essay collection was gratifying and restorative. The genius Rebecca Solnit recognizes and deconstructs scenarios that far too many women have experienced (in the titular essay, she recounts how a man once explained the plot of her own book to her). It’s funny and sad and smart and stokes a righteous anger in all the right ways.
Favorite Book of Ramsay Bolton
MISERY, one of Stephen King’s most iconic works, would be the perfect read for Ramsay. Annie might be just as deranged as one of Game of Throne's most sadistic villains. Holding a man hostage to write a book the way she wants it doesn’t express the terror within this fantastic horror novel.
When novelist Paul Sheldon is in a terrible car crash on a wintry night, he is rescued by nurse Annie Wilkes, who just happens to be his biggest fan. But when his latest novel isn't to Wilkes's liking, Sheldon becomes prisoner to her violent temper. The novel is gripping and nightmarish and the 1990 film features Kathy Bates at her creepy, demented best.
Favorite Book of Brienne of Tarth
REDEFINING REALNESS is Janet Mock’s exploration of self and her womanhood. It is an unapologetic look at being a transwoman. This honest memoir is a trailblazing account of one of today’s leading trans advocates. Defying Westeros’s gender roles and becoming a warrior, Brienne would surely appreciate this memoir about one woman’s journey to unapologetically be herself.
Favorite Book of Sansa Stark
This book is an in-depth look at the impact on the economy and culture of the current trend of women staying single until much older than in recent history. Rebecca Traister doesn’t just talk about the rise of the single, independent woman. She looks back at the history of this repeating trend and the social change that happens as a result. As fans of the series will know, Sansa has been through her share of terrible suitors, but now she is stronger than ever. Keeping out of Littlefinger’s clutches and ruling the North are her goals now.
For your feminist friends
Rebecca Traister offers a comprehensive study of the power of independent women in America through the fascinating history of unmarried women and their lasting, radical effect on the nation.
Favorite Book of Melisandre
Dante’s poem is a perfect pick for everyone’s (least) favorite sorceress. Often seen as an allegory for the journey to God, Dante leads readers through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. It’s an exploration of sin, love, and humanity. While this classic work may not be a current hit, its influence in modern literature is undeniable. We’ll admit that this one is a bit dramatic, but Melisandre’s powerful magic and belief in R’hllor have already led one king to madness.
Favorite Book of Theon Greyjoy
A perfect book for those who have their “success” come crashing down around them. Theon can most certainly empathize with a character who tries to maintain a perfect exterior only to be cracked on the inside. As the pieces fall apart in Max’s, the titular golden boy, life, will anyone want to associate with him anymore?
Favorite Book of Arya Stark
A tale of two half sisters, two very different paths, and two very different lives. This novel traces the lives of these sisters and their descendants through multiple generations. One is forced into slavery, and one is married to a slaver. What follows is a story that shows the lasting legacy of enslavement.
Two half-sisters are separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. HOMEGOING traces the descendants who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and 300 years of history, each life indelibly drawn.
Favorite Book of Jaime Lannister
Another epic poem (what can we say, poetry is hot right now!), BEOWULF is the ultimate tale of honor. The oldest surviving poem explores the lifetime of a legendary warrior hero who fights equally horrible monsters at the request of a king. Also, one of the most iconic villains in literature is present, so bonus points!
Favorite Book of Varys
In this deliciously dishy memoir of the Upper East Side in Manhattan (the Red Keep of King’s Landing!), Wednesday Martin explores this elite society. Examining social hierarchies and exposing the residents’ patterns and secrets are just part of this book’s charm. Like Wednesday, Varys is a perfect fly on the wall. An observer and orchestrator of chaos who delights in being the guiding hand of the drama.
Favorite Book of Jon Snow
Ursula Todd has lived many lives. She has died in almost as many. She is allowed to live again and again to right the wrongs of society to save the world from impending doom. LIFE AFTER LIFE is a true work of art, and some of Atkinson’s best writing. Like Ursula, everyone’s favorite Lord Commander has also had a second chance at life and it has greatly shaped his choices.
During a snowstorm in 1910, a baby is born. She dies before she can draw her first breath. During a snowstorm in 1910, the same baby is born and lives. What if there were an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you be able to save the world from its own destiny? What power can one woman exert over the fate of civilization as she lives through the turbulent events of the twentieth century again and again?
Favorite Book of Cersei Lannister
This book brought psychological thrillers back to the forefront of the must-read list. GONE GIRL’s Amy Dunne is quite unforgettable. The rage, revenge, and anger are definitely intense, but also understandable. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Some say she’s cold and unfeeling, calculating to a subhuman degree, and basically totally nutso. I say Amy Dunne is just a smart, sensitive woman in a man’s world, frustrated by patriarchy, down with to-do lists, and dedicated to the fine art of revenge! This powerhouse of a novel sees crime writer Gillian Flynn come into her own as a dramatic storyteller in full command of her many gifts.
Crazy like: A fox! Amy is a hottie!
Best crazy moment: The box cutter. ’Nuff said.