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A Game of Thrones: Preview the enhanced iBooks edition

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Westeros is coming — to your fingertips.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of A Game of Thrones, the first book in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, Random House has released an enhanced edition exclusively on iBooks, downloadable here for iPhones and iPads. (The publisher previously worked with iBooks to enhance the Harry Potter series.)

So what exactly is an “enhanced edition” of the book? Aside from all-new watercolor covers for each book (see below), the edition will include colorful character and location illustrations, as well as in-depth and interactive character maps at the start of each chapter, which detail where the point-of-view character is, along with surrounding details of castles and lands. Throughout the text, Martin-approved annotations — shown using a small crown icon — also reveal deeper trivia about the world of ice and fire, while audio clips narrated by actor Roy Dotrice help immerse readers in the novel’s most memorable passages. (In one chapter, a White Walker’s attack comes to sonic life.)

In addition, an appendix at the end of the novel features a feast for crows of additional content on the great houses of Westeros and its myriad characters. Readers will find a map charting the major characters’ journeys and timelines, a collection of family trees and short bios, illustrated house and sigil summaries, and an extensive glossary of terms — all of which are meant to help new readers and established fans gain a deeper insight into the original text.

“Anything that confuses you, anything you want to know more about, it’s right there at your fingertips,” Martin said in a statement. “It’s an amazing next step in the world of books.” (And speaking of next steps, a preview of a chapter from The Winds of Winter, the highly anticipated sixth book in the series, is included after the appendix.)

Check out images of the features – including a look at the maps, chapter openers, and annotations — below.

And below, the five new covers:

A Game of Thrones: Enhanced Edition is available on iBooks now for $8.99. Enhanced editions of the other books will be available in the coming months. 

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