As HBO’s Game of Thrones reaches its long-planned conclusion this Sunday, the Folio Society is breathing new life into all of George R.R. Martin’s original Song of Ice and Fire novels, beginning with A Game of Thrones.
On Thursday, the publisher revealed the full cover art for the planned re-release of Martin’s first book in the fantasy epic, which will come July 16 in two volumes for a pretty penny, $195.
The cover of one of the volumes features a raven perched atop the corpse of a mother direwolf, the one fatally gored by a stag in Winterfell but whose pups would grow up to become the direwolves of the Stark family. The other cover shows a lion, the sigil of House Lannister, attacking a stag, the sigil of House Baratheon.
As those who’ve read Martin’s story or watched it play out on screen know, there’s some heavy foreshadowing going on right here.
These new covers — accompanied by eight illustrated chapter openers, nine illustrated house sigils, and nine family trees — were illustrated by France-based artist Jonathan Burton, a regular collaborator with Folio who previously designed special edition covers for Cover Her Face, by P. D. James; Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell; and the entire Hitchhikers series.
Fantasy author Joe Abercrombie also wrote an introduction for this release of A Game of Thrones, though Martin was involved in the release as well.
“The Folio Society’s splendid new editions are masterpieces of the bookmaker’s art, lavishly illustrated by Jonathan Burton,” Martin said in a statement. “Book collectors and fantasy fans alike are going to delight in these volumes. I know I will.
“As a small child,” he added, “I fell in love with illustrated books, when Howard Pyle and N. C. Wyeth brought Robin Hood, King Arthur, and the Men of Iron alive for me with their art. It’s a passion that has stayed with me all my life. That’s why I have taken so much pleasure in the deluxe illustrated editions of my own books.”
A Game of Thrones also comes with a fold-out map of “the Known World” that arrives as a separately bound volume, and a gold-blocked slipcase with a secret illustration of a White Walker inside.
Pre-orders are available now on the Folio Society website, and those who pre-order are guaranteed to receive a copy from the first printing of the edition.