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George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series is a worldwide phenomenon, and the world of Westeros has seen multiple adaptations, from HBO's acclaimed television series to graphic novels, console games and orchestral soundtracks. This collection of new essays investigates what makes this world so popular, and why the novels and television series are being taught in university classrooms as genre-defining works within the American fantasy tradition. This volume represents the first sustained scholarly treatment of George R.R. Martin's groundbreaking work, and includes writing by experts involved in the production of the HBO show. The contributors investigate a number of compelling areas, including the mystery of the shape-shifting wargs, the conflict between religions, the origins of the Dothraki language and the sex lives of knights. The significance of fan cultures and their adaptations is also discussed.