'Game of Thrones': as you prepare for Season 2 (+video)(Read article summary)
These 'Game of Thrones' companion books can help you learn to speak Dothraki or teach you how to cook like Arya.
As with any megastar media sensation (see Potter, Harry and Middleton, Kate), "Game of Thrones," which returns Sunday on HBO for a second season after establishing itself as a cult favorite, has spawned a bevy of books.
The show, based on George R.R. Martinâ€™s bestselling â€śA Song of Ice and Fireâ€ť fantasy novels, chronicles the violent dynastic struggles in fictional Seven Kingdoms of Westeros for control of the Iron Throne. From book to TV show to mega-acclaim, "Game of Thrones" is spawning yet more books for die-hard fans to enjoy.
First up is the â€śInside HBOâ€™s Game of Thrones,â€ť an official companion book by show writer Byran Cogman to be released by Chronicle Books and HBO this fall. Entertainment news source the Daily Blam describes it as â€śa visual companion to the series that provides behind-the-scenes stories and details about transforming the bestselling book series to the screen.â€ť
The full-color book will feature a foreward by Martin, character profiles, on-set photography, maps (including a foldout map of Westeros), family trees, an explanation of the Dothraki language created for the show, and interviews with cast and crew.
â€śThe extraordinarily talented actors and artisans who work tirelessly to bring Game of Thrones to life are unequaled anywhere,â€ť Cogman said in a statement. â€śThis book is a tribute to them. Itâ€™s been a joy to write for this fantastic series and an honor to put together this book, which I hope will please fans, both old and new.â€ť
And if all the anticipation and succession battles are getting you hungry, fear not, you can feed your hunger for more "Game of Thrones" with the â€śUnofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook,â€ť by Alan Kistler. Yes, thatâ€™s right, thereâ€™s a companion cookbook.
Surprisingly, the cookbook is actually faithful to the books, according to reviews. Each recipe has a headnote detailing the origins of the dish in Martinâ€™s books.
â€śWhile one may not think food when they first consider HBOâ€™s bloody drama or Martinâ€™s books, Kistler finds a way to make the connection,â€ť writes Hollywood Chicagoâ€™s Brian Tallerico. â€śWhat I like most about [this cookbook] is [its] fidelity to [its] source material. The author tries to find ways to tie back even the most simple recipes to [its] franchise.â€ť
So what do hardcore Thrones fans serve for a premiere night party? As any â€śUnofficial Game of Thrones Cookbookâ€ť enthusiast will tell you, Aryaâ€™s Lemon Cakes, of course.
Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.