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Required reading for 'Game of Thrones' Season 2 premier

Husna HaqThe Christian Science Monitor
HBO

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. Martin’s bestselling “A Song of Ice and Fire” 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 “Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones,” 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 “a visual companion to the series that provides behind-the-scenes stories and details about transforming the bestselling book series to the screen.”

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.

“The extraordinarily talented actors and artisans who work tirelessly to bring Game of Thrones to life are unequaled anywhere,” Cogman said in a statement. “This book is a tribute to them. It’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.”

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 “Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook,” by Alan Kistler. Yes, that’s right, there’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 Martin’s books.

“While one may not think food when they first consider HBO’s bloody drama or Martin’s books, Kistler finds a way to make the connection,” writes Hollywood Chicago’s Brian Tallerico. “What 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.”

So what do hardcore Thrones fans serve for a premiere night party? As any “Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook” enthusiast will tell you, Arya’s Lemon Cakes, of course.