Originally Posted by The Dark Shape
I may be mistaken, but I think A Game of Thrones through A Dance with Dragons comprises just over a year total. (Not that it matters -- the show can stretch that.)
Game of Thrones alone seems to take at least a year--I believe they mention Joffrey having two "namedays", and besides, they go back and forth from King's Landing to Winterfell (a month's journey at least) several times. I also believe Ned mentions having been in KL for six months at one point, BEFORE he's arrested. And Robb was able to roister an army and get it all the way to the Riverlands between Ned's arrest and his death. And, of course, the direwolves grow from newborn puppies to biggish animals. Which, incidentally, also applies to Dany's dragons over the course of the series--I know animals tend to grow fast, but to go from newly hatched bird-sized chicks to gigantic, human-eating monstrosities in a few months? That's crazy talk.
Then you've got all the traveling that goes on, especially on Dany's end of the map--Barristan and then Tyrion both make their way across Essos to Dany, which has to be at least a couple months' journey in both cases. Ditto Dany's crossing the red waste. And I'm willing to bet even an incredibly fast, successful war against the Ghiscari is going to take a few months, combined with the fact that Dany seemed pretty damned settled-in in Meereen.
On top of everything else, there's the arrival of winter--if summers and winters last years in Westeros World, it seems reasonable to assume the autumns would last at least a year. Autumn officially starts at the beginning of book two, and by book five we're well into the thick of winter.
Oh, and I believe Martin mentions Jon Snow being 14 years old in GoT, and he's DEFINITELY described as being 17 in aSoS.
It's quite possible that CoK and the overlapping events of AFFC and ADWD take less than a year each, but I think that's balanced out by aGoT and aSoS taking longer than a year. So I'd give you 3 and a half years for the entire saga so far at a minimum, and probably more. Certainly there's more than enough leeway to believe the kids are going to remain basically the right age.
ETA: The third book mentions "the new century" (i.e. the year 300 A. T., After Targaryen) beginning in the midst of the events of aSoS--in fact I believe Joffrey's wedding is on the first day of the new century. Most GoT nerds seem to place the beginning of the saga as happening sometime in early 298, so at least two years pass over the course of the first three books. The online GoT reference The Tower of the Hand has the timeline of the war as taking place over two years. And of course all this assumes that Westerosi years are 365 days.
Edited by The Prankster - 5/26/12 at 10:12pm