@Joveus Gears of War Timeline (Playing and reading order guide for games, books and comics)

The original by @Joveus

https://gearsofwar.com/en-us/forums/2f1e5822627642e6955a08426ab80570/threads/gears-of-war-timeline-playing-and-reading-order-guide-for-games-books-and-comics/d3bba7e7-49b7-45ff-9552-b8a2cd3e51aa/posts

Im suprised he or someone else hasnt reposted this and that it didnt get as much attention the first time as its amazing, im hoping we can get this updated since Gears 4 and the Rise of Raam comics have been release.

Ill gladly delete this and allow @Joveus to repost this and possibly update if it still interests him, i feel with so much effort, new comics and a new game coming up. It would be nice to keep this going.

Welcome to my playing / reading order timeline and guide for Gears of War. Perhaps you are looking to explore the narrative beyond the games, but don’t know where to start. Perhaps you want to play and read through the entire series chronologically, but cannot quite remember how everything fits together.

This thread is designed to provide information on the order, release dates, and chronology of the Gears of War games, books and comics.

For ease of navigation behold this mighty contents system I have created. Expect lists. Many lists.

[001] Frequently Asked Questions
[002] Games - Release order
[003] Games - Chronological order
[004] Books - Release order
[005] Books - Chronological order
[006] Comics - Individual issues release order
[007] Comics - Graphic Novels release order
[008] Comics - Chronological order
[009] Games + Books + Comics - Chronological order
[010] Games + Books + Comics - Recommended playing & reading order

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[001] Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Where does [insert game / book / comic here] fit in the timeline?
A. Sections [003], [005] and [008] split the individual parts of the games, books and comics into chronological order. Section [009] combines these three smaller sections into one.

Q. Where can I get information on [insert game / book / comic name here]?
A. The titles of each game, book and comic in sections [002], [004] and [006] provide links to the Gears of War Wiki, where you can find more information on their contents.

Q. What do the dates before the names of games, books and comics mean?
A. Sections [002], [004], [006] and [010] organize the series by release order using the Julian calendar. Sections [003], [005], [008] and [009] are arranged chronologically using the (fictional) Seran calendar. Year 0 was Emergence Day. Working into the past from there uses the acronym B.E (Before Emergence) and moving to the future from there uses the acronym A.E (After Emergence).

Q. Who wrote [insert game here]?
A. The lead writer for Gears of War was Eric Nylund. Gears of War 2 had Joshua Ortega. Gears of War had Karen Traviss. The RAAM’s Shadow DLC was Joshua Ortega again. Judgment was co-written by Tom Bissell and Rob Auten.

Q. How many Gears of War books are there?
A. There are currently six books. The first five were written by Karen Traviss, the sixth by Rob Auten.

Q. How many Gears of War comics are there?
A. There are a total of 25 numbered issues and one unnumbered issue, collected into three volumes. Issues #01 to #14 were written by Joshua Ortega. Issues #15 to #24 were written by Karen Traviss. See section [007] to see which comics are contained in which volume.

Q. Haven’t I seen something like this before? Maybe on the Epic forums?
A. Probably. There have been a few different threads that take this idea to varying extremes. The different sections are designed to help people with vastly differing Gears knowledge, from the novice to the expert.

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[002] Gam es – Release order

Nov 7, 2006 — Gears of War
Nov 7, 2008 — Gears of War 2
Jul 28, 2009 — Gears of War 2 - Road to Ruin
Sep 20, 2011 — Gears of War 3
Dec 13, 2011 — Gears of War 3 - RAAM’s Shadow
Mar 19, 2013 — Judgment (+ Aftermath)
Aug 25, 2015 — Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
Oct 21, 2016 — Gears of War 4

There are currently five retail Gears of War games in the series, excluding variations of the original Gears of War which has four different versions available for console and PC. The first three games were released chronologically. Road to Ruin, part of the Dark Corners DLC for Gears of War 2, is a deleted scene taking place during Act 4. RAAM’s Shadow, DLC for Gears of War 3, is stated in-game to take place “Shortly after E-Day”. However, because of elements present throughout the other books and comics, the story can only really take place between 9 A.E and 10 A.E without causing consistency problems. Gears of War: Judgment is a prequel to the trilogy set three months after Emergence Day, but the game includes a final Act called Aftermath that takes place concurrently with Act 4 of Gears of War 3. Gears of War 4 is currently stated to take place twenty-five years after Gears of War 3, placing it at 42 A.E until more information becomes available.

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[003] Games – Chronological order

0 A.E — Judgment
10 A.E — Gears of War 3 – RAAM’s Shadow
14 A.E — Gears of War / Ultimate Edition
14 A.E — Gears of War 2 (+ Road to Ruin)
17 A.E — Gears of War 3 (+ Judgment – Aftermath)
42 A.E — Gears of War 4

Rearranging the games chronologically leaves the series looking like this. Simple enough to play, with the exception of interrupting Act 4 of Gears of War 2 to play the Road to Ruin DLC, and switching Gears of War 3 for Judgment when reaching Act 4 to play the Aftermath chapter. The Ultimate Edition of Gears of War includes five additional campaign chapters in Act 5, originally featured in the PC port.

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[004] Books – Release order

Oct 28, 2008 — Aspho Fields
Jul 28, 2009 — Jacinto’s Remnant
Aug 31, 2010 — Anvil Gate
Aug 2, 2011 — Coalition’s End
May 1, 2012 — The Slab
Mar 4, 2014 — Kilo Squad: The Survivor’s Log

There are currently six books in the Gears of War novel series. The first five are traditional third-person prose, the sixth is a first-person diary / art book that takes place in parallel with Gears of War: Judgment. Each of the first four books contains within the story a secondary narrative exploring a different important historical event in the world of Sera. In essence the first four books tell two stories; one in the present and one in the past. The Slab is unique among the first five books for presenting a dual narrative spanning five years.

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[005] Books – Chronological order

17 B.E — Anvil Gate (Chapters 5, 8, 11, 13, 17 & 19)
12-9 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapter 3)
4 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapter 5)
3 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapters 6 & 7)
2 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapters 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 & 19)
0 B.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 4, 7 & 11 (Cole segment))
0 A.E — Kilo Squad: The Survivor’s Log
0 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 11 (Dizzy and Bernie segments))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapters 3, 6, 9 (1st Dom segment))
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 14 (1st Dizzy segment))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapter 9 (Hoffman and 2nd Dom segments))
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 14 (Cole segment))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapter 13)
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 14 (2nd Dizzy segment))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapter 15)
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 17)
9 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 20)
10 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6)
11 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 7, 8 & 9)
12 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 10, 11 & 12)
13 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 13, 14 & 15)
14 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 16, 17 & 18)
14 A.E — Aspho Fields (Chapters 1, 2, 4, 8, 11, 14, 18 & 20)
14 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapters 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17 & 18)
15 A.E — Anvil Gate (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18 & 20)
15 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22 & 23)

Things begin to look a little bit messy here, but in truth it isn’t too bad. For the most part the past stories of the books do not overlap, with the exception of Kilo Squad: The Survivor’s Log which takes place midway through Chapter 11 of Coalition’s End, and Chapter 14 of Coalition’s End which takes place concurrently with Chapters 9 and 13 of Jacinto’s Remnant.

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[006] Comics – Individual issue release order

Oct 8, 2008 — #01 - Hollow Part One
Jan 1, 2009 — #02 - Hollow Part Two
Feb 1, 2009 — #03 - Hollow Part Three
Feb 11, 2009 — #04 - Hollow Part Four
Mar 25, 2009 — #05 - Hollow Part Five
Apr 29, 2009 — #06 - Hollow Part Six
May 20, 2009 — #07 - The Quickening
Jun 7, 2009 — #— - One Day
Jul 1, 2009 — #08 - Harper’s Story
Jul 22, 2009 — #09 - Barren Part One
Nov 4, 2009 — #10 - Barren Part Two
Jan 20, 2010 — #11 - Barren Part Three
Jun 30, 2010 — #12 - Barren Part Four
Aug 11, 2010 — #13 - Barren Part Five
Oct 27, 2010 — #14 - Midnight
Dec 29, 2010 — #15 - They Also Serve
Mar 16, 2011 — #16 - Unseen
Jun 15, 2011 — #17 - Unsaid
Jul 27, 2011 — #18 - Promise Me
Aug 24, 2011 — #19 - Dirty Little Secrets
Oct 26, 2011 — #20 - Dirty Little Secrets Part Two - Never Forgive, Never Forget
Dec 28, 2011 — #21 - Dirty Little Secrets Part Three - Need to Know
Feb 29, 2012 — #22 - Dirty Little Secrets Part Four - Diaspora
Apr 25, 2012 — #23 - Dirty Little Secrets Part Five - Keyhole
Jun 27, 2012 — #24 - Dirty Little Secrets Part Six - No Hiding Place

The Gears of War comic series covered twenty-four issues before it ended and these were collected into three graphic novel volumes. The unnumbered issue “One Day” was originally included in the Gears of War: Sourcebook before being collected together with the Hollow story arc in Book One. Issues #16, #15, #17, #18 and #08 were included as unlockables in Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.

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[007] Comics – Graphic Novel collection order

Oct 21, 2009 — Book One
14 A.E — #01 – Hollow Part One
14 A.E — #02 – Hollow Part Two
14 A.E — #03 – Hollow Part Three
14 A.E — #04 – Hollow Part Four
14 A.E — #05 – Hollow Part Five
14 A.E — #06 – Hollow Part Six
14 A.E — #— – One Day

Feb 16, 2011 — Book Two
14 A.E — #09 – Barren #1
14 A.E — #10 – Barren #2
14 A.E — #11 – Barren #3
14 A.E — #12 – Barren #4
14 A.E — #13 – Barren #5
14 A.E — #07 – The Quickening
14 A.E — #08 – Harper’s Story

Jan 9, 2013 — Book Three
14 A.E — #19 – Dirty Little Secrets
14 A.E — #20 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Two – Never Forgive, Never Forget
15 A.E — #21 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Three– Need to Know
15 A.E — #22 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Four – Diaspora
15 A.E — #23 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Five – Keyhole
17 A.E — #24 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Six – No Hiding Place
14 A.E — #14 – Midnight
17 B.E — #15 – They Also Serve
17 B.E — #16 – Unseen
4 B.E — #17 – Unsaid
0 B.E — #18 – Promise Me

Chronologically, the first two books have collected issues #01 to #13 correctly. While #07 and #08 are presented after the Barren arc, these stories do take place later and run concurrently with the events of Gears of War 2. Book Three is all over the place with it’s issue placement. #14 takes place between #13 and #07, and should have been included with Book Two. The four Pendulum War issues are also placed at the end of the collection, despite having been published and taking place before the Dirty Little Secrets arc.

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[008] Comics – Chronological order

17 B.E — #15 – They Also Serve
17 B.E — #16 – Unseen
4 B.E — #17 – Unsaid
0 B.E — #18 – Promise Me
14 A.E — #01 – Hollow Part One
14 A.E — #02 – Hollow Part Two
14 A.E — #03 – Hollow Part Three
14 A.E — #04 – Hollow Part Four
14 A.E — #05 – Hollow Part Five
14 A.E — #06 – Hollow Part Six
14 A.E — #— – One Day
14 A.E — #09 – Barren Part One
14 A.E — #10 – Barren Part Two
14 A.E — #11 – Barren Part Three
14 A.E — #12 – Barren Part Four
14 A.E — #13 – Barren Part Five
14 A.E — #14 – Midnight
14 A.E — #07 – The Quickening
14 A.E — #08 – Harper’s Story
14 A.E — #19 – Dirty Little Secrets
14 A.E — #20 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Two – Never Forgive, Never Forget
15 A.E — #21 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Three – Need to Know
15 A.E — #22 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Four – Diaspora
15 A.E — #23 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Five – Keyhole
17 A.E — #24 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Six – No Hiding Place

#— “One Day”, #07 “The Quickening” and #14 “Midnight” are unique among the comics for presenting a frame narrative and including a flashback. For #— “One Day” this flashback takes place in 0 A.E, on E-Day, after issue #18. For #07 “The Quickening” this takes place in 4 B.E after issue #17 and for #14 “Midnight” Jace’s story takes place in the year 14 A.E between issues #18 and #01. #08 Harper’s Story begins before #01 and runs concurrently with the Hollow and Barren arcs.

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[009] Games + Books + Comics chronological order

17 B.E — Anvil Gate (Chapters 5, 8, 11, 13 & 17)
17 B.E — #15 – They Also Serve
17 B.E — Anvil Gate (Chapter 19)
17 B.E — #16 – Unseen
12-9 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapter 3)
4 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapter 5)
4 B.E — #17 – Unsaid
3 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapters 6 & 7)
2 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapters 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 & 19)
0 B.E — #18 – Promise Me
0 B.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 4, 7 & 11 (Cole segment))
0 A.E — Judgment / Kilo Squad: The Survivor’s Log
0 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 11 (Dizzy and Bernie segments))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapters 3, 6, 9 (1st Dom segment))
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 14 (1st Dizzy segment))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapter 9 (Hoffman and 2nd Dom segments))
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 14 (Cole segment))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapter 13)
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 14 (2nd Dizzy segment))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapter 15)
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 17)
9 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 20)
10 A.E — Gears of War 3 – RAAM’s Shadow
10 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6)
11 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 7, 8 & 9)
12 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 10, 11 & 12)
13 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 13, 14 & 15)
14 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 16, 17 & 18)
14 A.E — Gears of War
14 A.E — Aspho Fields (Chapters 1, 2, 4, 8, 11, 14, 18 & 20)
14 A.E — #01 – Hollow Part One
14 A.E — #02 – Hollow Part Two
14 A.E — #03 – Hollow Part Three
14 A.E — #04 – Hollow Part Four
14 A.E — #05 – Hollow Part Five
14 A.E — #06 – Hollow Part Six
14 A.E — #— – One Day
14 A.E — #09 – Barren Part One
14 A.E — #10 – Barren Part Two
14 A.E — #11 – Barren Part Three
14 A.E — #12 – Barren Part Four
14 A.E — #13 – Barren Part Five
14 A.E — #14 – Midnight
14 A.E — Gears of War 2 (+ Road to Ruin) / #07 – The Quickening / #08 – Harper’s Story
14 A.E — #19 – Dirty Little Secrets
14 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapters 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17 & 18)
15 A.E — Anvil Gate (Chapters 1, 2 & 3)
14 A.E — #20 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Two – Never Forgive, Never Forget
15 A.E — Anvil Gate (Chapters 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18 & 20)
15 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18 & 19)
15 A.E — #21 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Three – Need to Know
15 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 21, 22 & 23)
15 A.E — #22 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Four – Diaspora
15 A.E — #23 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Five – Keyhole
17 A.E — #24 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Six – No Hiding Place
17 A.E — Gears of War 3 / Judgment – Aftermath
42 A.E — Gears of War 4

Kilo Squad: The Survivor’s Log starts shortly after E-Day, runs concurrently with Coalition’s End Chapter 11 (Cole segment), continues through the events of Gears of War: Judgment and ends before Coalition’s End Chapter 11 (Dizzy segment). Comic issues #07 “The Quickening” and #08 “Harper’s Story” take place concurrently with Gears of War 2. The first four parts of “Dirty Little Secrets” run concurrently with the events of “Jacinto’s Remnant”, “Anvil Gate” and “Coalition’s End”.

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[010] Games + Books + Comics – Recommended playing & reading order

Aug 25, 2015 — Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
Oct 28, 2008 — Aspho Fields
Oct 21, 2009 — Book One (Hollow & One Day)
Feb 16, 2011 — Book Two (Barren, The Quickening & Harper’s Story)
Nov 7, 2008 — Gears of War 2 (+ Road to Ruin)
Jul 28, 2009 — Jacinto’s Remnant
Aug 31, 2010 — Anvil Gate
Aug 2, 2011 — Coalition’s End
Sep 20, 2011 — Gears of War 3 (+ RAAM’s Shadow)
May 1, 2012 — The Slab
Jan 9, 2013 — Book Three (Dirty Little Secrets, Midnight, They Also Serve, Unseen, Unsaid & Promise Me)
Mar 19, 2013 — Judgment (+ Aftermath)
Mar 4, 2014 — Kilo Squad: The Survivor’s Log
Oct 21, 2016 — Gears of War 4

So after seeing how complicated the series chronology can be, with the events of the games, books and comics often overlapping or jumping across 34 years of history, where do you start? This is my personal recommended order for someone who is new to the series, or someone who has only played the games and is looking to try the books and comics. You may notice this list is neither ordered by release date or chronology, but it does present the easiest way to enjoy the story to its fullest. It does come with a few notes worth mentioning, however;

  1. The Ultimate Edition of Gears of War has been included here instead of the original, as it includes additional campaign content.
  2. While most of Book Two takes place before Gears of War 2, “The Quickening” and “Harper’s Story” may be considered spoilers if read before playing the game.
  3. The Slab takes place before Gears of War, but reveals important plot points that would quickly spoil the series for anybody who is looking to explore the mysteries.
  4. Book Three is also placed after Gears of War 3 for the same reason. “Dirty Little Secrets” would spoil the game if read first, despite taking place before it.
  5. Judgment and “The Survivor’s Log” take place shortly after E-Day, but the presence of Aftermath would make Judgment a confusing place to start for a novice.

Comments and queries are always welcome.

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Hey dude did you save that Joveus’s post on that thread which he made a Seran calendar?

I’m doing a gears of war timeline/complete calendar of the events of the series. After rereading the novels/comics and replaying the games I made a Seran calendar based on the info I got from it all, but still there are a few loose ends, I looked at the gears wiki but that part is quite incomplete and with some errors. I rembember Joveus tried to make a calendar on his own, he also wrote in which month each game, novel, comic took place.

This written below is by @Joveus Its from 2016. Unsure if there was any more updated version than this.

"Boy, oh boy. What are the major problems when a series like Gears of War is made up as you go? Answer - history and geography. Origins of the Locust from back in the day was one thing but nothing has gave me a headache quite like trying to figure out the Seran calendar.

Here’s an update for anybody who is interested. It’s a doozy.

The months of the Seran calendar started to be used on a semi-regular basis starting with “Jacinto’s Remnant”. “Anvil Gate” and “Coalition’s End” followed through with this, but it was “The Slab” that really upped the ante. Without properly reading the books, and just going by the emboldened dates used when switching point of view, “The Slab” looks like this;

Reap, 10 A.E — The Slab (Chapter 1)
Fall, 10 A.E — The Slab (Chapter 2)
Frost, 10 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 3 & 4)
Brume, 10 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 5, Prologue & 6 (Adam and Prescott segments))
Storm, 10 A.E — The Slab (Chapter 6 (Dom segment))
Gale, 11 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 7 & 8)
Bounty, 11 A.E — The Slab (Chapter 9 (Anya and Prescott segments))
Fall, 11 A.E — The Slab (Chapter 9 (Reeve segment))
Gale, 12 A.E — The Slab (Chapter 10)
Bloom, 12 A.E — The Slab (Chapter 11 (1st Dom and Prescott segments))
Reap, 12 A.E — The Slab (Chapter 11 (2nd Dom segment))
Frost, 12 A.E — The Slab (Chapter 12)
Gale, 13 A.E — The Slab (Chapter 13 (Adam segment))
Rise, 13 A.E — The Slab (Chapter 13 (Niko and Dom segments))
Bloom, 13 A.E — The Slab (Chapter 14 (Reeve segment))
Reap, 13 A.E — The Slab (Chapter 14 (Prescott and Niko segments))
Frost, 13 A.E — The Slab (Chapter 15 (Hoffman segment))
Brume, 13 A.E — The Slab (Chapter 15 (Niko segment))
Gale, 14 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 15 (Adam segment), 16, 17 & 18)
Rise, 14 A.E — The Slab (Epilogue)

First problem: Storm, 10 A.E takes place after Brume, 10 A.E. The prologue of “Anvil Gate” is set in Brume, 14 A.E and Prescott welcomes the Gorasni to Vectes in Chapter 1 which is set in Storm, 15 A.E. At the time Prescott calls it “the new year”. That means Storm is either the first or last month of the year, and either “Anvil Gate” or “The Slab” has it wrong. Let’s assume Storm is the first month of the year going forward. Moving on.

Combining the months together leave us with a Seran calendar that looks like this ;

Storm
Gale
Rise
Bloom / Bounty
Reap
Fall
Frost
Brume

There is no way to tell which comes first; Bloom or Bounty. Besides that the rest of the months are not an issue. Let’s look at the dates presented in the other books;

Frost, 14 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapter 1)
Brume, 14 A.E — Anvil Gate (Prologue)
Storm, 15 A.E — Anvil Gate (All present day chapters) & Coalition’s End (Chapters 1-8)
Gale, 15 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 9-19)
Bloom, 15 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 20-23)
Bounty, 15 A.E — Coalition’s End (Epilogue)

Surprisingly simple, it adds confirmation that the order of the months compiled so far is correct as well as telling us that Bloom is before Bounty. “Jacinto’s Remnant” introduces a new month, Thaw, which is between Frost and Brume, but beyond this it neglects to use months to tell us when events are happening. Chapter 20 of “Coalition’s End” is also 3 months after Chapter 19, which was set in Gale. This means there is another month set somewhere between Gale and Bloom that we don’t have on our calendar. Our new calendar looks like this;

Storm
Gale
Rise / “Super Secret Mystery Month”
Bloom
Bounty
Reap
Fall
Frost
Thaw
Brume

Let’s add “Dirty Little Secrets” into the mix, since that takes place in the same time period. For most of the series we aren’t given any months to work with, only units of time, as with “Jacinto’s Remnant”. By combining that with what we have from the books we can piece together the following timeline;

Frost 2, 14 A.E - Sinking of Jacinto (Dirty Little Secrets Part One)
One week after evacuating Jacinto - Port Farrall settled (Jacinto’s Remnant Chapter 4)
Six weeks after evacuating Jacinto - Vectes chosen as possible settlement site (Jacinto’s Remnant Chapter 7)
Seven weeks after evacuating Jacinto - Recon to Vectes (Jacinto’s Remnant Chapter 10)
Eight weeks after evacuating Jacinto - Vectes settled (Dirty Little Secrets Part Two)
Nine weeks after evacuating Jacinto - Harvest sunk by Lambent (Jacinto’s Remnant Chapter 14 / Dirty Little Secrets Part Two)
Ten weeks after evacuating Jacinto - Gorasni propose alliance (Jacinto’s Remnant Chapter 17)
Fourteen weeks after evacuating Jacinto - Stranded raid on Jonty’s farm (Jacinto’s Remnant Chapter 18)
Two months after Harvest sunk - After a Lambent encounter, Prescott asks for more samples (Dirty Little Secrets Part Three)
A few weeks later: Gale, 15 A.E - Bernie delivers Lambent Dog specimen to Prescott (Dirty Little Secret Part Three)
Three months after Prescott’s departure: Bloom, 15 A.E - Hoffman departs for Anvil Gate (Dirty Little Secrets Part Four)
Bounty, 15 A.E - Radio contact lost with Anvil Gate (Coalition’s End Epilogue)
Two months after Hoffman’s departure - Radio contact lost with Anvil Gate. Lambent attack on Gerrenhalt (Dirty Little Secrets Part Four)
Five months after evacuating Vectes - Dizzy, Pad and Rossi meet the Stranded at Anvil Gate (Dirty Little Secrets Part Five)
Three weeks later: Early Thaw - Bernie, Pad and Rossi encounter Locust at Anvil Gate (Dirty Little Secrets Part Five)

We can work out a few things from this. First, the Gorasni arrive on Vectes in Storm which is one month after the COG/UIR alliance. This means that events 1-4 weeks after sinking Jacinto occur in Frost, events 5-8 weeks later occur in Thaw, events 9-12 weeks later occur in Brume, and events 13-16 weeks later occur in Storm of the new year. Second, the first section of “Dirty Little Secrets Part Five” takes place five months after Bloom, and three weeks before Thaw. This places it in Frost, which means there are five months between Bloom and Frost. Radio contact is also lost in Bounty, which is two months after Bloom. This necessitates the introduction of a second mystery month between Bloom and Bounty. The next iteration of our calendar looks like this;

Storm
Gale
Rise / “Super Secret Mystery Month 1”
Bloom
“Super Secret Mystery Month 2”
Bounty
Reap
Fall
Frost
Thaw
Brume

Luckily the Centennial Bridge collectible in Gears of War 3 introduces two additional months - Heat and Harvest. Looking at the naming conventions of the calendar so far, Heat is more likely to be “Super Mystery Month 1” with Harvest taking its place as “Super Secret Mystery Month 2”.

Hooray! We now have a twelve month, almost kinda semi-functional calendar. Except, unfortunately, the whole thing falls apart as soon as you try to apply it to the games. To illustrate;

  1. Gears of War 2 occurs six months after Gears of War. “The Slab” tells us Gears of War takes place in Gale. “Jacinto’s Remnant” and “Dirty Little Secrets” tell us Gears of War 2 takes place in Frost. Problem: when Heat and Harvest are added to the calendar, eight months now take place between Gears of War and Gears of War 2, not six.
  2. Gears of War 3 is described often in the media as taking place 18 months after Gears of War 2. 18 months after Gears of War 2, according to our calendar, would place Gears of War 3 during “Super Mystery Month 1”, or Heat 16 A.E. Sounds about right, the game is supposed to be set in summer after all, except we are in 16 A.E, not 17 A.E like we’re supposed to be. “Dirty Little Secrets Part Six” is also set nearly 2 years after the fall of the COG which occurred in Bloom 15 A.E which would put the time frame as Summer 17 A.E. Problem: Gears of War 3 itself says that it occurs 2 years after the sinking of Jacinto, and 18 months after Prescott’s departure. This means the game takes place during or just before Frost 16 A.E, which is not summer-like at all and is still set in the wrong year.

Solutions;

  1. Set Gears of War 2 eight months after Gears of War, not six.
  2. Set Gears of War 3 two years after the COG disbanded, not eighteen months or two years after the sinking of Jacinto, and not eighteen months after Prescott’s departure. This is the only way the game can take place in Summer, and also in 17 A.E as per the timeline in “The Slab”.

So the closest thing we have to a functioning calendar looks like this;

Spring - Storm
Spring - Gale
Summer - Rise / Heat
Summer - Bloom
Autumn - Harvest
Autumn - Bounty
Autumn - Reap
Winter - Fall
Winter - Frost
Winter - Thaw
Spring - Brume

And the only way it works is to move where the games are supposed to take place and, in the case of Gears of War 3 at least, ignore some of the dialogue. Isn’t it nice when things are simple? Next step is to go through Gears of War 2 and see if they specifically mention being set six months after Gears of War. If nothing in the game mentions it, I can sleep a little bit happier at night."

Let me know if you update it as i messaged Jovues with no reply.

3 Likes

Thanks for that.

Seems like me and Joveus ended up with quite similar calendars, but now looking at it, I see that there are some contradictions among some novels, and some between novels and comics as well collectibles from gears 3.

Something I did different from Joveus is that I put each month having either 3 or 3.5 weeks, which in Sera each week got 10 days, so when we see “4 weeks later” in a novel or comic it must be more than month, I don’t know if Karen was informed of this or not. Joveus puts events during 5-8 weeks after Gears 2 in Thaw, but from Gears J. we know that Thaw only got 30 days(3 weeks) and in Book 3 that Brume got 35 days(3.5 week). The events on Book 2 took more than 3 months as in Sera the weeks are longer.

Besides that there must be more than 12 months, since in book 4 a character says 3 years on sera are around 1372 days, more or less. A year must have more than 400 days.

My current calendar (it’s stil in the progress of making) is this:

Storm (30 days/3weeks)
2nd month (35 days/3.5 weeks)
Gale (30 days/3weeks)
Rise (35 days/3.5 weeks)
Heat (30 days/3weeks)
Bloom (35 days/3.5 weeks)
Bounty (30 days/3weeks)
Reap(35 days/3.5 weeks)
Fall (30 days/3weeks)
Frost (35 days/3.5 weeks)
11nd month (30 days/3weeks)
12nd month (35 days/3.5 weeks)
Thaw (30 days/3weeks)
Brume (35 days/3.5 weeks)

Now on why I made it like this, here is the info I got from each piece of the series.:

Gears 1 – book 5 puts this on gale

Gears 2 – around 6 months after gears 1, on 1-2nd of frost so frost is around 6 months after gale.

Gears 3 – bridge collectible says the month heat comes before harvest(I believe harvest is just another name for the month bounty, tomatos collectible of gears 3 make it seems that way) –

Other collectible: 29th of bounty 15 AE : contact with Hoffman haven’t been lost yet but the captain believe it will soon, Hoffman left for Anvil gate on bloom, contact was lost 2 months later, bounty must be right after bloom, contact was lost in the month after bounty.

Gears j – old pendulum war calendar of thaw have 3 weeks of 10 days.

Book 1 – Takes place one week after gears 1, can be either on gale or next month depending which day gears 1 takes place. Dom says thaw comes after frost - aspho fields battle takes place on 15th of brume(last month of year), said to be 2 years and 3 months before E-day, contradicts that Bloom is a month after E-day(look Book2), Bloom is at least the 5th month of the year, “E-month” was at least the 4th month. Brume is the last month. That would be at least 2 years and 4 months between the dates.

Dom daughter is born on brume – awards 5 weeks later: on next year on Storm

Book 2 – starts on 2nd frost, delta goes to vectes 7 weeks later, uir is found 10 weeks later, book ends ends 14 weeks later close to end of the year.

Month of bloom 1.AE. – 2 months after Prescott becomes chairman, 1 year and 1 month after E-day. E-day took place in the month before bloom. Prescott decides to deploy the hammer, announcement is made on 30th of bloom, after 3 days of evacuation the hammer strikes.

Book 3 – prologue on brume(last month of year?) 14.AE. Chapter 1 on Storm 15.AE New year – Dom says they have been on vectes for a few months(3-4?)before pg50

Anvil gate conflict starts on Rise – beginning of summer(characters complain about the heat), Hoffman had already been there for 3 months, ends 3 months after Rise

Book 4 – starts on late storm – pg 57: Baird says he have been in Delta for 18 months = error? It still haven’t been 1 year since he met delta on gears 1.

– Prescott leaves on gale – 3 months later is bloom and vectes is evacuated, group separates – end of cog.

Book5 – first 3 chapters on order: reap – fall –frost(marcus leaves his post, adam goes to azura) 10.AE - marcus goes to prison on brume 10 AE - Leaves prison on gale 14. AE

Hollow – 2 months after gears 1

Barren – 4 months after gears 1

Dirty little secrets 1 – 2nd frost 14 AE

Dirty little secrets 3 – A little over 2 months after the lambent appear Prescoot leaves, gale is 2 months after storm(?)

Dirty little secrets 4 – communication with Hoffman are lost 2 months after departure. 2 months after bloom.

Dirty little secrets 5 - 5 months after bloom

Dirty little secrets 6 – Pg 1: almost a year after cog’s end. Pg9: 1 month later the locust invade azura Prescott leaves to find Marcus. I think this and thus Gears 3 takes place either in Heat or Bloom. Since it’s suppose to in middle of summer, I think it’s heat.

Of course the calendar is just my personal take on the events, trying to make to most sense of it despite contradictions. Even Joveus was forced to change a few thing to make it fit together.

I noticed one mistake which couldnt have been known i beleive till Gears 4. On the map War machine near the turret it mentions that Raams shadow took place at 9 AE yet Joveus had it listed as 10 AE.

Oh yes, in my timeline document I put it on 9 AE, it’s on the gears wiki as well, it fits since it was a little after operation lifeboat. At 10 AE during Book 5, Jace was already a gear in the same squad as Marcus, Dom and Tai. In RAAM Shadow he is like 17-18 years old(?) and haven’t joined the Cog yet. I believe Raam Shadow happened early in the 9 AE year, so that gives a little over a year for Jace to join the gears, go through the training and join Marcus’s squad.

Great i also noticed that if it was updated you could add the Gears 4 prologue into the earlier timeline too. If you get that document mostly done or better than Joveus could you let me have a look?

I havent actually read the books yets but im saving the books and comics to play and read it in a good order. The plan is to read the necessary books that relate to each game, i can use this to look for things and better understand it all in game too.

Ive already played the games to death but ill be doing it all before Gears 5, alongside that ill be playing with my bro who wont read anything so i can use this opportunity to explain info outside the game he wouldnt know as we play all of them.

Some of the Gears 4 stuff was already added to it. The first part of the prologue with Dom is on book 1.

The document will take a while… I’m not just setting the dates for all the events, I put that then I try to describe in detail how the event happened, most of the stuff I’m taking from Gears wiki(thanks for the guys over there), but the other stuff I have to write it down.

It’s already over 150 pages, but the dates from more old stuff like, when imulsion was discovered until the time where they found out how to use, then the creation of the Cog and the new hope facility… some of those periods is where I see them set, I’m kind of making my own take on it. It’s not like a official timeline.

But I will make a summarized version later on and make it available.

hey, so you gonna update this thread, maybe just copy it and make a new post. but updated with the new material. WHenever any new Gears material eventually comes out just keep updating the thread, Unlike Halo, I doubt we’ll get a landslide of new material anytime soon.

1 Like

Will need to add Ascendance, Hivebusters, Gears 5 and Bloodlines soon.

You know the order they go in? If not I’ll help. I’ve recently been going through this list with the new material, I recommend Rise of Raam comic placed after the Promise Me comic, then Gears 4 Prologue E-day, followed then by the novel. For Gears 4 and 5 era, It goes:
Gears 4
Ascendence
Gears 5 act 1
Blood lines, Kait sections
Hive busters comics, (I think this because at the end of Bloodlines Hoffman makes mention of a project he might start up. I think this project becomes the Hivebusters program.)

Then Gears 5 Act 2 and onward.

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Pretty sure @Joveus is done with the series.

Hope someone takes up the mantle and carries on.

It’s a thankless job, but there are people who appreciate it.

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Yep that fits. Not sure when exactly Gabe’s Battle of Knifespire occurs, unless I missed a date in the book.

Joveus is just one of those nebulous forum members, like someone you hear a lot about but rarely see on the forums themselves, and for some reason I find myself giving a lot of respect to, (although projects like this give some sense of reasoning why I respect such a mad lad).

But there’s a few forum members (like Stoic) that are far and few between but some of the greatest forum members whenever I see them actually posting on this site. Especially when contrasted to the hundreds of rage threads and sh&t posts by myself and others.

It’s a breath of fresh air around here and my whole point at the end of this ramble–good on y’all.

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ok, so the Gabe Diaz flashback can be placed just before the Promise Me comic. because Gears were spreading the idea of “no 80” meaning they didn’t want an 80th year of the war, and Promise Me comic is where the COG finally finished building the Hammer Of Dawn and test fired it on a UIR fleet, This then brought the UIR to the table to negotiate peace. I’d recommend you get the novels as audiobooks and give this a listen. So are you going to post these updates? I mean you just have to copy the original post and just add the new stuff in.

Funny enough I first finished Bloodlines as an audiobook. McNamara does great.

sorry.

@Zamaron1 It’s all good, had some fun doing this anyway.
I took some liberties to edit and add some of the additional comments and descriptions. Let me know if this needs fixing.

May 2020 Update:

The original by @Joveus.

https://gearsofwar.com/en-us/forums/2f1e5822627642e6955a08426ab80570/threads/gears-of-war-timeline-playing-and-reading-order-guide-for-games-books-and-comics/d3bba7e7-49b7-45ff-9552-b8a2cd3e51aa/posts

Welcome to my playing / reading order timeline and guide for Gears of War. Perhaps you are looking to explore the narrative beyond the games, but don’t know where to start. Perhaps you want to play and read through the entire series chronologically, but cannot quite remember how everything fits together.

This thread is designed to provide information on the order, release dates, and chronology of the Gears of War games, books and comics.

For ease of navigation behold this mighty contents system I have created. Expect lists. Many lists.

[001] Frequently Asked Questions
[002] Games - Release order
[003] Games - Chronological order
[004] Books - Release order
[005] Books - Chronological order
[006] Comics - Individual issues release order
[007] Comics - Graphic Novels release order
[008] Comics - Chronological order
[009] Games + Books + Comics - Chronological order
[010] Games + Books + Comics - Recommended playing & reading order

====================================================================

[001] Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Where does [insert game / book / comic here] fit in the timeline?
A. Sections [003], [005] and [008] split the individual parts of the games, books and comics into chronological order. Section [009] combines these three smaller sections into one.

Q. Where can I get information on [insert game / book / comic name here]?
A. The titles of each game, book and comic in sections [002], [004] and [006] provide links to the Gears of War Wiki, where you can find more information on their contents.

Q. What do the dates before the names of games, books and comics mean?
A. Sections [002], [004], [006] and [010] organize the series by release order using the Julian calendar. Sections [003], [005], [008] and [009] are arranged chronologically using the (fictional) Seran calendar. Year 0 was Emergence Day. Working into the past from there uses the acronym B.E (Before Emergence) and moving to the future from there uses the acronym A.E (After Emergence).

Q. Who wrote [insert game here]?
A. The lead writer for Gears of War was Eric Nylund. Gears of War 2 had Joshua Ortega. Gears of War had Karen Traviss. The RAAM’s Shadow DLC was Joshua Ortega again. Judgment was co-written by Tom Bissell and Rob Auten. Gears of War 4 and Gears 5 were also written by Tom Bissell.

Q. How many Gears of War books are there?
A. There are currently eight books. The first five were written by Karen Traviss, the sixth by Rob Auten. The 7th and 8th were written by Jason M. Hough.

Q. How many Gears of War comics are there?
A. There are 24 numbered issues and one unnumbered issue, collected into three volumes originally published by DC Comics. Issues #01 to #14 were written by Joshua Ortega. Issues #15 to #24 were written by Karen Traviss. IDW would later republish those comics into 2 volumes known as Gears of War Omnibus Vol. 1 and 2. IDW would also later publish Gears of War: The Rise of RAAM and Gears of War: Hivebusters, both written by Kurtis J. Wiebe. See section [007] to see which comics are contained in which volume.

Q. Haven’t I seen something like this before? Maybe on the Epic forums?
A. Probably. There have been a few different threads that take this idea to varying extremes. The different sections are designed to help people with vastly differing Gears knowledge, from the novice to the expert.

====================================================================

[002] Games – Release order

Nov 7, 2006 — Gears of War
Nov 7, 2008 — Gears of War 2
Jul 28, 2009 — Gears of War 2 - Road to Ruin
Sep 20, 2011 — Gears of War 3
Dec 13, 2011 — Gears of War 3 - RAAM’s Shadow
Mar 19, 2013 — Judgment (+ Aftermath )
Aug 25, 2015 — Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
Oct 21, 2016 — Gears of War 4
Sep 6. 2019 — Gears 5
Apr 28, 2020 — Gears Tactics

There are currently 7 retail Gears of War games in the series, excluding variations of the original Gears of War which has four different versions available for console and PC. The first three games were released chronologically. Road to Ruin, part of the Dark Corners DLC for Gears of War 2, is a deleted scene taking place during Act 4. RAAM’s Shadow, DLC for Gears of War 3, is stated in-game to take place “Shortly after E-Day”. However, because of elements present throughout the other books and comics, the story can only really take place between 9 A.E and 10 A.E without causing consistency problems. Gears of War: Judgment is a prequel to the trilogy set three months after Emergence Day, but the game includes a final Act called Aftermath that takes place concurrently with Act 4 of Gears of War 3. Gears of War 4 is currently stated to take place twenty-five years after Gears of War 3, placing it at 42 A.E. Gears 5 takes place shortly after the events of Gears of War 4 (less than 2 weeks) and spans across 4 months, still remaining at 42 A.E until new information arrives. Gears Tactics is a turn-based strategy game taking place 12 years before the first Gears of War, placing it at 2 A.E. respectively.

====================================================================

[003] Games – Chronological order

0 A.E — Judgment
2 A.E. — Gears Tactics
10 A.E — Gears of War 3 – RAAM’s Shadow
14 A.E — Gears of War / Ultimate Edition
14 A.E — Gears of War 2 (+ Road to Ruin)
17 A.E — Gears of War 3 (+ Judgment – Aftermath)
42 A.E — Gears of War 4
42 A.E — Gears 5

Rearranging the games chronologically leaves the series looking like this. Simple enough to play, with the exception of interrupting Act 4 of Gears of War 2 to play the Road to Ruin DLC, and switching Gears of War 3 for Judgment when reaching Act 4 to play the Aftermath chapter. The Ultimate Edition of Gears of War includes five additional campaign chapters in Act 5, originally featured in the PC port.

====================================================================

[004] Books – Release order

Oct 28, 2008 — Aspho Fields
Jul 28, 2009 — Jacinto’s Remnant
Aug 31, 2010 — Anvil Gate
Aug 2, 2011 — Coalition’s End
May 1, 2012 — The Slab
Mar 4, 2014 — Kilo Squad: The Survivor’s Log
Jul 20, 2019 - Ascendance
Apr 21, 2020 - Bloodlines

There are currently eight books in the Gears of War novel series. The first five are traditional third-person prose, the sixth is a first-person diary / art book that takes place in parallel with Gears of War: Judgment. Each of the first four books contains within the story a secondary narrative exploring a different important historical event in the world of Sera. In essence the first four books tell two stories; one in the present and one in the past. The Slab is unique among the first five books for presenting a dual narrative spanning five years. Ascendance serves as a bridge between Gears of War 4 and Gears 5. Bloodlines covers two stories in different eras: Kait and her missions during the 4 month gap in Gears 5, and Gears Tactics’ lead Gabe Diaz and his mission near the end of the Pendulum Wars.

====================================================================

[005] Books – Chronological order

17 B.E — Anvil Gate (Chapters 5, 8, 11, 13, 17 & 19)
12-9 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapter 3)
4 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapter 5)
3 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapters 6 & 7)
2 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapters 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 & 19)
1 B.E — Bloodlines (Act 2)
0 B.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 4, 7 & 11 (Cole segment))
0 A.E — Kilo Squad: The Survivor’s Log
0 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 11 (Dizzy and Bernie segments))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapters 3, 6, 9 (1st Dom segment))
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 14 (1st Dizzy segment))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapter 9 (Hoffman and 2nd Dom segments))
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 14 (Cole segment))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapter 13)
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 14 (2nd Dizzy segment))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapter 15)
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 17)
9 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 20)
10 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6)
11 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 7, 8 & 9)
12 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 10, 11 & 12)
13 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 13, 14 & 15)
14 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 16, 17 & 18)
14 A.E — Aspho Fields (Chapters 1, 2, 4, 8, 11, 14, 18 & 20)
14 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapters 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17 & 18)
15 A.E — Anvil Gate (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18 & 20)
15 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22 & 23)
42 A.E — Ascendance
42 A.E — Bloodlines (Acts 1, 3)

Things begin to look a little bit messy here, but in truth it isn’t too bad. For the most part the past stories of the books do not overlap, with the exception of Kilo Squad: The Survivor’s Log which takes place midway through Chapter 11 of Coalition’s End, and Chapter 14 of Coalition’s End which takes place concurrently with Chapters 9 and 13 of Jacinto’s Remnant.

====================================================================

[006] Comics – Individual issue release order

Oct 8, 2008 — #01 - Hollow Part One
Jan 1, 2009 — #02 - Hollow Part Two
Feb 1, 2009 — #03 - Hollow Part Three
Feb 11, 2009 — #04 - Hollow Part Four
Mar 25, 2009 — #05 - Hollow Part Five
Apr 29, 2009 — #06 - Hollow Part Six
May 20, 2009 — #07 - The Quickening
Jun 7, 2009 — #— - One Day
Jul 1, 2009 — #08 - Harper’s Story
Jul 22, 2009 — #09 - Barren Part One
Nov 4, 2009 — #10 - Barren Part Two
Jan 20, 2010 — #11 - Barren Part Three
Jun 30, 2010 — #12 - Barren Part Four
Aug 11, 2010 — #13 - Barren Part Five
Oct 27, 2010 — #14 - Midnight
Dec 29, 2010 — #15 - They Also Serve
Mar 16, 2011 — #16 - Unseen
Jun 15, 2011 — #17 - Unsaid
Jul 27, 2011 — #18 - Promise Me
Aug 24, 2011 — #19 - Dirty Little Secrets
Oct 26, 2011 — #20 - Dirty Little Secrets Part Two - Never Forgive, Never Forget
Dec 28, 2011 — #21 - Dirty Little Secrets Part Three - Need to Know
Feb 29, 2012 — #22 - Dirty Little Secrets Part Four - Diaspora
Apr 25, 2012 — #23 - Dirty Little Secrets Part Five - Keyhole
Jun 27, 2012 — #24 - Dirty Little Secrets Part Six - No Hiding Place
Jan 24, 2018 — The Rise of RAAM Part One
Feb 21, 2018 — The Rise of RAAM Part Two
Mar 21, 2018 — The Rise of RAAM Part Three
Apr 11, 2018 — The Rise of RAAM Part Four
May 8, 2019 — Gears of War: Hivebusters Part One
Oct 2, 2019 — Gears of War: Hivebusters Part Two*
Nov 6, 2019 — Gears of War: Hivebusters Part Three*
Jan 15, 2020 — Gears of War: Hivebusters Part Four*
Mar 25, 2020 — Gears of War: Hivebusters Part Five*

The Gears of War comic series covered twenty-four issues before it ended and these were collected into three graphic novel volumes. The unnumbered issue “One Day” was originally included in the Gears of War: Sourcebook before being collected together with the Hollow story arc in Book One. Issues #16, #15, #17, #18 and #08 were included as unlockables in Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. IDW then published two Omnibus volumes containing the original 24 issues.

Later came the Rise of Raam prequel series and the current Hivebuster series.

Fandom pages pending*

====================================================================

[007] Comics – Graphic Novel collection order

Oct 21, 2009 — Book One
14 A.E — #01 – Hollow Part One
14 A.E — #02 – Hollow Part Two
14 A.E — #03 – Hollow Part Three
14 A.E — #04 – Hollow Part Four
14 A.E — #05 – Hollow Part Five
14 A.E — #06 – Hollow Part Six
14 A.E — #— – One Day

Feb 16, 2011 — Book Two
14 A.E — #09 – Barren #1
14 A.E — #10 – Barren #2
14 A.E — #11 – Barren #3
14 A.E — #12 – Barren #4
14 A.E — #13 – Barren #5
14 A.E — #07 – The Quickening
14 A.E — #08 – Harper’s Story

Jan 9, 2013 — Book Three
14 A.E — #19 – Dirty Little Secrets
14 A.E — #20 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Two – Never Forgive, Never Forget
15 A.E — #21 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Three– Need to Know
15 A.E — #22 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Four – Diaspora
15 A.E — #23 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Five – Keyhole
17 A.E — #24 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Six – No Hiding Place
14 A.E — #14 – Midnight
17 B.E — #15 – They Also Serve
17 B.E — #16 – Unseen
4 B.E — #17 – Unsaid
0 B.E — #18 – Promise Me

Dec 18-19, 2018 — Gears of War Omnibus Vol. 1 / Gears of War Omnibus Vol. 2

  • Omnibus 1 includes Issues #1-13
  • Omnibus 2 includes Issues #14-24

Jun 26, 2018 — Gears of War: The Rise of RAAM
0 B.E/E-Day — The Rise of RAAM

Chronologically, the first two books have collected issues #01 to #13 correctly. While #07 and #08 are presented after the Barren arc, these stories do take place later and run concurrently with the events of Gears of War 2. Book Three is all over the place with it’s issue placement. #14 takes place between #13 and #07, and should have been included with Book Two. The four Pendulum War issues are also placed at the end of the collection, despite having been published and taking place before the Dirty Little Secrets arc.
The Omnibus volumes also include each of the original 24 issues by their release order.

====================================================================

[008] Comics – Chronological order

17 B.E — #15 – They Also Serve
17 B.E — #16 – Unseen
4 B.E — #17 – Unsaid
0 B.E — #18 – Promise Me
0 B.E — The Rise of RAAM
14 A.E — #01 – Hollow Part One
14 A.E — #02 – Hollow Part Two
14 A.E — #03 – Hollow Part Three
14 A.E — #04 – Hollow Part Four
14 A.E — #05 – Hollow Part Five
14 A.E — #06 – Hollow Part Six
14 A.E — #— – One Day
14 A.E — #09 – Barren Part One
14 A.E — #10 – Barren Part Two
14 A.E — #11 – Barren Part Three
14 A.E — #12 – Barren Part Four
14 A.E — #13 – Barren Part Five
14 A.E — #14 – Midnight
14 A.E — #07 – The Quickening
14 A.E — #08 – Harper’s Story
14 A.E — #19 – Dirty Little Secrets
14 A.E — #20 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Two – Never Forgive, Never Forget
15 A.E — #21 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Three – Need to Know
15 A.E — #22 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Four – Diaspora
15 A.E — #23 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Five – Keyhole
17 A.E — #24 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Six – No Hiding Place
42 A.E — Hivebusters

#— “One Day”, #07 “The Quickening” and #14 “Midnight” are unique among the comics for presenting a frame narrative and including a flashback. For #— “One Day” this flashback takes place in 0 A.E, on E-Day, after issue #18. For #07 “The Quickening” this takes place in 4 B.E after issue #17 and for #14 “Midnight” Jace’s story takes place in the year 14 A.E between issues #18 and #01. #08 Harper’s Story begins before #01 and runs concurrently with the Hollow and Barren arcs.
The Rise of RAAM takes place shortly before and during Emergence Day.
Hivebusters takes place during the events of Gears 5, during Act 2.

====================================================================

[009] Games + Books + Comics chronological order

17 B.E — Anvil Gate (Chapters 5, 8, 11, 13 & 17)
17 B.E — #15 – They Also Serve
17 B.E — Anvil Gate (Chapter 19)
17 B.E — #16 – Unseen
12-9 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapter 3)
4 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapter 5)
4 B.E — #17 – Unsaid
3 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapters 6 & 7)
2 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapters 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17)
2 B.E — Gears of War 4 (Asphodel Prologue)
2 B.E — Aspho Fields (Chapter 19)
1 B.E — Bloodlines (Act 2)
0 B.E — #18 – Promise Me
0 B.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 4, 7 & 11 (Cole segment))
0 B.E — The Rise of RAAM
0 A.E — Judgment / Kilo Squad: The Survivor’s Log
0 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 11 (Dizzy and Bernie segments))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapters 3, 6, 9 (1st Dom segment))
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 14 (1st Dizzy segment))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapter 9 (Hoffman and 2nd Dom segments))
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 14 (Cole segment))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapter 13)
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 14 (2nd Dizzy segment))
1 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapter 15)
1 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 17)
2 A.E — Gears Tactics
9 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapter 20)
10 A.E — Gears of War 3 – RAAM’s Shadow
10 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6)
11 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 7, 8 & 9)
12 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 10, 11 & 12)
13 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 13, 14 & 15)
14 A.E — The Slab (Chapters 16, 17 & 18)
14 A.E — Gears of War
14 A.E — Aspho Fields (Chapters 1, 2, 4, 8, 11, 14, 18 & 20)
14 A.E — #01 – Hollow Part One
14 A.E — #02 – Hollow Part Two
14 A.E — #03 – Hollow Part Three
14 A.E — #04 – Hollow Part Four
14 A.E — #05 – Hollow Part Five
14 A.E — #06 – Hollow Part Six
14 A.E — #— – One Day
14 A.E — #09 – Barren Part One
14 A.E — #10 – Barren Part Two
14 A.E — #11 – Barren Part Three
14 A.E — #12 – Barren Part Four
14 A.E — #13 – Barren Part Five
14 A.E — #14 – Midnight
14 A.E — Gears of War 2 (+ Road to Ruin) / #07 – The Quickening / #08 – Harper’s Story
14 A.E — #19 – Dirty Little Secrets
14 A.E — Jacinto’s Remnant (Chapters 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17 & 18)
15 A.E — Anvil Gate (Chapters 1, 2 & 3)
14 A.E — #20 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Two – Never Forgive, Never Forget
15 A.E — Anvil Gate (Chapters 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18 & 20)
15 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18 & 19)
15 A.E — #21 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Three – Need to Know
15 A.E — Coalition’s End (Chapters 21, 22 & 23)
15 A.E — #22 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Four – Diaspora
15 A.E — #23 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Five – Keyhole
17 A.E — #24 – Dirty Little Secrets Part Six – No Hiding Place
17 A.E — Gears of War 3 / Judgment – Aftermath
17 A.E — Gears of War 4 (Anvil Gate Prologue)
42 A.E — Gears of War 4
42 A.E — Ascendance
42 A.E — Gears 5 (Act 1)
42 A.E — Bloodlines (Acts 1, 3)
42 A.E — Hivebusters
42 A.E — Gears 5 (Act 2-4)

Kilo Squad: The Survivor’s Log starts shortly after E-Day, runs concurrently with Coalition’s End Chapter 11 (Cole segment), continues through the events of Gears of War: Judgment and ends before Coalition’s End Chapter 11 (Dizzy segment). Comic issues #07 “The Quickening” and #08 “Harper’s Story” take place concurrently with Gears of War 2. The first four parts of “Dirty Little Secrets” run concurrently with the events of “Jacinto’s Remnant”, “Anvil Gate” and “Coalition’s End”.

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[010] Games + Books + Comics – Recommended playing & reading order

Jun 26, 2018 — Gears of War: The Rise of RAAM
Aug 25, 2015 — Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
Oct 28, 2008 — Aspho Fields
Oct 21, 2009 — Book One (Hollow & One Day )
Feb 16, 2011 — Book Two (Barren , The Quickening & Harper’s Story )
Nov 7, 2008 — Gears of War 2 (+ Road to Ruin )
Jul 28, 2009 — Jacinto’s Remnant
Aug 31, 2010 — Anvil Gate
Aug 2, 2011 — Coalition’s End
Sep 20, 2011 — Gears of War 3 (+ RAAM’s Shadow )
May 1, 2012 — The Slab
Jan 9, 2013 — Book Three (Dirty Little Secrets , Midnight , They Also Serve , Unseen , Unsaid & Promise Me )
Mar 19, 2013 — Judgment (+ Aftermath )
Mar 4, 2014 — Kilo Squad: The Survivor’s Log
Oct 21, 2016 — Gears of War 4
Jul 20, 2019 - Ascendance
Sep 6. 2019 — Gears 5
Apr 21, 2020 - Bloodlines
Apr 28, 2020 — Gears Tactics
May 8, 2019 — Hivebusters

So after seeing how complicated the series chronology can be, with the events of the games, books and comics often overlapping or jumping across 34 years of history, where do you start? This is my personal recommended order for someone who is new to the series, or someone who has only played the games and is looking to try the books and comics. You may notice this list is neither ordered by release date or chronology, but it does present the easiest way to enjoy the story to its fullest. It does come with a few notes worth mentioning, however;

  1. The Ultimate Edition of Gears of War has been included here instead of the original, as it includes additional campaign content.
  2. While most of Book Two takes place before Gears of War 2, “The Quickening” and “Harper’s Story” may be considered spoilers if read before playing the game.
  3. The Slab takes place before Gears of War, but reveals important plot points that would quickly spoil the series for anybody who is looking to explore the mysteries.
  4. Book Three is also placed after Gears of War 3 for the same reason. “Dirty Little Secrets” would spoil the game if read first, despite taking place before it.
  5. Judgment and “The Survivor’s Log” take place shortly after E-Day, but the presence of Aftermath would make Judgment a confusing place to start for a novice.

Comments and queries are always welcome.

ok, pretty good, but I’d place Rise of Raam before that Cole E-day section, the comic is a really good intro to the Locust’s motivations for invading but pretty much end right with Raam leading the invasion. And I think place Hivebusters before Gear’s 5 Act 2, or before Act 3 in Vasgar. I’ll take a closer look at the comic, but for now just place it before Act 2. And maybe add the Gears 4 Prologue sections. Maybe just place the Asphodel Prologue to just before chapter 19 of the novel. E-day part after Rise of Raam, then the Anvil Gate part after Gears 3. Thanks for updating this,

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The wiki seems to have the events of tactics listed aa 1.A.E

This image kind of implies the same