George R.R. Martin: A Lifelong Storyteller

In a recent interview with WTTW News, Martin reflected on writing stories during his childhood and offered his thoughts on continuing the ‘ASOIAF’ series.

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Earlier this month, eminent fantasy writer George R.R. Martin was awarded an honorary doctorate at his alma mater: Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

The A Song of Ice and Fire author graduated from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1970 and returned to pursue his master’s in 1971, according to his profile on Biography. In a recent interview with WTTW News, Martin reflected on writing stories during his childhood and offered his thoughts on continuing the ASOIAF series.

Martin told WTTW, “It’s all been very gratifying,” adding that although it does “startle” him to think about how much time has passed since graduating (half a century), it is still “particularly nice to get an honor like this from Northwestern.”

Over the past five decades, Martin has solidified his place in the world of unforgettable authors. His ASOIAF series was adapted into the epic, eight-season fantasy drama Game of Thrones that was produced by HBO. Several spin-off projects based within the fascinating world of Westeros are currently in the works, including House of the Dragon, set to debut in 2022. Aside from writing novels, Martin also has screenwriter attached to his name.



In the WTTW interview, Martin stated this:

“It changed my life, in mostly good ways – although looking back, I wish I’d stayed ahead of the books…When they began that series, I had four books already in print, and the fifth one came out just as the series was starting … I never thought they would catch up with me, but they did. They caught up with me and passed me! That made it a little strange, because now the show was ahead of me and the show was going in somewhat different directions. I’m still working on the book, but you’ll see my ending when that comes out.”

“The book” refers to Winds of Winter, the sixth installment in the ASOIAF series, which fans have been desperate to read for ten years. The fifth book in the series, A Dance With Dragons, was published in 2011. Fans disappointed and frustrated with the ending of the television series should note that Martin stated the show went “in somewhat different directions” than his books, hinting that maybe the series will not end the same way the show did.

Of course, there is no other information regarding when readers can expect Winds of Winter to be released, or any further details on the spinoff projects. However, Martin is not ready to leave Westeros behind just yet. He said, “I’ve been writing stories about Westeros and the people who live there, the Seven Kingdoms, since 1991… I love telling stories about it, so there’s a lot more stories to tell.”




Martin began honing his talents as a storyteller when he was a child. According to the WTTW article, he wrote, sold, and even performed his stories for the children he grew up with in Bayonne, New Jersey. He’d write the very short stories on notebook paper and sell them for a nickel, acting out the parts.

According to Martin, this business came to a halt after the mothers of these kids complained to Martin’s mother, telling her that their children were beginning to see werewolves in their nightmares. (I wonder what they would think of the White Walkers now!)

To read the full article and watch the accompanying video, click here.