Winter is here and the final season of Game of Thrones has finally arrived! While most are clamoring about the first episode (and rightly so), there was also another large event last night in the lead-up to the premiere, interviewed by George R.R. Martin. George R.R. Martin was interviewed on a special segment of 60 Minutes, where he talked in length about the series, his attitude toward killing characters, and his thoughts on the show overtaking his own source material.
To highlight a segment that doubtlessly everyone is curious about from CBS George R.R. Martin talked about his infamous reputation for killing characters. George R.R. Martin noted his reputation for being ‘bloodthirsty’ but thought it was being a little unfair. He noted (technically) that Star Wars or Star Trek kill more characters than he does but the difference comes from those deaths being a statistic, happening to unnamed characters that the audience feels nothing for. So, they become statistics instead of truly affecting the audience, which George R.R. Martin hopes to avert with how he approaches killing off characters.
George R.R. Martin noted he always tries to make his death scenes ‘important’ and ‘unexpected’, both taking the audience by surprise while really making them feel the impact of what happened. On deaths like Ned Stark or the Red Wedding, Martin noted the audience assumed these characters were safe because they were the heroes and the heroes can’t die. On choosing to kill off the assumed main characters, Martin hoped to truly shock the audience and take his series in a direction that other works of fiction simply didn’t go in. However, he revealed writing these scenes wasn’t easy for him, as the characters were so real he felt truly awful when he wrote their deaths. In fact, George R.R. Martin wrote A Storm of Swords around the titular Wedding first because it was so hard for him to truly commit to creating the act itself. We can certainly sympathize, George!
George R.R. Martin further commented that he always planned to have The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring done before the series was over but for whatever reason, it didn’t happen. Martin said it was quite a ‘blow’ when it did happen but went on to say he was very happy with how the television series has adapted his work, considering it immensely faithful and predicting the ending won’t be much different from his own. He did note that of course the series was different but all adaptations differ from their original work, using the example of how Spider-Man has changed across different mediums from Stan Lee’s original superhero.
The most exciting part of the interview (for us, anyway) was when Martin revealed what writing the first chapter was like. He said he was writing another science fiction novel at the time and the first scene of Game of Thrones just came to him. The first scene he put down into words was where the Stark family found the direwolf pups, banging it out over three days. He went on to note that the scene ‘haunted’ him, with its characters seeming so real him. The world sprung forth from ideas he crafted from this scene, such as the concept of the world’s seasons that could go on for years and the kingdom around the North. He went on to flesh out the lineage of the kings and even drew the map that he had a concept of the world.
An excerpt from the full interview with George R.R. Martin can be found below:
Featured Image Via CBS NEWS