Influential Authors Tackle Big Questions

Last week in Albuquerque, Stephen King sat down with George RR Martin to discuss his new crime drama End of Watch. The two legends covered a wide variety of topics like past work, their writing processes, and TV adaptations.

The event took a more somber tone when Martin asked King if his newest novel was at all inspired by the mass killings of recent American history, invoking the recent tragedy at Orlando as a point of reference. He was referring specifically to the beginning of the book, wherein a man runs down a number of pedestrians with a Mercedes as an act of random violence. In his usual terse Boston rhetoric, King responded by saying of the gunman: “I think that in a lot of cases these acts are perpetrated by people who may put some political icing on the cake but basically they’re just f*****g crazy.” He then very poignantly noted that “we remember the killers long after their victims are forgotten”, as he explained that he thinks many of the lone-wolf perpetrators are “nobodies” looking for some kind of “stardom.”

King also made a point to emphasize the need for stricter gun laws in America, claiming: “As long as anybody who’s got only two wheels on the road can walk into a store and buy a … killing machine like an AR-15 or something, this is just going to go on. It’s really up to us.” King called guns like the one used in Orlando “weapons of mass destruction.”

Image courtesy of Capital Video

Martin seemed to agree, and then began to muse on the nature of evil in their writing, as well as the writing of their fantasy/horror predecessors like JRR Tolkien and HP Lovecraft. On Tolkien, Martin said: “Evil is externalized, it comes from Sauron or Morgoth before it.” But Martin thinks his own exploration of the battle between good and evil is as something “waged within the individual human heart.” He says the same of King’s writing, who responded by saying “Outside evil is a more comforting concept…the idea that the devil made me do it is a way of shucking responsibility”.  

Image courtesy of The Blaze

This is not the first time that the prolific horror master has advocated for gun law reform. He added his voice to the debate in both 2013, after Newtown, and in 2015, after Charleston. King is a gun owner himself, but staunchly opposes the sale of automatic rifles and decries the “proudly closed minds” of some of America’s gun enthusiasts.  

Watch the full interview here

Feaured image courtesy of Litertortura.