Staff Writerrecently sat down with the Man Behind the Throne himself, George R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Fire and Ice, source of the hit T.V. show revelation, Game of Thrones. Over the course of the following ten hours, Martin talked about everything from historical accuracy to redemption of characters (and slaughtering them)!
Inspiration for the Wall.Now don’t get too excited, there is no gigantic wall made of ice protecting us from White Walkers and other such creatures, but the inspiration does come from something real( and much smaller): “I can trace back the inspiration for that to 1981. I was in England visiting a friend, and as we approached the border of England and Scotland, we stopped to see Hadrian's Wall. I stood up there and I tried to imagine what it was like to be a Roman legionary, standing on this wall, looking at these distant hills. It was a very profound feeling. For the Romans at that time, this was the end of civilization; it was the end of the world. We know that there were Scots beyond the hills, but they didn't know that. It could have been any kind of monster. It was the sense of this barrier against dark forces – it planted something in me. But when you write fantasy, everything is bigger and more colorful, so I took the Wall and made it three times as long and 700 feet high, and made it out of ice.” Now whether you love, hate, or just don’t care, all the characters in GoT certainly have a deeper appearance than what is portrayed. Take Jaime Lannister, who pushes Bran Stark down because he saw Jamie and Cersei having sex, justifying his act by saying, “things I do for love” and yet we see a more human side to him when he saves a woman (read: enemy) from rape. “I wanted to explore with Jaime, and with so many of the characters, the whole issue of redemption. When can we be redeemed? Is redemption even possible? I don't have an answer. But when do we forgive people? I don't know the answer, but these are questions worth thinking about. I want there to be a possibility of redemption for us, because we all do terrible things.”
Family Symbols.Can you believe that Martin was skeptical about having dragons in the first place? In my opinion, the season one finale, when Daenerys walks into Drogo’s funeral pyre and later when the dragons are born (CHILLS!) were some of the most crucial scenes. Luckily he admits, “Now that I'm deep into it, I can't imagine the book without the dragons."
Murder of our beloved characters.You would be lying if you said the beheading of Ned Stark did not make you want throw the book/T.V/laptop into the fire. Martin explained why he murdered off some of our favorite characters, “Well, that was my intent. I knew right from the beginning that Ned wasn't going to survive…The protector who was keeping it all together is swept off the board. So that makes it much more suspenseful. Jeopardy is really there.” On the massacre of the “Red Wedding”, he simply said, “The more I write about a character, the more affection I feel . . . even for the worst of them. This doesn’t mean I won’t kill them.” This takes the phrase “Kill your darlings” to a new level. While on the topic of the “Red Wedding”, he mentioned it was extremely hard to write and had skipped over (and finished) “A Storm of Swords” before forcing himself to finish this. Of course, HBO's “Red Wedding” was even worse, with Talisa (who was pregnant with Robb’s child) stabbed in the belly multiple times. Now if you have read the book, or are up to date with the show, you know Joffry dies (good riddance, I say) in the “Purple Wedding.” Many speculations have been made on why the Queen of Thorns may have wanted him dead. Martin cleared up the air on this, too: "Everything she'd heard about him, he was wildly unstable, and he was about to marry her beloved granddaughter. The Queen of Thorns had studied Joffrey well enough that she knew that at some point he would get bored with Margaery, and Margaery would be maltreated, the same way that Sansa had been. Whereas if she removed him then her granddaughter might still get the crown but without all of the danger." What’s with every wedding having a major character death and plot twist? Game of Thrones airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. EDT on HBO.
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