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George R.R. Martin Talks About Why He Kills Off Popular Characters And The Status Of His Next Book

Kevin Blair Kevin Blair
June 6th, 2013 11:16am EDT

George R.R. Martin on the Conan show

Writer George R.R. Martin joined Conan O'Brien on the latter's talk show Wednesday night to discuss the latest episode of HBO series Game of Thrones, which is based on his fantasy novel series "A Song of Ice and Fire."

Martin commented on a YouTube video of fans' reactions to Sunday night's episode, which included the pivotal and shocking "Red Wedding," and discussed why none of his characters are safe. He also gave a status update of the next book in the saga, "The Winds of Winter" -- a 1500 page highly anticipated "gigantic monster" of a novel (seriously George, we're waiting...).

Meeting Martin for the first time, Conan told the author that he's a huge fan of the show and shared his own thoughts about the latest episode.

"My eyeballs melted out of my head!" he said.

"You get us to really care about characters, love them, think that they're central to everything... and then you kill them!" Conan said. "You sick bastard!"

A giggling Martin explained that he likes to write the "unexpected" and likes the "suspense to be real."

"We've all seen the movies where the hero is in trouble -- he's surrounded by 20 people, but you know he's gonna get away 'cause he's the hero." Martin says. "You don't really feel any fear for him.

"I want my readers, and i want viewers to be afraid when my characters are in danger," he adds. "I want them to be afraid to turn the next page because the next character may not survive it."

"You've achieved that," the host replied.

Most of the stars of the show haven't read the source material, some saying they don't have time and others saying that they don't want to know their character's fate so it doesn't affect their acting. Some have even begged him not to kill their character.

Martin said he met with three of the show's stars during the party prior to the season three premiere earlier this year, and found it interesting because he knew their fate.

"I had a moment where I realized they were all dead," he said.

"Actually, one of them knew it, but the other two didn't know it yet... you know, they would know it they'd read the books!"

There was one actress... who, at that same party said, 'Oh, please don't kill me, please don't kill me, I don't want to die -- I love doing this show,'" he shared. "And I know that she, she does die. I felt very, very, very guilty."

Martin also said he's writing the next novel as fast as he can.

"I'm writing very fast because I'm afraid [showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] will catch up with me... It took me, like, six years to do the last book and they [cover a book] a year, so they're moving like a freight train."

Conan also asked Martin if he wrote his talk show, who would he have killed off. Check out the interview below to find out who and why!

 

George R. R. Martin watches fans' reactions to the "Red Wedding":

 

Martin talks about the status of book six...

 

The hilariously nerdy opening to the show...

Game of Thrones

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