Creator: George R. R. Martin
"Don't ask him when it's going to be finished! Don't you know that every time someone asks when [the next A Song of Ice and Fire novel] will be finished, George R. R. Martin kills a Stark!?!"George Raymond Richard Martin
— Jude8098, commenting on Martin's official blog
(born 1948) aka "Evil Santa
", "Fiction's Most Notorious Serial Killer
", or "The Great Bearded Glacier" is an American author and screenwriter. He is most famous for his Fantasy
series A Song of Ice and Fire.
His short story With Morning Comes Mistfall
was nominated for a Nebula Award in 1973. He also wrote numerous Science Fiction
short stories known collectively as "The Thousand Worlds." He has also written political fiction and Horror
In the 1980s, he wrote screenplays for television series, including The Twilight Zone
and Beauty and the Beast
. He often ran into trouble due to failure to consider the reality of how his scripts could actually be filmed within budget, which eventually led him back to books. He is also an editor on the Wild Cards
cycle. His short story Nightfliers
was adapted into a feature film.
In 1996, he published A Game of Thrones,
the first installment in the Door Stopper
Fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire
. The series has been acclaimed by critics, readers, and fellow authors alike. He is currently working on The Winds of Winter,
the sixth book in the series. The rights to a live-action TV series were acquired by HBO and four seasons have aired. Martin himself is credited as the co-executive producer for the series and has been quoted as saying going on set was like walking into a dream and has said in an interview that "my God, they got it right."
Martin is well-known for his cordial relationships with his fans. Some say it detracts from his working pace. He keeps a regular Blog
, titled Not A Blognote
, where he keeps readers up to date on his projects, life, and favorite football teams. He also is a frequent guest at conventions, where he will happily hand out Shrugs Of God
and occasionally invite some fans to private dinners. However, he is firmly opposed to Fan Fiction
of his works, as he feels it weakens his copyrights and is bad practice for aspiring writers. Fan-Art
, however, is acceptable.
There is a great deal of controversy over his writing schedule (or lack thereof), particularly the long gap between A Feast for Crows
and A Dance with Dragons
, leading to a Broken Base
of those that felt he should finish the damn books already and those that felt the quality is well worth the wait. Neil Gaiman
himself has chimed in on the issue
, summing it up as "George R.R. Martin is not your bitch." Whether or not the completion of Winter
will heal the breach in the base probably depends on the quality of the book and how long the next one takes. Some other fans worry about possible Author Existence Failure
causing an Orphaned Series
, as Martin has said in the past that in the event he dies before finishing the story, he has left instructions that all his notes and any unpublished manuscripts be destroyed. However, it is now known that in the event of his death, the story will be concluded on Game of Thrones
Very definitely One of Us
. You can see the fan-mail he wrote to Stan Lee
when he was sixteen here
A word of warning: don't tell him to write faster and for God's sake don't sing a song about it
Also not to be confused with Beatles
producer Sir George Martin.
- A Song for Lya
- Night of the Vampyres (1975)
- The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr (1976) (Roger Zelazny described this as "one of the few stories by someone else which I wish I'd written.")
- Meathouse Man (1976)
- Dying of the Light (1977)
- Nightflyers (1980), adapted into a feature film in 1987.
- Sandkings (1981), adapted into a two-part episode of The Outer Limits (1995).
- Windhaven (1981, with Lisa Tuttle)
- The Ice Dragon (1980, 2006)
- Fevre Dream (1982)
- The Armageddon Rag (1983)
- Tuf Voyaging (1986) A collection of short stories about Havilland Tuf, who's gained control of an Environmental Engineering Cool Starship.
- The Skin Trade (1989) - Optioned for film by Mike the Pike Productions.
- A Song of Ice and Fire series:
- A Game of Thrones (1996)
- A Clash of Kings (1998)
- A Storm of Swords (2000)
- A Feast for Crows (2005)
- A Dance with Dragons (2011)
- The Winds of Winter (forthcoming)
- A Dream of Spring (forthcoming)
- Tales of Dunk and Egg series - set in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire
- The Hedge Knight (1998)
- The Sworn Sword (2003)
- The Mystery Knight (2010)
- Shadow Twin" (2004, with Gardner Dozois and Daniel Abraham)
- Hunter's Run (2007, expanded version of the novella "Shadow Twin," with Gardner Dozois and Daniel Abraham)
- Songs of the Dying Earth (2009, editor, with many others)
- The New Twilight Zone
- The Last Defender of Camelot (1986) - writer (teleplay)
- The Once and Future King (1986) - writer (teleplay), story editor
- A Saucer of Loneliness (1986) - story editor
- Lost and Found (1986) - writer (teleplay)
- The World Next Door (1986) - story editor
- The Toys of Caliban (1986) - writer (teleplay)
- The Road Less Traveled (1986) - writer (story and teleplay), story editor
- Beauty and the Beast
- Terrible Saviour (1987) - writer
- Masques (1987) - writer
- Shades of Grey (1988) - writer
- Promises of Someday (1988) - writer
- Fever (1988) - writer
- Ozymandias (1988) - writer
- Dead of Winter (1988) - writer
- Brothers (1989) - writer
- When the Blue Bird Sings' (1989) - writer (teleplay)
- A Kingdom by the Sea (1989) - writer
- What Rough Beast (1989) - writer (story)
- Ceremony of Innocence (1989) - writer
- Snow (1989) - writer
- Beggar's Comet (1990) - writer
- Invictus (1990) - writer
- Game of Thrones
- "Pilot" - writer (story), producer, creator
- "The Pointy End" (2011) - writer
- "Blackwater" (2012) - writer
- "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" (2013) - writer
- "The Lion and the Rose" (2014) - writer
Tropes present in Martin's works as a whole or discussed by him:
- Anyone Can Die: Has become infamous for this. Honest Trailers affectionately describes him as "fiction's most notorious serial killer." He states this is because he wants the reader never to never be able to know what happens next through established Sorting Algorithm of Mortality conventions or tropes like The Good Guys Always Win.
- This could almost be considered Common Knowledge, as when you get down to it, while there is a lot of death in his books, there probably isn't any more than in other war-focused novels. Where Martin becomes legendary is having two major point-of-view characters killed off for real, and not even hinting that they might come back (even though one did, but not in a good way). The notoriety comes not from how many people have died in the books, but who it is that's dying. It would be comparable to Frodo biting it at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring and in fact, Martin has gone on record as saying that Gandalf should have stayed dead.
- Berserk Button: People speculating that he might die before finishing A Song of Ice and Fire has understandably become one. An interview where he said "Fuck you, to those people" while flipping the bird quickly went memetic.
- Black and White Morality: This is something of a Pet Peeve Trope for him, as he much prefers moral ambiguity in his stories. While praising J. R. R. Tolkien's books as a defining work for the Fantasy genre and recognizing it as a major influence on his own writing, he feels that many of The Lord of the Rings's later imitators fell into a trap of always creating a story that simply revolved around "the good guys get together to fight the bad guy", with the dark forces all being Obviously Evil.
- In an interview in 2014, he had a more nuanced view of how America's involvement with World War II has led to an over-prevalence of this.
"I sometimes think the second world war has changed our entire western civilisation's view of war, because, of all the wars in history, the second world war is closest to fantasy war, in which there is a dark lord, whose guys are actually evil and dress in black and wear skulls on their uniforms. The first world war was a much more typical war: what were all those people really fighting for?"
- Dark Fantasy: His stories deal with huge amounts of moral ambiguity, honorable heroes dying when outmanoeuvred by ruthless villains and deconstructing a great many established fantasy tropes along the way.
- Double Standard: Lampshaded. Martin pointed out in an interview that he can describe a horrifically violent death in great detail without any reaction, while the same amount of detail describing a sex scene would cause an uproar.
- Downer Ending: Hardly any of his works end in any other way.
- Grey and Gray Morality: George has made a point of presenting morally ambiguous characters in a setting where clear cut notions of right and wrong are hard to come by. The murkiness of war, politics and the negative impact is has on those outside of the social elite is a central theme in many of his works.
I like grey characters; fantasy for too long has been focused on very stereotypical heroes and villains.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: He's talked about how one of the earliest writing tips he got was to give each character's name a different first letter, to make them easier to remember. He responded, "But I'm planning to have more than 26 characters!"
- Lying Creator: In one of the Game of Thrones featurettes aired prior to the start of season 1 to introduce the world of Westeros to viewers, Martin said that "Ned Stark is the main character whom the books revolve around". Anyone who's familiar with the books were probably laughing their ass off when watching that. He dies before the end of the first novel. Though considering that his death is the trigger for the War of the Five Kings, the books revolve around him From a Certain Point of View.
- Schedule Slip: He's notoriously suffered from it since around the turn of the century. One article even noted that every time he releases a preview chapter, it now feels more like getting a finger from a kidnap victim.
- Story-Breaker Power: He does his utmost to avert this in his stories, especially regarding magic, hence why A Song of Ice and Fire starts out as Low Fantasy before The Magic Comes Back.
- Trolling Creator: As his recent appearance on Last Week Tonight more than proves.
Hey, George. How's your writing
[on Skype] I just killed three of your favorite characters. John:
What?! It's not Arya, is it!? Give me a hint! It's not Arya, right?!
- Villain Protagonist: On several occasions he has found himself discussing the reasons why a villain can be the main character and yet enjoyable to watch despite clearly being evil—mainly in opposition to Executive Meddling he experienced in the movie business that the main characters need to be "more heroic" out of (in hindsight unsubstantiated) fears that the audience will otherwise tune out. Martin himself has crafted some rather memorable villains in central roles who, despite being "the bad guys," retain a loyal fan base due to being interesting characters.
has proven that we will follow for years and years some pretty reprehensible characters as long as they're fascinating