After much controversy surrounding the fate of various Game of Thrones characters, creator and author George R. R. Martin has addressed his habit of killing off heroes.
“We’ve all read this story a million times when a bunch of heroes set out on an adventure and it’s the hero and his best friend and his girlfriend and they go through amazing hair-raising adventures and none of them die,” he said in an interview with Galaxy’s Edge. “The only ones who die are extras. That’s such a cheat.”
Obviously, Martin is not afraid of enraging fans. He claims to be committed to the truth and to treating death in a realistic fashion.
“It doesn’t happen that way,” he continued. “They go into battle and their best friend dies or they get horribly wounded. They lose their leg or death comes at them unexpectedly.”
— Joseph Abraham (@kjosephabraham) May 9, 2016
Time reported that fans are relieved Jon Snow was brought back to life after being stabbed to death. However, that “doesn’t mean there won’t be more fan-favorite deaths in the future,” especially when George R. R. Martin is so open to killing off main characters and even heroes.
“Death is so arbitrary. It’s always there. It’s coming for all of us. We’re all going to die. I’m going to die. You’re going to die. Mortality is at the soul of all this stuff. You have to write about it if you’re going to be honest, especially if you’re writing a story high in conflict. Once you’ve accepted that you have to include death then you should be honest about death and indicate it can strike down anybody at any time. You don’t get to live forever just because you are a cute kid or the hero’s best friend or the hero. Sometimes the hero dies, at least in my books.”
Earlier this year, the Inquisitr reported Sophie Turner dropped a hint that this season of Game of Thrones holds major changes for her character. She said that Sansa really comes “into her own,” but now fans wonder whether the season will leave her alive or dead. If heroes can and sometimes must be killed, could Sansa’s life be in jeopardy?
— mel. (@shxrlocked) May 16, 2016
Martin told Galaxy’s Edge that he shifts the blame to other characters. Although heroes must die at times, he usually has them die at the hands of another character.
“I love all my characters so it’s always hard to kill them but I know it has to be done. I tend to think I don’t kill them. The other characters kill ’em. I shift off all blame from myself.”
One of Martin’s most cherished qualities is his commitment to and passion for his craft. According to him, writing is an intriguing career path even to those who decide ultimately not to follow it.
“Everybody looks at the writer’s lifestyle. There are a lot of cool things about it. The reason to write is you have stories to tell. You have people inside you clamoring to get out. That’s what I’d tell the young kid.”
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) May 15, 2016
He explained in the interview that writing is more than a hobby: it’s a lifestyle, a mindset, and a necessity. A writer feels an urgent need to tell the stories inside of him, and those stories must be shared with readers.
“A writer, even a fantasy writer, has an obligation to tell the truth and the truth is, as we say in Game of Thrones, all men must die. Particularly if you’re writing about war, which is certainly a central subject in Game of Thrones. […] Writing is a terrible career if you’re looking at it as a way to have a career.”
[Photo by Frazier Harrison/Getty Images]