It is the long-held belief that George R.R. Martin, the creator of the Game of Thrones book series, is a cruel creator who is more than willing to kill off his main characters in order to bring havoc to Westeros. However, what if there was someone else to blame for the carnage?
For anyone who has ever watched HBO’s Game of Thrones, or read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series, on which the TV series is based, something becomes very apparent from the beginning: people will die. Lots of people. Main characters along with minor characters and the inevitable red shirts all die in a flurry of impressive kill shots and a need to create enough disaster that the remaining characters are propelled forward in massive plot arcs and character development.
However, George R.R. Martin has just revealed the inspiration for his deadly character spree according to The Wrap.
And apparently, it’s all J.R.R. Tolkien’s fault.
According to an interview George R.R. Martin did with PBS’ The Great American Read, the impact of Tolkien killing off Gandalf in his Lord of the Rings trilogy set Martin on his path of book-writing destruction.
Apparently, this murderous intent rose up after the 13-year-old George discovered Tolkien had been bold enough to kill off the main character of Gandalf in the first book in his Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring.
“I can’t explain the impact that had on me at 13,” said Martin. “You can’t kill Gandalf!”
George R.R. Martin went on to elaborate further during his interview with The Great American Read about how this death impacted him as a youngster.
“The minute you kill Gandalf, the suspense of everything that follows is a thousand times greater. Because now anybody could die. Of course, that’s had a profound effect on my own willingness to kill characters at the drop of a hat.”
So, it appears that if you are still upset about Martin’s Red Wedding or poor Ned Stark’s decapitation at the start of the series, then you should be pointing your finger firmly at J.R.R. Tolkien for daring to do it first in his classic book series.
You can watch George R.R. Martin’s interview with PBS’ The Great American Read, below.
The final season of Game of Thrones will premiere on HBO in the first half of 2019.