George R.R. Martin Says HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Took Away One Of His ‘Favorite Things’ In The World

Writer George R.R. Martin speaks during the 'Game of Thrones' panel at the HBO portion of the 2011 Winter TCA press tour held at the Langham Hotel on January 7, 2011 in Pasadena, California.
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

The final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones was polarizing, to say the least. Recently, author George R.R. Martin, who wrote the series of books, A Song of Fire and Ice, that provided the show’s source material, spoke with The Guardian about how the series has affected his life.

Although Martin didn’t reveal if he’d watched the show’s finale, he did agree that the end of the series was a relief.

“There were a couple of years where, if I could have finished the book, I could have stayed ahead of the show for another couple of years, and the stress was enormous,” he says. “I don’t think it was very good for me, because the very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down.”

Martin described the pressure of always feeling like he should write more and relishes that he can now move at his own pace — although he admits the pressure is still there.

But the one thing that appears to have changed the most is Martin’s fame.

“I can’t go into a bookstore any more, and that used to be my favorite thing to do in the world,” he said, adding that he’s recognized within 10 minutes of walking into one and a crowd gathers around him.

“So you gain a lot but you also lose things.”

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Elsewhere in the interview, Martin expressed his amazement at how well fans of the books kept the secrets of the story. He said he believes the fact that no one spoiled the Red Wedding is “one of the biggest stories in the history of television” because there were millions of book readers that knew the bloodshed that was to come. Instead of spoiling it, fans recorded the shocking reactions of their grieving loved ones and posted them online.

Per The Inquisitr, the Game of Thrones prequel is the next series in the story set to hit TV screens. It’s set 5,000 years before the events in Game of Thrones’ Westeros, and the pilot episode was reportedly filming last month. According to Martin, the prequel will feature more kingdoms than the seven in Game of Thrones — hundreds, he says — as the Westeros of its time period was much more divided.

Although fans will get to learn about the Stark family history, they won’t see any Lannisters, as they had yet to arrive in Westeros. But Martin confirmed the show would cover the family that occupied the Lannisters’ stronghold, Casterly Rock, before they did.