George RR Martin: ‘Gandalf’s death in Lord of the Rings inspired Game of Thrones killings’
The 69-year-old author is known for liberally killing off characters in his A Song of Ice and Fire series.
In fact there’s been over 1000 notable deaths in HBO’s Game of Thrones and that’s not including the latest season.
And now Martin has revealed it was Gandalf’s death in The Lord of the Rings that had a “profound effect” on him.
Speaking on PBS’ The Great American Read about Tolkien’s epic fantasy, the author discussed the impact such a narrative move had on him.
Martin said: “Tolkien’s greatest invention was the characters who struggled with the temptation of the ring and what to do with it.
“They’re all fighting these battles inside their hearts.
“That can take place anywhere in anytime in any space in all of human history.
“And then Gandalf dies!”
Martin continued: “I can’t explain the impact that had on me at 13. You can’t kill Gandalf. Conan didn’t die in the Conan books, you know?
“Tolkien just broke that rule and I love him forever for it because 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.”
Diana Gabaldon, author of Outlander, is seen in a recently surfaced video clip talking about a conversation she had with Martin, in which he told her about his creative snag.
“We were having this conversation, and I was asking him ‘how’s it going, the newest book’ – and he said, ‘oh I’m having all kinds of trouble’,” she recalled.
“And he said, ‘You ever kill somebody off that you later realised you needed?’
“I said, ’no, George, that’s never happened to me!’”
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