What makes Game of Thrones the most intriguing series of all time! Well, nothing is permanent in the world of Westeros! The heroes, villains and everything in between might fall off anytime—sometimes even our beloved characters are ended abruptly. GoT and shocks go hand in glove and for its author George R.R. Martin, killing a character is nothing new.
So what really inspired Martin to kill his characters often? Its J.R.R. Tolkien! When Martin was a kid, Tolkien did the same to him through Lord of Rings and now its time to give it back. In a video added to PBS' "The Great American Read" collection (to celebrate Game of Thrones), Martin opened up about how Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series introduced him to the fantasy world and his own saga.
When he was a kid, Martin used the Lord of the Rings series as an escapism from reality and slowly he developed a soulful connection with his own imaginary world—eventually giving births to GoT and "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. "You know, it opens, like, with a dissertation on pipeweed. Then there's a birthday party. I'm saying, 'Where are the giant snakes? Where are the scantily clad women? There are no sword fights here! What's going on?'" The novel started to pick up the pace and by the time when the "Fellowship of the Ring" reached the Mines of Moria, Martin had credited it as the greatest book he has ever read.
What followed next was a series of unexpected shock and horror. "And then Gandalf dies! I can't explain the impact that had on me at 13. You can't kill Gandalf. Tolkien just broke that rule, and I'll love him forever for it. 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 on my own willingness to kill characters off at the drop of a hat," an excited Martin explained.
Martin just seems to have taken Gandalf's "Fly, you fools!" demise to his own heart—giving rise to his own murderous rampage. Looks like the author's willingness to kill off any character at any time is truly inspired by Tolkien. But according to Martin, his favourite lesson from LOTR is the human temptation provoked by the power of the one ring—in other words, the battle they fight inside their hearts. And yes, we can see that idea all over "A Song of Ice and Fire."
PBS will have a different author talk about "The Game of Thrones," the next episode will be aired on September 11.