The Season 7 premiere of Game of Thrones is less than a month away, and to celebrate, we're revisiting this amazing conversation between A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin and Stephen King. The video is from a conversation they had at the Kiva Auditorium in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the summer of 2016, and a year later it's still a fascinating look at the authors' respective creative processes.
In the almost hour-long interview, Martin and King—who used to play poker together and meet at sci-fi and fantasy conventions before they became the household names they are today—discuss their childhoods. Martin's father encouraged him to do something other than writing with his life, and King was heavily influenced by reading books like Jekyll & Hyde with his mother. From a young age, it seemed obvious that Martin was going to become a fantasy writer: he created his own fantasy worlds as a mental escape from his life in Bayon, New Jersey and shared stories with his classmates.
The pair then go on to discuss King's mystery trilogy, the Bill Hodges series. Martin also addresses a controversial moment in Game of Thrones Season 1 in which [spoiler alert for Game of Thrones] Ned Stark is killed and Sansa is forced to look at his head on a wall. Martin notes that he asked the show's producers if he could be featured as one of the severed heads on the wall, but due to a tight budget, this wasn't possible, and the show instead ended up purchasing a "used box" of severed heads from another production.
"Everything was fine," Martin says, "except one of the severed heads was George W. Bush."
You would have needed to pay very close attention to the show to even notice that one of the heads was the former president, but either way, Martin faced some angry Republicans when that episode premiered.
At 50:08, you’ll also hear King’s response to a question that Martin has always wanted to ask him: "How the fuck do you write so many books, so fast?"
After expressing how big a fan he is of King's books, Martin tells King he wishes he wrote as quickly as him. We all know that Martin takes his time with writing, but when he’s done with a book, it ends up being well worth the wait—so we can’t complain.
Featured photo: YouTube
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