The Red Wedding was a brutal and devastating turning point in A Song of Ice and Fire and the Game of Thrones TV show. George RR Martin remembers the chapter was so “painful” to write, that he left penned the rest of third book A Storm of Swords first. The 73-year-old believes that death is often too trivialised in writing, so went out of his way to make it so upsetting.
Martin said in a new interview: “We all in our real lives have experienced death. Your parents die. Your best friend dies. Sometimes, in a really tragic situation, your children die or your wife or husband dies. It’s terrible. It affects you. It makes you angry, it makes you sad. In our entertainment, television, film, books, over the centuries as its evolved, death is often treated very cavalierly. Somebody is dead, we’ve got a mystery, and the detective has to figure out who did it. We never consider who the corpse is, or what his life was like… what it’s going to be like without him. If I’m going to write a death scene, particularly for major characters, I want to make the reader feel it. That’s what the Red Wedding, I think, successfully accomplished. People felt that death.”
On the moment The King in the North Robb Stark, his mother Catelyn and thousands of soldiers were killed, Martin said to The Independent: “It’s a horrible chapter, and it upsets people. It makes people angry, it makes people sad. People throw the book against the wall or into the fireplace. When it was on TV, it had the same effect on tens of thousands, if not millions, of people. To my mind, that’s good. We’re talking about death here!”
Despite being known for killing off much-loved Game of Thrones characters, the author argued that Star Wars has a much bigger death toll.
Martin is still hard at work on the penultimate book in A Song of Ice and Fire, The Winds of Winter.
The long-delayed novel will follow on from 2011’s A Dance with Dragons, which was published the same year that Game of Thrones debuted on HBO.
The author then plans to pen a Dunk and Egg short story before tackling the final book in his series, A Dream of Spring.
After that, he intends on writing another Dunk and Egg before publishing Fire and Blood volume 2, although he admits he’s already written over a thousand pages of the latter already.