Five things you might not know about…George R R Martin

This article is from 2014

Five things we learned about George R R Martin

Karolina Webb

Unusual facts about Games of Thrones author revealed at 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival appearance

A Game of Thrones author George RR Martin was at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this week – here's a few things we found out about him.

He's heavily influenced by Scottish history.

A number of Scotland's historical events have moulded elements of Game of Thrones, with the infamous Red Wedding scene inspired by the Glencoe Massacre. Beyond events, he admits that The Wall was inspired by Hadrian's wall, albeit larger and icier.

Stan Lee is his literary hero.

Sort of. Tolkien and Shakespeare are his obvious choices, but he attributes one of his earliest encounters with the flexibility of good and evil in one character to Stan Lee's Avengers with Wonder Man. "Maybe Stan Lee was the greatest literary influence on me," he laughs.

He won't change his plot twists if the internet works it out.

George admits he considered changing key plot points pre-emptively sussed by thousands online, but feels it would be disingenuous to ignore the hints placed to change it. He wants to surprise fans, but not at the expense of the story he's telling.

Writing was his business by the age of 11.

He used to write horror stories to spook younger kids and sell them for a nickel a piece, which went towards his comic book collection. That was until a kid's mum turned up and told on him for scaring her son, and his first business had to close.

Stability isn't a given even for an author as big as him.

His literary career was a rollercoaster for decades before A Song of Ice and Fire began, with his hotly tipped The Armageddon Rag being his biggest flop. No one would take his books after that, and he admits fearing he might have to end his career as a novelist at times.