Game of Thrones is a legal adult today! It was 18 years ago on Aug. 6 that A Game of Thrones was released — the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire, the series upon which the HBO show is based. Now, let's get to know the man behind the drama of Westeros, legendary author George R. R. Martin. Read on for 27 awesome facts that will make you even more enchanted with Mr. Martin, even though he's killed off all your favorite characters. Sad.
- George let D.B. Weiss and David Benioff adapt the books after they correctly guessed "Who is Jon Snow's mother?"
- The "R. R." stands for Raymond Richard.
- George R. R. Martin was a huge comic-book fan, particularly of The Fantastic Four. A letter he wrote to Marvel as a kid was published in Fantastic Four #20 (November 1961).
- He makes $15 million from HBO alone.
- It took him six years to write A Dance With Dragons, book five of the series.
- His favorite character is Tyrion.
- George told us last year that the sexiest man in Westeros is Loras Tyrell.
- He's said, "My biggest dream was to ruin the lives of my readers and crush their souls." (Yes, actually).
- A Song of Ice and Fire was inspired by the turtles young George kept in a toy castle. He would fantasize about turtle knights and lords in the turtle kingdom. They kept dying, and he presumed that they were killing each other in sinister plots.
- He considers his own house sigil to be that of a turtle.
- A character in A Dance With Dragons named Sir Patrek is actually based off his friend Patrick St. Denis. He bet Patrick that if the Dallas Cowboys had a better season than the New York Giants, he'd have him brutally ripped apart by giants in one of his books.
- He's a huge New York Giants fan, which is probably why he's not working on books six and seven during NFL season.
- Author Neil Gaiman once said that "George R. R. Martin is not your bitch." Meaning, he's not a machine that can produce more books on a whim.
- In case of death, George has ordered that all his notes and manuscripts be destroyed to prevent another author from completing the series. He would, however, like the TV show to be completed even after his death.
- His favorite authors range from J. R. R. Tolkien to Jack Vance (read them all!) — but there's still only one series he considers the "original Game of Thrones": The Accursed Kings by Maurice Druon.
- An ancient, '80s-era word processor on a DOS computer is how George writes all his books.
- This is what the Iron Throne should really look like. George says that the throne in the show is a terrific design, but the one in the books is "huge, hulking, black, and twisted . . . ugly and asymmetric."
- He actually feels guilty killing off characters.
Source: Twitter user _GRRM_
- One of his most used words is "jape," which means a practical joke.
- He wins because of this interview.
Interviewer: "I noticed that you write women really well and really different. Where does that come from?"
George: "You know, I've always considered women to be people."
- George currently lives in Santa Fe, NM, where he started writing the series.
- George revived the Jean Cocteau Cinema, a beloved local theater in Santa Fe, NM.
- Between 1986 and 1987, he wrote several episodes of The Twilight Zone.
- His books consist of over 1.7 million words.
- Barbecue and Mexican are his favorite types of food. "I love food, but I'm not a foodie. I eat like a peasant," he told Telegraph. His favorite dish is carne adovada with red and green chillies.
- The inspiration for The Wall, which according to the books is 700 feet tall and made of ice, came from Hadrian's Wall in Northern England, which George visited in 1981. It was the first time he'd ever left the United States.
- The Red Wedding was based on two real events: the Black Dinner and the Glencoe Massacre in Scotland.