George R.R. Martin Answers Your Questions


We are so excited to welcome bestselling fantasy writer George R.R. Martin to Amazon’s offices for a video chat! “The American Tolkien” will be visiting us in a few weeks, and we thought we’d share our luck with you, our faithful Omni readers! From now through July 27, email with the subject line "George R.R. Martin" with your burning questions about the Seven Kingdoms, Jon Snow’s mysterious parentage, and his tips for sitting comfortably on a throne fashioned of swords. We can’t guarantee that George will tell you who Jon Snow’s mother is, or even that he’ll have time to answer all of your questions, but here’s your shot!

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Comments (17)

You have talked about good and evil and the way they are depicted in your books, especially compared to other fantasy novels. In your books, the characters seem much more real and complex because they have complicated motivations that are not based on "good" and "evil," but on their own personal feelings, beliefs, and circumstances. You show actions with pure intentions can cause bad circumstances, and actions with vile intentions behind them can cause good circumstances. You've also shown good intentions beget good circumstance, and bad beget bad.

Kant believed that justice must be served, though the heavens may fall, and this simplified quote is the core of universalist ethics. Utilitarian ethics are simplified often as "the ends justify the means." Your stories basically play hob with both of those ideas. While there are plenty of other ethical theories, those two seem to me to be the two most prevalent (in broad terms--I have absolutely no scientific backing for this observation) if you don't bring religion into the equation.

So my questions are this: do you have a solid moral/ethical belief system that you follow, and if so, how would you describe it? Do you consider the ethical/moral stance of every character when you write them? Do you feel there are any characters in your novels that are wholly good? Wholly evil?

Obviously, we'll have to wait til the end to see how the whole conflict plays out, and I love the way the ambiguity means people root for so many different characters, often rooting for characters who are working against each other. Thank you.

Posted by: billy ray stupendous | Wednesday July 13, 2011 at 12:23 PM

egg on my face. didn't mean to post that here.

Posted by: billy ray stupendous | Wednesday July 13, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Any specific names of authors out there that are more along your lines? I’ve been struggling to think of something that’s actually comparable to your work.

Posted by: Jarred | Wednesday July 13, 2011 at 2:14 PM

How do you presume to know the inner-workings of such various types of characters? From Brienne to Samwell, Theon to the Damphair, how are you able to wrap your head around the thoughts and motivations of so many?

Posted by: lisa | Wednesday July 13, 2011 at 2:29 PM

"dance with dragons" is in the mail as I write so am re- reading "feast for crows". Have loved all four books and the HBO series. I have only one problem. Just celebrated my 80th birthday. Is "dance with dragons" the final book in the series or do I have to hope I'll live long enough to enjoy the rest?

Posted by: Patricia Katterhenry | Thursday July 14, 2011 at 5:21 PM

You have been called the American J.R.R. Tolkien, do you feel like that is a fair comparison?

Posted by: Jeff | Sunday July 17, 2011 at 9:26 AM

I feel the same way as Jarred. I don't look forward to finishing A Dance With Dragons at ALL, because while I was waiting for that one to be released, I tried reading a few other books, and just couldn't get past *sigh...meh* :) Thank you for that, I think. I also had a question about the mark of Borrell. For some reason I can't figure out what that is. Their hands are deformed?? I've tried to re-read things, but can't seem to locate anything else. Even the Almighty Google is stumped.

Posted by: Kaliko R. | Sunday July 17, 2011 at 10:01 AM

I would have loved to buy your books but without the text to speech turned on there no good to me or my Kindle.Sorry im on the road all the time i go through a lot of books this way. I have no time to sit and read anymore.
Try to rethink this choice and give us a chance to enjoy your writings.
Patrick Carroll

Posted by: Patrick Carroll | Sunday July 17, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Er, are you clinically depressed? All the violence toward dogs, and the constant killing off of the good characters. What's up with that? Lastly, will this have an end? Personally, I'm hoping danerys and her dragons show up and kill every last lannister, frey and bolton.

Posted by: Rob Morganbesser | Sunday July 17, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Cersei is such a flawed character, yet you seem to really empathize with her in spite of her many faults by allowing us behind the scenes of her thought process. Do you think that there is a character from your books you cannot empathize with? Where would you draw the line? Who would you never want to meet from the Seven Kingdoms?

Posted by: Joseph Greenlee | Sunday July 17, 2011 at 6:52 PM

When will his post be up?

Posted by: Cristina | Monday August 29, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Your blog is great. Your thoughts are also very good and i am very inspired from your post. That is why I visit this blog again and again and will come back in future too.

Posted by: tool steel | Tuesday November 1, 2011 at 6:29 PM

I'm curious if there is any sort of scientific explanation of the irregular seasons in "A Song of Ice and Fire". What would the orbit/tilt of such a planet look like? How would a year be measured?

Posted by: Events Courses | Monday November 7, 2011 at 8:41 PM

That was a really good article, thanks for taking the time to put it together! You have managed to point out some very good points. I can't say that I completely agree about some points, but you certainly have a unique perspective. Anyway, I like your post.

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Posted by: Used Nissan Note | Monday September 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM

Who is Jon Snow’s mother from The Seven Kingdoms?

Posted by: | Monday January 14, 2013 at 8:51 PM

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