George R.R. Martin recently invited Jessie and Leonard Maltin, the hosts of the podcast, Maltin on Movies to interview him at his theater, the Jean Cocteau Cinema in New Mexico, to chat about his career, the entertainment industry … and the internet!
Though their conversation, which clocked in at just under an hour and a half, covered a range of topics, Martin and the Maltins chose not to address the various controversies surrounding the final season of Game of Thrones. However, Martin did weigh in on how the internet has transformed fandoms and fan discourse from the sort that he participated in when he was younger.
“The internet is toxic in a way that the old fanzine culture and the fandoms, the comic fandoms and sci-fi fandoms in those days was not,” he said at 21:04. “Yeah, there were disagreements there were feuds but nothing like the madness that you see on the internet.”
To be clear, the tone of the podcast was largely positive. Martin discussed how he decided to to become a full time writer at the age of 32 (at 27:10), the mercurial nature of writing for television (43:00) and that most perennial topic for any author whose work has been made into a television show or movie: adaptation.
Martin reasoned that A Song of Ice and Fire is simply too large in scope and scale to be translated directly into a televisions format.
“As lavish as [the Game of Thrones] production was … they still couldn’t include all the characters,” he said at 1:10:57, but then compared the character consolidation to Gone With The Wind‘s omission of two of Scarlett O’Hara’s children.
“How many children did Scarlett O’hara have? What’s the answer to that?” he asked. “She had three in the novel, one in the movie … so you can tell the story as you want with one child or with three children. There’s no right answer or wrong answer, there, as long as you get the essence of the story.”
You can listen to the entire interview on the Maltin On Movies website, here.