During an interview with Northwestern Magazine, George R.R Martin discussed his own experience attending the university, his approach to writing and plans for A Song of Ice and Fire. Also, the Northern Ireland Screen has created a new app that’s going to make Game of Thrones fan tourism in Northern Ireland much easier.
Martin’s interview with his alma mater, understandably, focused on his time at Northwestern and how his studies shaped his eventual career as a novelist. Majoring in journalism taught him to be a more succinct writer and his minor in history influenced the world building of his novels and his preference for moral ambiguity. “I’ve always intended my characters to be gray,” he said. “We all have the capacity for heroism or villainy.”
When asked who his favorite character is, he answered, “all of them” and even defended Joffrey at a Q&A session at Northwestern. “You don’t want to give a 13-year-old absolute power,” Martin said. “I could easily see myself making some school bullies fight to the death if I’d been king at that age. It would have been amazing!”
Martin discussed the relationship between ASOIAF and Game of Thrones. He is a co-executive producer of the show but he admits that that, “doesn’t actually mean much of anything. I have a voice in decisions like casting, but no one’s obliged to listen to me.”
Despite the increased popularity that Game of Thrones has brought to the books, Martin says that “the show doesn’t influence what I write … other than adding to my stress.”
Speaking of stress, Martin addressed the progress he’s making on The Winds of Winter, admitting, “I’m a slow writer.” However, he does know where ASOIAF is headed. “I know the broad strokes of the story. I know the end of most of my characters, but the devil is in the details.”
Despite everything, Martin manages to keep things in perspective. “I always remember that this too will pass,” he says. “I imagine that one day I’ll go on the Internet and see the headline ‘Where Are They Now? Do you remember George R.R. Martin? He was famous once upon a time.’ ”
In the mean time, Northern Ireland Screen has launched an interactive Game of Thrones Filming Locations app that guides fans to twenty-one publicly accessible locations across Northern Ireland where Game of Thrones was filmed including Inch Abbey, Ballintoy Harbor, Tollymore Forest and Portstewart Strand. The app also provides a 360 panoramic photograph of each location as well as stills from the show and clips of the twenty-two scenes from seasons 1 – 5 filmed in Northern Ireland along with information on each scene and where it was filmed.
The app is available for free from the Google Play Store and will be available at the App Store soon.