George R. R. Martin has risen to fame as the writer of hot-book-series-turned-TV-hit Game of Thrones, but years ago, he was just a regular Comic-Con fan. We spoke to George at last night's Entertainment Weekly party about getting recognized now, especially thanks to his trademark hat — he even took it off for us! — and how actresses are always asking him to be cast on the HBO show. Plus get the latest update on his next book and find out how he feels about killing off his characters.
So you're a Comic-Con fan and have been for a while? I've been coming since 1986, that was my first one. There were like 5000 people at the whole convention then it was at the old convention center downtown, it's called the Civic Center now, I think. And yesterday we did the Game of Thrones panel, there were 7000 people in the room. So, you know, the one room is now bigger than the Comic-Con that I started at. Right. How is that feeling for you, you know, go from being a fan at Comic-Con to now having this huge series and show that has this huge following? Well, it's wonderfully exciting. But, you know, it's also sometimes exhausting. And as I was saying, I miss being able to walk the floor. I miss the old Comic-Con. I may have to wear a costume. People said maybe if I put a bag over my head or something like that, and I walked in, I could go with him to New York and take from the hat. That's sort of become my trademark. See, do you know who I am now? No, I'm completely unrecognizable. That's actually a good idea. That's right. A very good idea. I'm just gonna ask you, do you have people, with the success of the series, not only fans coming up to you, but do you have, you know, fellow actors at these events come up to you and ask you about being on the show? Yeah, I do. I won't name names, but I do. It's always a kick because in some cases I'm a huge fan of theirs. Right, right. What's the best part about seeing something that you've written, and you know, poured so much of your time into, on the small screen, but in a big scale, like HBO has done with the series? Well you know that's a part of it like seeing your dreams come alive. And you know when you see an actor like Peter Dinklin, bringing Kirian Lanaster to life, who's a character that I've lived think of it for 15 years, suddenly seeing him walking around and talking, his facial expression, it's all, it's all right from my head, and it's great. Him and Theon Greyjoy are two of my favorites, just because of their arc over the course of the series. Did you talk to Alfie when went by? I did, I did, I immediately grabbed him, yeah, yeah. Do you have a favorite, or you know, you kill off a lot of characters. Have you ever been sad? I love all my characters, but Kirian has been my favorite, probably. I love but they're all my children, and you have to love all your children. Yeah. Even the bratty children who you know don't have any table manners and cry all night. Well, when you've had to kill off someone in the book series, have you ever felt a little sentimental having to let them go, if they're? I do, yeah, it's always, I mean it's like a mourning process. So, the story makes its own demands, and you have to follow the story. Well, can you give us an update on the next book? I'm working on it, and, you know, I'm well into it, but, of course, I'm juggling a lot of other things too, and right now I'm here at Comic-Con. So I'm not working on it. So I'm sorry fans, I'm going to go home soon. I have to go to Spain first, but once I get back from that I'll be back to work on it, honest.