Saturday, July 30, 2011

George R.R. Martin at Town Hall - No Spoilers

Last night I saw George R.R. Martin speak at Town Hall in downtown Seattle. About 45 minutes before the event, I met a couple of other writers I know -- one of whom was kind enough to save seats -- and we sat together near the front.

After an introduction by Duane Wilkins of the University of Washington bookstore, GRRM answered some of the most common questions he's received. Then the floor opened to audience Q&A. After, he signed books, for what I suspect, was a long, long time.

I learned:

  • He bought the house across the street from his house to use solely as an office.
  • He owns many baby name books to help name his characters. Each of the Houses (Stark, Lannister, and so on) in A Song of Ice and Fire group similar style names together.
  • He avoids fan forums, so as not to second guess his ideas or feel the need to outsmart his readers' guesses.
  • Regarding the HBO series, "Game of Thrones," he has written one script per season, and has been involved or consulted on some decisions. He is pleased with the series and the actor choices, and glad for the exposure to new readers. Also, HBO just started filming season two.
His answers were clever and his dry humor elicited frequent laughs from the sold-out house. I especially liked his response to the question about the significance of gay characters in his series, like, do they have a special meaning? (I'm paraphrasing, don't quote me) GRRM said something to this effect: Well, I looked around and saw a lot of gay people in the world, so I thought maybe I should put some in my world as well.

Overall, it was an enjoyable evening and worth a hot, humid two hours sticking to the seats of Town Hall.


Dan said...

The name "Bran" was in a baby name book?!

Folly said...

Most likely. It's short for Brandon.

Dan said...

I see. I guess there are details in the books that don't come through in the show.

Folly Blaine said...

(Small spoilers here, if you haven't watched the HBO series)

In the show, most of the Stark House names are mentioned during the crypt scenes beneath Winterfell while looking at the old statues. Also, Brandon was Ned's brother's name, who was originally engaged to Catelyn. Stark names get reused a lot. The names go by fast though, and they're easy to miss.