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George R.R. Martin Defends His Creation's Violence As Stakes Involved Make It Meaningful

According to George R.R. Martin, the emotional stakes are what set the brutality in Game of Thrones apart from that in the Star Wars series.

Martin addressed claims that his A Song of Ice and Fire books, on which HBO's Game of Thrones is based, is "gratuitous" in an interview with Vanity Fair. The author stated, "I don't think anything is gratuitous." Naturally, I've faced accusations of gratuitous assault and sex, as well as heraldry and feast scenes from time to time.


He went on, "I want to feel something. Those are the kind of books I enjoy reading and the types of things I enjoy writing. That's what has an emotional impact on you. My reputation as a particularly bloody person has been questioned. More people are killed by Star Wars than by me."

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Martin used the destruction of the planet Alderaan in 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope as an example. "In the first Star Wars movie, here comes the Death Star," he said. "They blow up the planet of Alderaan -- 20 million people are dead. Does it have any impact on you? Do you care that 20 million people are dead? Six movies later, you find out, I guess, that Jimmy Smits was one of them. Then you retroactively go, 'Oh, they've killed Jimmy Smits!' but you don't feel anything at the moment.


It's just, 'Oh, okay.' Martin has already drawn comparisons between Game of Thrones and Star Wars. The author talked about the distinction between the famed Red Wedding scenario from Game of Thrones and the destruction of Alderaan in May. However, he said, "We don't know the inhabitants of Alderaan. "Their deaths are not felt by us. It's merely a piece of data. You should experience death if you're going to write about it."

HBO's Game of Thrones, which was based on Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novel series, aired for eight seasons from 2011 to 2019. Martin's remarks follow an interview in which J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, the showrunners of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, called the brutality in Game of Thrones "debased" and "relentless." Game of Thrones legacy was recently discussed by Miguel Sapochnik, showrunner of the recently released HBO spinoff series House of the Dragon, who also discussed how the new program will depict violence differently from Game of Thrones. "You can't ignore the violence that was perpetrated on women by men in that time," Sapochnik said. "It shouldn't be downplayed and it shouldn't be glorified." With regards to sex and sexual violence, which was also shown frequently on Game of Thrones, the showrunner stated that the show would handle those subjects "carefully" and "thoughtfully." House of the Dragon takes place 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones.


Source: Vanity Fair

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