Dire Wolves Are Much Larger Than We Think
Unlike in the TV series, the dire wolves in the books are much larger and tower over most characters when their heights are compared. According to clues in the books, Ghost is just over six feet tall.
After Losing A Bet, George R.R. Martin Put The Dallas Cowboys In His Book
George R.R. Martin made a bet with his friend Patrick St. Denis that if the Dallas Cowboys ever had a better season than the New York Giants, he'd make St. Denis into a character and have him brutally ripped apart by giants. After losing the bet, Martin kept to his word and in "A Dance with Dragons" there's a character named Sir Patrek of King's Mountain who's killed by giants. Martin even made the character's heraldry looks like the Dallas Cowboy's logo.
Game Of Thrones Originally Began With Turtles
"A Song of Ice and Fire" was inspired by George R.R. Martin's childhood turtles. He kept the inexpensive turtles in a toy castle and would often fantasize about them living as knights, lords and kings. He wrote a whole fantasy series about the turtle kingdom and would speculate about their deaths inside the castle.
Blame Wonder Man For The Deaths Of All Your Favorite Game Of Thrones Characters
George R.R. Martin was inspired by the death of the Avengers character Wonder Man. He said in an interview once, I liked Wonder Man! You know why? Wonder Man dies in [his first] story. He's a brand-new character, he's introduced, and he dies. It was very heart wrenching. He was a tragic, doomed character. I guess I've responded to tragic doomed characters ever since.
No Love For The Dothraki
In the books, George R.R. Martin provides few examples of the Dothraki language, so HBO hired linguist David Peterson to come up with more than 2,000 words for the made up language we hear in the TV series. He claims there are more words for "kill" than there are for "love".
Game Of Thrones Actually Takes Place On Earth
According to George R.R. Martin the Game Of Thrones universe is based in reality. It's Earth, but it's not our Earth, he said.If you wanted to do a science fiction approach, you could call it an alternate world, but that sounds too science fictional.
Grand Maester Pycelle's Vocabulary Is Influenced By Another Famous Author
George R.R. Martin is a huge fan of writer Jack Vance, who's known for using ridiculously long words. He pays tribute to Vance by having Grand Maester Pycelle use long words such as insalubrious and efficacious in conversation.
You Can Thank The Red Wedding For Giving Us A Game Of Thrones TV Show
George R.R. Martin said that the "Red Wedding" scene was the last thing he wrote for "A Storm of Swords" and was the most difficult chapter for him to write. Executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss claim they optioned the books for TV after reading the "Red Wedding" section.
The Origins Of The Wall
Martin says that the Knight's Watch 700-foot wall was inspired by Hadrian's Wall in Scotland, which he visited in 1981. "I stood on Hadrian's Wall and tried to imagine what it would be like to be a Roman soldier sent here from Italy or Antioch. To stand here, to gaze off into the distance, not knowing what might emerge from the forest. Of course fantasy is the stuff of bright colors and being larger than real life, so my wall is bigger and considerably longer and more magical. And, of course, what lies beyond it has to be more than just Scots.".
Better Technology Doesn't Necessarily Equal Better Writing
When discussing how he writes his books, Martin said that he hates spellcheck and autocorrect. Considering how many made up names and ornate words there are in his series, we totally understand why spellcheck might not be his favorite tool. So instead of using Microsoft Word like everyone else in the 21st century, Martin writes on WordStar 4.0 and when asked about modern computers he said, "I know how to work the shift key.".
Dire Wolves Are Real
Martin didn't conjure up dire wolves out of thin air. There's actually an ancient breed of them that have been dead for a millennia and were 25 percent larger than the present day grey wolf. In order to recreate the dire wolves on the show, Northern Inuit dogs were filmed on camera and then digitally enlarged using special effects.
A Series Spanning More Than Two Decades
The final book in the series "A Song Of Ice And Fire" is rumored to be released in 2018. The first novel was released in 1996, meaning that the series will span the length of 22 years!
Never Enough Characters
As of "A Dance With Dragons" Martin has written 31 points of views in the series. That's a lot of characters to keep track of! However, some of the characters have been killed off, so as of now he has 22 points of view to juggle.
Don't Get Too Attached To The Characters In The Epilogues Or Prologues
Any character who gets a point of view chapter in the prologue or the epilogue dies. As of now, these characters include:
Will: a ranger of the Night's Watch, AGoT prologue.
Cressen: a maester at Dragonstone, ACoK prologue.
Chett: a master of hounds for the Night's Watch, ASoS prologue.
Merrett Frey: a knight in the service of House Frey, ASoS epilogue.
Pate: a novice studying at the Citadel, AFFC prologue.
Varamyr Sixskins: a wildling warg, ADWD prologue.
Kevan Lannister: brother to Tywin Lannister, ADWD epilogue.