Game of Thrones: The Reason Behind George R.R. Martin’s Character Killings

Even those that aren’t fans of the TV Series or Book Game of Thrones know the Author of the Series has a seemingly sadistic side when it comes to his characters. But why is it that George R.R. Martin seems to enjoy killing off so many characters?

As it turns out, Lord of The Rings and its author J.R.R. Tolkien is to blame. George R.R. Martin spoke recently to PBS about how the fantasy series impacted him growing up. Martin explains Tolkien’s willingness to kill off Gandalf was the inspiration behind many instances of unexpected death and destruction in his series Game of Thrones.

The Game of Thrones Author explains his belief that Tolkien’s greatest storytelling invention was the character that struggled with temptation regarding the Ring and what to do with it. The characters all fight these battles inside themselves and their hearts. The conflict can take place anywhere and any time in any area in the entirety of human history.

How Gandalf’s Death Inspired Many Deaths in Beloved Game of Thrones Series

The moment young 13-year-old Martin saw Gandalf had died, had an impact that would stay with him for decades to come. He remembers being in denial saying Gandalf can’t die, Conan didn’t die in his books, so why could Gandalf die? To Martin, Tolkien had just broken what he assumed was an unwritten rule in writing.

Martin, however, isn’t upset with the esteemed writer, far from it actually. Martin says he will forever love the author for the lesson he taught him. The second you kill Gandalf as the author, the suspense of every other aspect after the death scene is so much more significant than before because the reader is now aware that anyone could die. No one is safe. This one scene has had a considerable effect on Martin’s willingness to kill his characters at the drop of a hat.

Gandalf’s death on the Bridge of Moria against the Balrog has stuck with many avid fantasy readers. Martin, however, seems more than willing to carry the flame farther in his series to keep the suspense alive and well in fantastical settings.

The TV series Game of Thrones has seen over 1,200 deaths on-screen over the years.

The soon to appear eighth and final season of the HBO series is expected to raise that number even higher. Many have speculated as to who the most likely characters are to die. And that’s not all. For those who enjoy the books, there are at least two more in the making including The Winds of Winter.

The last season of the TV show Game of Thrones should premiere during the first half of 2019. The season is comprised only of six episodes. However, each one has the potential to be as long as a movie.