Unless you've been hibernating for the past five years, you'll be hooked on Game of Thrones and fully aware at how devastating all the death is. But, as its famed scribe George RR Martin reveals, it's a necessary (and all too frequent) occurrence.
Speaking to Galaxy's Edge, Martin reminds us of the central line we associate with the books and TV show: "A writer, even a fantasy writer, has an obligation to tell the truth and the truth is, as we say in Game of Thrones, all men must die. Particularly if you’re writing about war, which is certainly a central subject in Game of Thrones."
Seems George wants to keep the GoT story feeling as real to life as possible - regardless of black magic, dragons, and resurrections, that is - by breaking free of that pesky 'happily ever after' narrative.
"We’ve all read this story a million times when a bunch of heroes set out on an adventure and it’s the hero and his best friend and his girlfriend and they go through amazing hair-raising adventures and none of them die. The only ones who die are extras."
There's absolutely no mistaking GoT for anything other than brutal, grim storytelling, especially with the realities of war being that lots and lots of people die: "They go into battle and their best friend dies or they get horribly wounded. They lose their leg or death comes at them unexpectedly.”
“You don’t get to live forever just because you are a cute kid or the hero’s best friend or the hero. Sometimes the hero dies, at least in my books,” says the writer. And to be honest, the unexpected, shocking, and sometimes utterly gruesome deaths are part of the reason we tune in in the first place.
But surprisingly, Martin says he doesn't enjoy killing off his characters (even though there's this misconception he relishes it): "I tend to think I don’t kill them. The other characters kill ‘em. I shift off all blame from myself.”
All we can do now is nervously wait for season six to conclude and pray to the gods that neither Tyrion or Daenerys snuffs it.
Feature image: HBO