George R. R. Martin
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“You know nothing, George R. R. Martin.”
“Hehehe, hahaha, this is easy.”
George R. R. Martin (born September 20, 1948) is the bearded, retired Santa Claus look-a-like responsible for the BLT sized books A Game of Thrones, Feast of Crows and I Wrote This by Mashing up Everything That Came to Hand. Martin is now chuckling all the way to his bank. No relation to J.K.Rowling, J.R.Ewing or G.R.R.R.R.R (a grizzly bear when he discovers you inside a tent on his hunting land).
Martin comes across as the jolly bloated uncle you never had (or never wished to have). He could also be a garden gnome that managed to heft his bulk over a garden wall and is now running amok polluting the minds of the young and easily influenced with his turgid tomes. Considered to be by some as the 'American J.R.R Tolkien' or a gurning version of C.S. Lewis, Martin cleverly realised that the path to happiness and gold is to 'sex up' your stories and add a lot gore when the action heads into a plodding direction.
This is certainly the view of the HBO teleivision channel who gobbled up the rights to Martin's A Singalong of Fire and Ice series (unfinished) and are now currently shooting the series in Belfast in Northern Ireland. Since this was also the place where the RMS Titanic was launched, the producers may have hoped that if the show tanked or was sunk by an iceberg of audience indifference, no one would have noticed. Unluckily for us, though the pilot was thrown overboard for excess cheesy acting, a re-casting and re-boot has turned the TV series into a world wide hit. It has also given hope to other writers of half arsed fantasy literature another boost that their fluffy epics will be picked up and turned into pricey TV series. It is becoming all very 'Martinesque'.
Born George Rimsky Roustabout Martin in New Jersey, Martin was unable to use his first name professionally as he was constantly receiving phone calls for The Beatles record producer George Martin. Though American George was fat and squat and English George slim and lanky, G R.R. blinked first and changed his professional name. Martin's early work featured space ships and geeky story lines about misfiring rockets, he soon moved to fantasy literature and a lot of vampire and zombie stories. This use of imagination and making stuff naturally drew him to the life of journalism and he did well enough to write his first National Enquirer story - Headless man found in Topless Bar. The only give away that the story may not have been based on fact was the fantastical names attached to the alleged victims and perpetrators. Encouraged (and sacked) to look elsewhere to earn his dollars, Martin moved into television.
In the 1970s and 1980s Martin found himself working on various projects. He was involved in a drama titled 'Troll' which later changed its name to 'Oil' and finally emerged as 'Dynasty'. Other traces of Martin's work are in now lost episodes of 'Fantasy Island' where an army of zombies swim ashore and disguise themselves as the hoteliers from hell. This was easy work and Martin became comfortably well off but as he said 'pissed off that no one actually read my junk'.
The answer was of course not to create something brand new but to mismatch and mangle existing work. His first film emerged this way - Gnomes Gone Bad (later re-titled Gremlims) and Michael Dukakis:Midget From Andorra.
Inspiration to try something different happened by chance when he watched the PBS channel. Besides their usual money begging slots, it was there he saw a couple of BBC productions and a blood thirsty French series titled (in English) The Accursed Kings but high class bonkings, burnings and beheadings in 14th century France and England. He had been aware of these foreign influences on American television when a BBC series about emperor Claudius led inspired the confusing and psychopathic characters in Dynasty. So the answer it seemed was to combine elements from European history and add a sprinkling of fairy dust and magic. Now Martin just needed to write the buggers.
I'm on fire
In the 1990s and now living in exile in Santa Fe in Texas, Martin got to work with his first book from the series he provisionally titled 'A Song and Dance About Fire and Ice'. The first in the series was titled 'A Game of Thrones'. His fantasy land was essentially a mirror image of Great Britain flipped over. The land of the 'ice' was suitably Scotland and the land of the North was Newcastle and all regions adjacent of Liverpool (Martin loved the accent). He hit upon the idea to use first and third person narrative with second person narrative if anyone burst into song (or dance). The land would be medieval but about as truth to the era as imagining King Arthur and Merlin.
Martin would be the new Thomas Mallory, a fifteenth century knight involved in the English War of the Roses. What Martin liked about Mallory (besides them both sharing the same surname initial) was that Mallory re-worked the Arthurian story to clear his reputation of nun raping looter. He failed in that endeavour and was stuck inside a dungeon. It was there that Mallory was allowed to write his book and had given serialisation rights to William Caxton. That book had come out in 1485. By then Mallory had long been dead and all the royalties for the sales ended up with Caxton. So Martin realised he needed to get to work but wanted to bulk up the books so that they would like a good read when stacked next to rival authors.
It was only then that Martin realised that to populate his world and to make it interesting enough for people not to snore after page 5 was to bring in ice zombies. That was a good start. Then he worked out the inter family rivalries between the Starks, Lannisters, Targaryens, Tyrells and others. Freely borrowing many names form history and changing the spellings to give them an extra 'exotica' where necessary 
Progress was slow. A Chorus of Groans stumbled out of its publishing bed in 1996 and was followed by A Clash of Heads, A Shower of Smut, A Glutton for Punishment, A Dance with Drag Queens and now the forthcoming A Hurry Up From HBO followed from Martin's active typing fingers.
Curiously by a circe like route, film producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss who had covered the world in Tolkien melodrama and shrink wrapped Gandalf gift token were looking for a project to tickle their fantasy loins after a version of The Hobbit got nixed in 2009 when Peter Jackson refused to shoot the prequel to his Lord of the Rings. Both claim to have been 'fans' of the book and perhaps hoped this Martin character was either dead or really J.K.Rowling letting her hair down (and taking her serious literary clothes off) for some some sub medieval nonsense. Instead they discovered Martin was alive and well and working as Christmas Grotto Santa in Santa Fe.
Fans can write this stuff better than me confession
Not all of the fans of Martin's books were keen to see their nerdworld neverland adventure stories turned into a glossy HBO show. Fans hoped this meant that the show wouldn't require a filter to remove all the sex and gore stuff which so tickled their nether parts. At least it wouldn't be boiled down to three nine hour films with another week's worth of extras and doodlings as per the Lord of the Rings.
HBO were not so sure if the show would be a hit and had so hired a cast of British and other European based thespians to spout the sub par Shakespearian language. They would also be likely to provide the full-on nudity which had often had American audiences running to their local church or switching their TV devices to the Kardashian Shopping and Porn channel.
So from cult status to world wide hit, George R. R. Martin found his life transformed. He couldn't do much with how he looked on television, a man with a funny New Jersey accent who looked liked he watched Supersize Me as a Good Food Guide rather than a Warning from Dietary History. No matter, he had more new fans than he could twist his beard at whilst talking to them on his blogs.
It was only then that the real truth came out. Martin's fans realised they could write his books better than he could come up from his mind. They demanded he either finish the wretched things or let them crowd source the plot lines and come up with a suitable finale. Now Martin became postively possessive. This was his fantasy and he was the God in this territory. But he had forgotten HBO.
The devil you thought you knew now wanted to 'plan ahead for their investment'. Martin was told to finish it by the book after next and if he either refused or died, was to provide the film's producers with a synopsis that would provide the end. Martin wasn't happy, felt his natural waffling and dense style of writing was under threat. But HBO promised to kill all his friends and family and impose their own style of Dragon rule. So Martin got another book out and was then told that if HBO thought he was still 'going on and on and on', the position of last editor. Martin could still plod along with his plot lines and daft scenarios but HBO would control how the TV series would turn out.
George Martin is now locked inside his Santa Fe house. He has had to hire impersonators to go out and 'bang the HBO' drum. Luckily his days as a grotto Santa has meant he has plenty of contacts in the Christmas Entertainment business. So next time you see someone introduced as 'George Martin, writer of' A Song of Fire and Ice, check to see if that guy with the white beard, braces, big belly and funny little cap is really him. It is more probably an imposter. HBO always get their Man (or woman) in the end to pay them royalties.
- ↑ Or indeed, Tony the Tiger from the Frosties adverts.
- ↑ Writers that use initials or pseudo names when writing literature aimed at the shortness of trousers or the softness of head prefer the androgynous ambiguity of authorship.
- ↑ The French title was Les Royales Morte.
- ↑ Sex, horrible murder and general bad behavior in codpieces.
- ↑ It was Sante Fe where Martin started working as Santa Claus in various supermarket grottoes.
- ↑ Like Marco Polo, Marquis de Sade and Adolf Hitler, Mallory found incarceration concentrated the mind. Critics of George R. R. Martin wish he had been locked up too - so that he could finish his epic.
- ↑ For example Eddard Stark. Starting out with Ed - Martin then back formed the full name to the fictional Eddard rather than Edward or Edmund. Cersei Lannister - Circe the change forming goddess in The Odyssey).
- ↑ L-shaped bed covers, tit tape, etc etc.