Burgers & Books: George Stephanopoulos with George R.R. Martin

The "Game of Thrones" mastermind reveals the hardest thing he has ever written and why he penned the famous "red wedding" scene that stunned fans.
15:05 | 11/03/14

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Transcript for Burgers & Books: George Stephanopoulos with George R.R. Martin
Thank you so much for doing this and I love what you just told me that were actually. Paying little mosh your first ever television appearance that's right. And I'm Vietnamese many many decades ago I get a cameo scene in in a diner where I was eating a cheeseburger is. Linda Hamilton spoke to the guest star week behind me. What we're not gonna making any more the cheeseburger than had been ordered it to let this cheeseburger looks considerably more appetizing in the microwave cheeseburgers at the proper and I kept putting it lightly Nazi. And I had to take a bite out like nine of them be put directly to see him so what's. You know it's it's a lesson here ever add extra in a TV show. Be careful what you're doing that you're going to be doing it over and over again for many hours go for the nine and in parts that's right. This goes before you writer then of course you gonna write your whole life but that was before this whole explosion. Attract. It. How much has changed. Considerably. Considerably com in in both could waves and then waves almost over with but. You know they obviously this accessible it's exhilarating success that was perfect. I've had some amazing experiences and every right ones readers use. Agreement that the strange part it is he. I think a successful writer. Most of my life tonight Brooke Mueller freely from the get pretty early when so much her story is that anyone went full time and so I mean nine. Like any writer at ups and downs ahead. You know books that didn't sell very well and in television. You know pilots that didn't get picked up and all that but. That would downs but there were also up by and large write had a successful career. But there's a difference between beta successful writer and being a celebrity writer and transiting I think largely because in the show into the celebrity thing is is with the changes really really come in and that's been the most surreal aspect of this whole having having. People imitate me on Saturday at Los South Park cartoon where I'm actually character and writers it usually used to a sort matter helpful. Hopeful obscurity you do. People may know your characters that mean no national average sales growing view that changes the whole expect seamlessly over from me can. Actually I I would think so and it's only gets to the point of especially you know in this book you actually Cote wrote it. Would be the people behind the west rose let's say this kind of be kind of odd. But gratifying to have created a world that other people know as well as you'd. Yet that that's still responsible ought to do it but Julio Garcia and land and homes and my co authors of this had enough. Ardent fans. The world the license tires and since the beginning really the first book came out in 96 and I think I I heard permanently 9798. They were among the first people to email me. And correct me point out inconsistencies. And mistakes that I had made and you know ask me questions about things they hadn't considered whether it was awful and narratives of I've often said that over years of age they know the universe better mind you I think that's true. So when we decided. A number of years ago that we wanted to do this importance. It was natural that returned them are my partners. So what is this book exactly the entire world before. The game restrooms. Story took off. Yes this is world book or importance. As the novels came out. I would I would get emails and letters more and more of them over the years of both hands. And readers who were interest it in one aspect or another of the background of the history. You know what assistance would bring in our churches this partner in civil war in some more about it. We have read a novel about Roberts rebellion that happened the generation before us. I love what you said about eight owns conquest. If you. Tell me more about Hallie Adams troops sisters Concord sentencing. And I would get the all of these letters and. One of the great things about epic fantasies one of the trademarks of epic fantasy is that the the world that are set in the secondary universe has coking coal that it is pretty much character the setting is is very important. Com. You can even think back to. When Lord of the Rings first really burst of that a public conferences and America. In the sixties and college kids of of my generation would put up posters in their dorm rooms. But it would be a map of middle earth nada not a picture of any of the characters it was the world of middle earth. Was as important as any of the characters and talking really established and later writers about potentially let me if Republicans footsteps and west rose is a character it's its geography its history its legends. And there was this huge appetite on the finance no more about it so which normally decided to. To do this before them. When you when you go in and and and and reenter. Re imagine recreate. This world. Where does it come from do you even know. Summit comes from history I mean my work is fantasy but. It's strongly rooted in in real mystery. Seoul. Hi I'm not a historian but I've I've won't get avid reader of history and historical fiction. I know you said the dead famous saying is that right is that democracy right do years. Yes and silly but you can't you. You know II do right to be read. I want. An audience but I don't want that audience to like vote on how things come out you can't. Just go by your treadmill and say oh everybody wants to see this happen so often make that happen you. Books are very personal thing it your own and her own missions. You may right. In hopes that an orient find you and invaluable source support your movies or films but ultimately your rating for yourself. And youthful but wouldn't you know these these hands are so committed. So was so devoted to this world mean they're they're they're they're hanging waiting for every word that you read we're responsible in the field. Thinking beyond entertaining them. Well I do want it in the course titles want to make him think again. I want to give him a vicarious experience. You know when analysts one kid living in Vail. We do that much money. We didn't travel. Very much we can even own a car bomb books and comic books. We're in the way experienced world. I remember some of books I read almost as if it was things happen to me then. Better than I remember what was really happening to me and in my life who's your world it was it was my world Clinton and yes maybe I never left bail but I. And what divorce soon with licorice burrows side four the martians with a few well site. We took other galaxies with Robert Heinlein and middle earth which there are people scene and was hit with us but monsters with HP love Kraft. There's one point and one of the books my books where it. I care pursuits read your lives a thousand lives or dies amendment does not read lives only one. And then I'd leave that to be true you know books have. Immensely. Rich mind my life and hopefully my apple can do things named for the lives of my readers that how. How does it work having now that then the novels and that the show. Running. Concur. Give have to worry about one getting and the other Michelle getting out of the books home while the show is definitely catching up to the books. There's no doubt that the show was moving faster than than I moving writing the book. When we started I had a considerable head start but. They rating sixty page developed ways and Cameron and 15100 page book so. And and they are faster than I am to be there was a certain point a couple years ago where it was freaking out about that basically. You know it is what it is and my obligations to finish books are strongly it's like ten and I can't speed that process up by wishing it it was speeded up in the red wedding shops on me and that. Pretty shocking it. Look and shocked Shiite and knew it was coming it was very hard to right. I mean that occurs in the third book considers a storm sorts. And it was the hardest thing the when. That focus is quite long red wedding occurs about two thirds of the way through the book. And but I couldn't write it lined up tonight I skipped over and I finished entire rest of the book and with the whole. And I went back and made myself write that scene Prius it was so hard to. Because you knew what you had to confront entry and figured out. Which just painful to kill these characters and it created and that it lived with you so long and I have great such affection for. It's going to be very very. Tough to write that scene and it's tough to write visit his plea to read anything. And of course when that book came out we got a tremendous reaction to it I get letters angry letters and letters that said. On the read your work again nor I through your book against a wall. There was 11 trends that I through your book in the fireplace or every that's been. More than a week later and it ran by another. Read at. Read how it ended so that worked out pretty well I mean how but. The so the TV should overshadow courses is thirteen years later so. I knew having been through it wants were ready we we would get. This has similar ride big reaction but of course magnified by the power of television and affected millions of people were were watching it. We had a question came in and into instant criminal and who do you think portrays the book character best in the series. That's hard that's you know who was your favorite trial kind of question. You know I love my children. That. There are a lot of them are extraordinary mean. There's no doubt that Peter Dick lynch has made here in ministered his own. And we kind of knew that would happen David Mann mine you know Peter was the only person ever considered for that role whenever rated films. We just knew we had to get Peter include complete period latest otherwise we are in trouble. Peter sexually. Significantly different from KeyArena subscribed in the books he's he's taller. He's probably about a foot taller he's considerably better looking than Terry and unfortunately it was repeatedly described this as a plea. But from the minute he walked. Jeanne reunion you knew that was experience you're looking at period. Another extraordinary. Young actress is meeting Williams who leaves. Ari stark. Boy that was a tough world can't we looked at hundreds of kids. Finding I mean there are a lot of kid actors out there but most of them are. Kids and much more kids than they are actors and they can. They can be cute they can deliver a one zinger one liner and and situation comedy or something like that. What we need to kids who wouldn't security check and becoming apparent rate. Rage and grief and some very very dark motions. Then there was a point when viewers may got we're never gonna find them variances and possible and then suddenly made she was there with. Virtually no experience in terms of dancer in school and had never really even thought of being an actor in Nen you know she's just came out of nowhere and while she's amazed at war over kids were amazing meaningful or casting director. Sophie turner who placed on so. As a camps that right pleas for an. These were extraordinary find turns setting aside the actors what you're thousand characters in ride her horse something like that I haven't counted but yet there's a lot of room. And you know lot of on the done. Some pretty horrible things you love them wrong. I love to viewpoint characters even once would have done horrible things I think you you have to was rigor. You know I use a very. Very close third person viewpoint. I'd it's not first person I'm I'm using third person but I'm inside. Whoever it to you clinker for that chapters on seeing the world through their eyes that you're hearing it thoughts. You were in their skin so. In a sense when directives I have to become those characters. I have to draw on something inside me disable her what I what I perceive the world would if I was this character and you have to identify with the they have feelings about the world you know meant when I things I tried to do. With these characters as McCann fully realized human beings mean fantasy. Too much of bad fantasy has to use. Cartoon versions of good and evil. Nobody really thinks you're evil you know nobody nobody gets up in the morning and say hi I'm doctor evil what evil things coming day. Let me bring the world into darkness. So all will bowed to meet. Everybody thinks of the hero everybody thinks. Everybody has their rationalizations. Justifications you really have to do some horrible things but. Right it's for good end Torre you know which for the best. And you have to try to cap today you have to tread try to. She rolled through their all right so as a result we're numb when I'm actually inside the skin looking up pretty eyes of one these characters. There's a deep empathy to know how this all lands. And brought troops. In the devil's in the details of course there's a lot of details. I know. I know the ending and I know what happens emotionally prepared and you. Schools will be alive. My pleasure. They didn't expect but it. Oh.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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