More from George R.R. Martin, a Titanic expansion, and Game of Thrones torrenting by state
By Lightbringer on in Interview, News.

George R.R. Martin had a busy visit to Edinburgh for their International Book Festival, in addition to his two Q&A sessions, he also sat down to speak with Sky News, and BBC Radio.

In his interview with Sky News he discusses the popularity of Game of Thrones and how it filled the void for an adult epic fantasy series. He comments on the fact that many of his fans would rather he be at home writing than at a book festival, and talks more about reading fan theories in the late 90’s that had guessed the future of his story correctly, but says that he doesn’t read them anymore. He admits that he is reluctant to identify his series as feminist in case he offends anyone, but that he tries to portray a wide variety of females in his work, and addresses the controversy over the Jaime and Cersei sept scene.

In his interview with BBC Radio Martin talks at length about the historical influence on his work, and his appreciation for Tolkein’s stories leading to a number of re-reads. He explains how he keeps track of all of his characters, and the immense popularity of his series and its television adaptation. He says that he has had meetings with the showrunners about how the books are going to go, and gives them manuscripts before they are published, but it’s up to them which direction the show will go in. He explains his writing process, and says that 5-6 pages completed marks a good day, but that he often struggles to achieve that. He also discusses his violent subject matter, his approach to writing women, the decision of television over movies, and the pressure to finish his story.

Game of Thrones has helped to make Northern Ireland a desirable location to film major productions. While the Northern Ireland film industry continues to grow, so will Thrones’ home base, Titanic Studios.

It was reported yesterday that a planning approval has been granted to extend the studios in Belfast by 100,000 sq ft, bringing the complex’s size to more than 250,000 sq ft. The permission was granted by Environment Minister Mark Durkan after no objections were received to the application submitted in December.

The expansion will cost £14 million, and will include two additional film stages, new film production workshops, office space, additional parking, and a roof-mounted solar panel system.

Real estate company Movoto recently took it upon themselves to break down bit torrenting habits in the United States. After collecting data from the top 300 torrents of movies, television shows, and video games over the past 40 days, comprising of 4 million seeding nodes and 3 million unique IP addresses, they have mapped the country’s torrenting habits.

Their map of the most popular torrented television show by state shows Game of Thrones coming out on top. Thrones was the top show in 15 states, which is pretty impressive considering the last episode aired nearly two months ago.

When compared to their map of states that torrent the most television shows, it’s interesting to note that many of the states that took part in the least amount of torrenting, downloaded Game of Thrones the most.

tvtorrentsbystate

Movoto has also set up an interactive map that allows you to select any of the 300 torrents individually or in groups, if you have some time to kill.

Get a daily update of the site’s latest news, conveniently sent in newsletter form, directly to your inbox. Sign up for WiC Daily.


53 Comments

  1. Joshua White
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    So he really “wrestled” with the idea of changing the ending because people figured out his clues? George, you are writing a story, not a string of random events and Shymalan hat-tricks based on readers’ response to the previous parts of the series.

  2. metamorphicclouds
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Joshua White,

    If you’ve ever been a writer you would know that it’s not that simple. He’s a human being, for crying out loud… it’s his story, and if some people have figured out somethings he wanted to give out through events in the book, he’d definitely have to think about it. But he didn’t change the story, so your point is moot, invalidated, and frankly offensive.

  3. Joshua White
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    metamorphicclouds,

    If you’re offended by a tame comment on a subjective issue, on an internet forum, I think you have a pretty thin skin. You are right, George made the right decision, but he’s commented a number of times that he’s wrestled with the issue, and it’s a no brainer question for most authors you will find. You don’t spend hundreds of pages and countless novels setting something up only to pull the rug out because a small fraction of people figured it out. The fact that he even gave it serious thought is pretty amatuer, and possibly explains the bizarre direction he took with Feast during this time period in his writing, where his story derailed.

  4. Nicolai Hansen
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    He’s never gonna fish the books. Twenty years ago he started writing. He has only published five books in Song of Ice and Fire. J.K. Rowling was faster.
    It could be lovely if it could be released in February 2015.

  5. spacechampion
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Joshua White:
    So he really “wrestled” with the idea of changing the ending because people figured out his clues?

    When did he refer changing “the ending”? Not in that interview. He was clearly referring to the solutions to specific mysteries he’s set up, most probably the question of the parentage of Jon Snow, but maybe something else entirely. Regardless which, he wasn’t referring to “the ending”. You were wrong yet you thought it fine to go on a rant and call him amateur, and then accuse another poster of having a thin skin. You need to hold yourself accountable for your own behaviour first, before you earn the right to hold other people accountable for their behaviour.

  6. The Bastard
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    This kills the thought some fans had that the show would end differently then the books so he could preserve the ending. If he doesn’t want to change the ending because some people guessed it online, he won’t want the show to be much different either.

  7. James
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Honestly, people give him WAY too hard of a time and hate on him WAY too much. One thing that we can all agree on is that it is annoying as a fan of his books that he only writes while at home and that he does a lot which takes time away from him writing his book (something he’s admitted to). However, he’s a very intelligent guy with a great sense of humor who loves to go to fan conventions and chat with fans. Have you guys ever watched any of his interviews? He’s crazy smart and he’s not at all self absorbed or anything of that sort. He’s friendly and open to talking about anything. He only wrestled with the idea of changing the ending because he wants his readers to be surprised, but wrestling with the idea is not at all the same as seriously considering it. It’s something that he’s thought about for good reasons but something he didn’t do for even better reasons. Give the guy a break and give him some credit. He writes the books we all love and is involved in the TV show that we all love.

  8. EverydayI'mHodoring
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think George should have even revealed that info (about some readers having guessed correctly) because then that confirms there is a correct theory out there and people are now going to go figure out which one it mostly likely is. But I guess it’s a moot point anyway, the TV series will tell us before the books do (or at least the ending George had in mind as far as 2014).

  9. Joshua White
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    spacechampion,

    Hahaha. Easy there, sparky.

    The Jon Snow stuff may very well be a big part of the ending. Many fan theories include Jon’s heritage as a part of their endgame ideas. I think we will know in the next few years, by show and/or by book.

    It IS thin skinned to be offended by a subjective topic on an internet forum. Save the getting offended part for things like perpetual monetary easing, or interventionist foreign policy, or corporatism run amuck, and lighten up a little ;)

  10. spacechampion
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Look in the mirror some time, dude. You’re the only one in the thread so far getting upset and throwing around accusations.

  11. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Hodor and the Night’s King shall rule over all. It is known.

  12. Renly's Peach
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Every time he does one of these little interviews, he always ends up sticking his foot in his mouth. I know more about George R.R. Martin’s life now than I do about the president’s only because of how many interviews he’s done recently. And with each one, he paints himself in a worse light.

    I’ve never been one of those people that complained about him not writing and taking part in too many distractions.. but I’m starting to change my mind now. He just came back from France saying he was gonna get busy and writing and couldn’t do the show and this and that.. and now he’s at Edinburgh talking about feminists and fan predictions. Fucking hell. Just stay at home for a bit, man.

  13. Joshua White
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    spacechampion,

    Btw, the interviewer was asking about fans figuring out “the conclusion”, and Martin mentioned “fans guessing where it’s going”, so yeah, using the word “ending” probably fits into the category, especially considering we are 5/7ths of the way through a book series so the next two books will naturally be concluding major storylines. But hey no big deal, like I said, it’s all subjective, so anyone taking offense needs to lighten up haha.

    The best part about this interview was the answer he gave about the rape scene. Good insight from the guy who initially put that morbidly creative scene on the page 15 years ago. Storm of Swords is still a top 5 book of mine.

  14. Trusted Steed
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    There isn’t a single reason for negativity, it’s bad for your body. Let it go. From his mind this has all come to be.

  15. Joshua White
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Renly’s Peach,

    Agreed. I think fans would be much more understanding if he wrote a little bit on the road. Every other writer and artist I know embraces technology and uses it to enhance their craft. None of his tech excuses hold up, since it only take a moderate level of technical ability, which his assistant possesses, to rig up a word processor to include or omit any feature you’d like.

    Even though I’m not a fan of his last two novels, I’d love him to be finished so he would be free to pursue, write, and maybe even produce some of his prequel ideas after the series ends. Think how great a Robert’s Rebellion movie series could be with a high budget? He’s such a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings movies, I could see Martin putting his heart and soul into a project like that and helping create something mindblowing. I’d love to see the Trident and the Tower of Joy battle in all there epic glory

  16. BlackTalon
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    I think he was so freaked out by the fan anticipating the ending because of what happened to Marion Zimmer Bradley once. I remember he told that story when asked why he will absolutely not allow any fan fiction whatsoever.

    He said MZB used to be in very close contact with her fans and actively invited them to discuss ideas and write fanfiction … until one of them came up with and published precisely the same plotline that she had been writing about in a new, unfinished book of hers. Obviously it would have looked like she stole the idea from the fan. She discussed the issue with the fan, but the woman absolutely insisted on being mentioned as a “co-author” and wanted part of her earnings. MZB had to scrap the new book and a year’s worth of work.

  17. Easteros Bunny
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    We are never going to get the next book.

  18. Trusted Steed
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 2:05 am | Permalink
  19. Joshua White
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    mid 2017 = realistic prediction
    mid 2016 = earliest

    Book 8 and series final volume 2026.

  20. strokememarge
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    Interesting comment by GRRM is that a couple of fans correctly guessed the ending by analyzing obscure references. Considering the tens of thousands of fan correspondences over the years with a large percentage being theories on his series conclusion, the ending isn’t even close to popular fan theories, unless of course he’s trying to throw off readers.

    My take on the conclusion is study medieval history of England, Scotland, France and Spain. After all GRRM takes the juiciest high points or low points during this 1000 year of world history and incorporates them into his series. Determine the events he used (of course he has made subtle alterations) extrapolate the timelines, determine what major medieval event(s) he is steering toward and how it concluded. Then determine the victor(s), though sometimes writers did not like how history ended (alternate verse books) and instead the losing side in our real history becomes the winner in these instances. George did say it has a bittersweet ending which to me is a big clue referencing the similar event from medieval history.

  21. shk12344
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Christmas 2015 for Winds of Winter.

    Gonna be honest, I don’t think he will be able to finish Dream of Spring.

  22. Chuchulf
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    I wonder… when people ask him the same questions over and over again, do they expect a different answer? For a looong time every interviewer would ask him who’s his favorite character and when will the next book be out. By now thankfully they finished with these questions. Now the regular questions are ‘Are you a feminist writer?’ or ‘How can you keep so many characters in mind?’. I mean come on, there are tons of other interesting questions you could ask him about the books.

  23. Pedro
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    He attends to events,
    He does interviews about the show,
    He eats,
    He is not writing The Winds of Winter,
    He doesn’t even try.
    He gave up the books for the TV show.

  24. Caliope
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I love George R.R Martin, He’s a genius!

  25. Broken Wolf
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    George, you know what? I don’t care when you finish the books as long as you finish them and you don’t go Robert Jordan on us in 2 years. And if you could kill off Stannis Baratheon sometime in there, I would be very happy…

  26. Hammertime
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    The whole thing is going to end with Littlefinger on the throne anyway, and I don’t think people are predicting that.

  27. House baratheon
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Whine all you want you freak shows. They are his books and he can write as slow or as fast as he pleases. Maybe if you keep complaining on Internet forums he will listen and write faster? *huge fart noise. Take your time georgey boy.

  28. A Man Grown
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Broken Wolf,

    Stannis is the one true king. You’ll bend the knee or he’ll destroy you.

  29. JohnnySD
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Joshua White:
    Renly’s Peach,

    Think how great a Robert’s Rebellion movie series could be with a high budget?

    People say this all the time but I don’t think a Robert’s rebellion prequel would be particularly interesting at all as a movie or miniseries.

  30. loco73
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”

    ― Søren Kierkegaard

    Yep, seeing this thread and quite a few of the postings here and elsewhere…I tend to agree…

  31. Joshua White
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    JohnnySD,

    Robert’s Rebellion has a number of epic scenes that I think would translate quite well to a movie format, and a pretty cool villain in the Mad King. Plus, it wouldn’t require a knowledge of the books or TV show to enjoy. It’s probably the closest story I can think of to doing a standalone big budget movie/movie series in the Game of Thrones universe, and like I said, Martin is a huge fan of the Jackson movies, so it seems like a potential fit. It’s just a shame he won’t be finished with the novels to pursue an idea like this, because I could imagine something like that kicking off in the summer of 16 or 17 to take advantage of the Game of Thrones popularity. I’m fairly sure HBO has the rights anyway to everything in the books, so they might not like a project like that, but the world just seems like a good fit for cinema.

  32. Annara Snow
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    strokememarge:
    Interesting comment by GRRM is that a couple of fans correctly guessed the ending by analyzing obscure references. Considering the tens of thousands of fan correspondences over the years with a large percentage being theories on his series conclusion, the ending isn’t even close to popular fan theories, unless of course he’s trying to throw off readers.

    He never said anything about guessing the ending. He just said they guessed some things in the late 1990s. I think he means R+L=J. GRRM tends to greatly overestimate the subtlety of his clues.

  33. Adam Whitehead
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Nicolai Hansen: Twenty years ago he started writing. He has only published five books in Song of Ice and Fire. J.K. Rowling was faster.

    J.K. Rowling wrote and published 1.08 million words in 17 years, compared to GRRM publishing approx 1.14 million words (AFFC+ADWD+projected TWoW) in 17 years if we assume TWoW will be out by 2017. So even the post-ASoS ‘slower’ George is still a (very marginally) faster writer than Rowling. Clearly, going back to 1991 for both authors results in GRRM actually being a lot faster.

    You could have picked Steven Erikson or Brandon Sanderson if you wished to demonstrate authors who are a lot faster than GRRM. Sanderson churned out a book almost as big as ADWD in less than eighteen months, or a quarter the time ADWD gestated.

  34. Joshua White
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead,

    Ser Adam himself! Loved your Dance cameo ;) Actually, if you take Martin’s production between 2000 and 2011, it’s fairly modest. 750,000 words or so in 11 years. Even if I add Dunk and Egg, it’s not that much, and Dance and Feast needed another pass or two. Most part time authors can manage 100k or so of polished prose a year, and the good full time authors I read tend to average quite a bit more. Sanderson produces a lot, but I feel he releases novels that require one or two more passes, so he has Martin’s opposite problem. He likes to churn out creative stories, but they would be far more memorable if he spent another few months polishing them up.

  35. Renly's Peach
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    A Man Grown,

    Stannis is gonna be dead like Ned

  36. Joshua White
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Renly’s Peach,

    Do you think Stannis is based on Richard III, or is that perhaps taking the War of the Roses analogy too literally?

  37. EverydayI'mHodoring
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    see what I mean? The investigation has already begun in the media, George should have kept quiet: http://www.theguardian.com/books/shortcuts/2014/aug/13/how-will-game-of-thrones-end-books?CMP=fb_gu

  38. dtones520
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    James:
    Honestly, people give him WAY too hard of a time and hate on him WAY too much.One thing that we can all agree on is that it is annoying as a fan of his books that he only writes while at home and that he does a lot which takes time away from him writing his book (something he’s admitted to).However, he’s a very intelligent guy with a great sense of humor who loves to go to fan conventions and chat with fans.Have you guys ever watched any of his interviews?He’s crazy smart and he’s not at all self absorbed or anything of that sort.He’s friendly and open to talking about anything. He only wrestled with the idea of changing the ending because he wants his readers to be surprised, but wrestling with the idea is not at all the same as seriously considering it.It’s something that he’s thought about for good reasons but something he didn’t do for even better reasons.Give the guy a break and give him some credit.He writes the books we all love and is involved in the TV show that we all love.

    I disagree with you in that I feel like he is quite self absorbed. Yes, he is friendly and smart, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care only about himself and what is best for him. Especially from a financial standpoint where he has been on record bragging about the truckloads of money he makes now. For all of these events he attends now, or most of them, he probably charges the event a fee for him to attend. He also has released quite a few pure money making, ASOIAF related, pieces of work, examples being the map book, the Tyrion quote book and the History book that is coming out. All of those things take his time away from writing the actual series to line his pockets. Top those things off with writing 4 episodes over the course of the show, all of the events he attends, his stubborn and slow writing process, and just general down time any writer has and you are going to get a lot of frustrated fans.

    And then on top of that he insults the people who are questioning his writing habits or are frustrated that we still don’t have the 6th book of 7, and he insults them while he is off in Europe for 5 weeks touring and doing zero writing. Especially when we now know that he writes about 5 pages per day when he does write, which means we can add up how many pages are not being written while he is away. Based on his reported average number of pages written per day and the amount of time since the last book was released, we should have almost 5,500 pages written. Assuming he were to work the same number of days as the average American, we should have 3,300 pages written. At his current pace he seems to be writing, maybe, 2 pages per day on average, probably less.

  39. thegovnor
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    And this is why the show is guaranteed to overtake the books.

  40. A Man Grown
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Renly’s Peach,

    I’d take that prediction more seriously if your name wasn’t Renly’s Peach ;) Clearly that peach and Stannis do not get along.

  41. Renly's Peach
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Joshua White,

    There’s the Richard III parallels and then there’s also the mountains of doom he has spelled out all around him. He’s in a less-than-favorable position as it stands right now and even if he does pull through, he won’t beat the larger threat.
    He’s a “tragic” character who’s had a very predictable fate from the start, if you ask me.

    I also hate his fanbase and want to see them cry salty tears

    A Man Grown,

    He struck down the most noble man the gods put on this good earth. Kinslayers go in the trash.

  42. davyJones
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    man the constant fan complaining about how long the wait, or why is he doing X instead of writing is REALLY annoying.

  43. King Stannis Onions
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Finish the books George and have Stannis kill those Bolton bastards

  44. A Man Grown
    Posted August 14, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Renly’s Peach,

    Maybe I read it incorrectly, but the impression I got from the book 6 sample chapter was that Stannis is about to curb-stomp Ramsay’s ass. No?

    King Stannis Onions,

    Funny, we posted practically the same thing at the same time. All hail the warrior of light.

  45. Bgap
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    GRRM on GOT, “We’ll have 70, 80, 90 hours by the time we’re done.” Show runners have been saying seven seasons maximum, which will be even less than 70 hours, given the episodes are typically less than an hour. Not complaining, though. A 65 hour complete GOT will be awesome to binge watch in mid 2017.

  46. Elphias
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Bgap,

    Like GRRM said, 13 episodes would have been better, but D&D say that would be/have been impossible. Even with everything being cut, I find it hard to believe they could finish the story on screen in 7 seasons. I was really hoping for 8 and then maybe an epic film. Aren’t actors only signed for 6?

    Does anyone know if running times will be longer come S5? S4 episode run time wasn’t anything special.

  47. littlebird
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Here’s hoping for 8 books and a mini series or 3hr long film depicting the Targaryens fall and Roberts rise to power. =p

  48. GeekFurious
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Joshua White: fantasy series. He comments on the fact that many of his fans would rather he be at home writing than at a book festival, and talks more about reading fan theories in the late 90’s that had guessed the future of his story correctly, but says that he doesn’t read them anymo

    OH WOW! HE DIDN’T KNOW THAT BEFORE YOU MENTIONED IT OMG!!!!

    I mean, other than the fact that he stated that… himself… but hey, clearly you had to say it. Because, you know, what else were you going to say?

    Anyway, George shouldn’t worry about offending anyone by calling himself or the series “feminist”. A feminist is someone who thinks women should have equal opportunities. Nothing more. Anything else is an extremist perspective.

  49. Broken Wolf
    Posted August 15, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    A Man Grown,

    That whiny, entitled, thankless jerk is welcome to come at me with everything he has. I have the Dragon Queen on my side.

  50. sandbun
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I know I’m about a week late to this party, but is no one going to comment on the fact that apparently there are large number of people who download The Big Bang Theory? Really? The Big Bang Theory. Seriously. I think a state where the most torrented show is The Big Bang Theory tells you all you need to know about that state.

  51. donald gua
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    the female characters are given much more power and sway in his fictional universe than factual european history. why would the unsullied or any dothraki follow dany? why would Brienne be allowed to become a knight, or Arya be allowed to get so far without getting raped? politically, men still rule today (with a few exceptions). this is one of the reasons for GoT’s success: women overruling men. examples include melisandre overruling brannis to free davos; catelyn betraying rob by freeing jaimie (and unleashing a chain of events that led to red wedding); and dany’s contradicting norah in her ruse to trade the dragon for the unsullied army, etc…

  52. Lilly
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I luv game of thrones, I’ve read all the book and I’ve now started the tv series. I just finished season 3 epsiode 9 and all I can say is. That. Was. Fucking. Messed. Up. I am now gonna go sob in a corner. Goodbye.

  53. zerowolf
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Hammertime,

    My thoughts exactly – so there are at least two of us now.


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