CONAN: Just an absolute thrill to meet you, first of all.
I'm a huge fan of the show, all of us are.
We are massive fans of the show.
So much to talk about.
GEORGE R. R. MARTIN: It's great to be here.
CONAN: First of all, let's talk about the episode that just aired, the last episode on Sunday, melted people's minds, not just me, my eyeballs melted out of my head.
The reaction was stunning.
I was thinking what is it about this show, "Game of Thrones,"
you get us to really care about characters, love them, think that they're central to everything and then you kill them!
You sick bastard!
GEORGE R. R. MARTIN: I did do that, that's true.
CONAN: Why do you do that?
You have this way of completely surprising people.
At least this character I know is going to be around for a while, but no.
You have a way of surprising us.
GEORGE R. R. MARTIN: I suppose you're right, the sort of stuff you like to read.
As a reader or viewer of television or film, I always like unexpected things.
I always like the suspense to be real.
We have all seen the movies where the hero is in trouble.
He is surrounded by 20 people, but you know he is going to get away because he is the hero.
You don't really feel any fear for him.
I want my readers and my viewers to be afraid when my characters are in danger.
I want them to be afraid to turn the next page because the next character may not survive it.
CONAN: You have achieved that.
Now, it's a television show and a very popular pelvis show, you have actors, you must have them begging you please don't kill my character.
Has that happened?
GEORGE R. R. MARTIN: Yes.
Yes, we had recently out here in Los Angeles, we had the premiere for the third season.
We had a wonderful party, big premiere at Grauman's Chinese theater.
At one point I found myself talking with three actors, some of whom I was meeting for the first time.
It was a delightful conversation.
I had a moment when I realized they were all dead.
CONAN: They don't know it.
GEORGE R. R. MARTIN: One of them knew it.
The other two didn't know it yet.
They would know it if they read the books.
GEORGE R. R. MARTIN: They only have themselves to blame.
CONAN: You're talking to people, you love doing the show.
You know you're talking to a dead man.
GEORGE R. R. MARTIN: I do, yes.
There was one actress, I won't say her name who said please don't kill me, please don't kill me.
I don't want to die.
I love doing this show.
I do know that she does die.
I'm very, very guilty.
It's one thing to kill these characters when they're people on paper.
When you actually meet the actors who portray them, and you make them unemployed, a certain amount of guilt feelings.
CONAN: You take the most central characters in a show and you have no fear of getting rid of them.
If you were the writer behind this show, the Conan show, who would you get rid of for maximum thrills and chills?
GEORGE R. R. MARTIN: Well, you know, that would depend on who was behind it.
I suppose as the heir to the throne, you would be the conspirator who would be arming the band with cross bows to get rid of you.
CONAN: You would have me killed pretty quickly by Andy and the band, right?
Who is plotting that?
We want to see that!
GEORGE R. R. MARTIN: Are we sure they have no cross bows over there?
CONAN: Trust me, they're in a state where they can't do anything.