1. George R. R. Martin Wasn't Sure He Wanted Dragons In "Game Of Thrones"

George R. R. Martin Wasn't Sure He Wanted Dragons In "Game Of Thrones"

George compares magic in his books to a cook using salt: too much and you'll ruin the soup.

Transcript:

CONAN: I don't know if this is a myth or not, but initially when you started writing the series, you did not want to include dragons.
You had envisioned this realm, but you weren't necessarily a fan of dragons or thought dragons should be a part of it.
Is that true?
GEORGE R.R. MARTIN: I debated it.
We're going all the way back to 1991.
I had written the first few chapters.
For a fantasy it's very realistic, very low magic.
I knew -- the question was, should they have actual dragons, which would just be a symbol?
I was going back and forth about that until a friend of mine, a very talented fantasy writing herself, Phyllis, read some of the early chapters and she said, George, it's a fantasy.
You have to have real dragons.
CONAN: You've got to have dragons.
GEORGE R.R. MARTIN: Yes, yes.
CONAN: I appreciate, as someone who loves the show, that it isn't a constant stream of impossible fantasy and magic.
It is very much grounded in reality.
And then there are, of course, a few elements here and there.
But it makes it easier to relate to.
GEORGE R.R. MARTIN: It certainly makes it grittier and more realistic.
I think magic has to be handled very carefully in fantasy.
Phyllis was right.
You need some magic in a fantasy. But too much magic is like too much salt in the stew.
All you can taste is the salt and anything can happen.
Pigs are flying and --
CONAN: Flying pigs would be fantastic.
Keep that idea.
That's next season, right?
GEORGE R.R. MARTIN: Actually, I do have a Knight with a winged pig on his shield in the next book.
CONAN: Do you really?
GEORGE R.R. MARTIN: Yeah, I do, yeah.
He doesn't actually have a winged pig --
CONAN: Yeah, wait till the network gets involved.
We ran it through the numbers.
You have to have a winged pig.
Game of throes --
GEORGE R.R. MARTIN: We do have sir pounce the cat.
He is very popular.
We made a spinoff about the adventures of sir pounce.
CONAN: Do you know about this?
Who's sir pounce the cat?
GEORGE R.R. MARTIN: He's a cat.
He's the king's cat.
CONAN: I didn't know about that.
GEORGE R.R. MARTIN: It wept crazy when sir pounce appeared.
CONAN: You have a computer from 1911.
How would you know?
The internet went crazy.
GEORGE R.R. MARTIN: I have my other computer.
The one that gets the viruses.