Death is rather a big plot-driver in George R. R Martin’s Game of Thrones books, and the TV show is taking it up a notch, he admits.
“As bloody as I am [showrunners] David Benioff and Dan Weiss are always turning things up to eleven, so really no-one is safe,” the author tells US chat show host Conan O’Brien.
“Even the book readers who say, ‘Well this character is safe, he’s not in any trouble because he’s still in book five’, may have an unpleasant surprise.”
Of course Martin knows when other characters are going to meet an untimely end. He works on the show and usually writes one episode per season. But he laughs: “I do kind of squeal a bit when I get the outline, ‘Wait a minute, wait a minute, he’s not dead in the books, he’s still alive in the books’.”
Although, of those characters that have always had a gruesome ending at the hands of Martin, he says it’s strange now that there’s an actor playing them.
“I think it’s a good thing that I wrote the books before we started making the show, because when you make the show and meet the actors, it’s harder to kill them.
“I killed them years ago in the books.”
But it can still be tough. For example, while Martin says Jack Gleeson is the “nicest guy in the world” the death of his character King Joffrey means it’s, “Oh, it’ll be Jack out of a job then,” Martin explains.
But it doesn’t look like this will be changing any time soon.
“Any wedding that doesn’t have at least three deaths is a dull affair,” he adds.
Game of Thrones is on Mondays at 9:00pm on Sky Atlantic