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George RR Martin: 'Proud of my readers'

Aside from a ‘few jerks out there’ the author who created the 'Game of Thrones' series praises his fans for keeping spoilers secret.

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George R.R. Martin, the author of the epic bestselling novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, which has been adapted for television as Game of Thrones, has vowed that he will never let anyone else write a story set in the universe he created.

“Not while I'm alive,” Martin says. “But eventually I will not be alive because Valar Morghulis – all men must men die.”

Martin has followed up comments in Brisbane at the weekend, where he described fan fiction as lazy, by ruling out the possibility of allowing other authors to write licensed works set in the lands described in the Song of Ice and Fire series.

<i>Game of Thrones</i>' author George R.R. Martin speaking in Brisbane, with actor Jerome Flynn, who plays Bronn.

Game of Thrones' author George R.R. Martin speaking in Brisbane, with actor Jerome Flynn, who plays Bronn. Photo: Renee Melides

Yet he seems resigned to the notion that Westeros will not die with him.

“I don't think my wife, if she survives me, will allow that either. But one thing that history has shown us is eventually these literary rights pass to grandchildren or collateral descendents, or people who didn't actually know the writer and don't care about his wishes. It's just a cash cow to them.

"And then we get abominations to my mind like Scarlett, the Gone with the Wind sequel.”

Martin himself has written three novellas, the Dunk and Egg series, which are set in the same world, 100 years before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire. However, he will not license other authors in the manner that the estates of Ian Fleming (James Bond) or Robert Ludlum (Jason Bourne) have done, or that George Lucas did with the Star Wars franchise.

“I'd hate to see that actually,” said Martin. “I've always admired [J.R.R.] Tolkien and his immense influence on fantasy. [And] although I've never met the man, I admire Christopher Tolkien, his son, who has been the guardian of Tolkien's estate who has never allowed that.

“I'm sure there are publishers waiting in the wings with giant bags of money just waiting for someone to say 'yes, go ahead, let's write Sauron Strikes Back'.

“I hope I never see Sauron Strikes Back written by some third rate writer who leaps at the opportunity.”

George R.R. Martin will appear at the Dymocks luncheon in Sydney on Tuesday, hosted by Giles Hardie. In Melbourne, Martin will appear at the Wheel Centre on Wednesday night and at the Dymocks luncheon on Thursday. Martin will attend the Supanova convention in Adelaide at the weekend.