A Song of Ice and Fire had a number of influences from The Lord of the Rings to the War of the Roses. But now Game of Thrones author George RR Martin has revealed a moment from his early life that had a big impact on his writing. Speaking with NPR, the 71-year-old revealed the whole “winter is coming” arc was inspired by his freshman year at Northwestern University. He said: “I guess this was early in ’67, and they had this incredible snowstorm, and the snow was so thick I got lost on this campus that I’d walk every day.”
Martin continued: “You couldn’t see the buildings, you couldn’t see five feet in front of you, the snow was just coming down so heavily, and by the time the snowstorm stopped — I was on the first floor, the windows were completely covered.
“Then it froze and it didn’t melt for days, weeks.
“And we would go out of the dormitory, and we would be in a trench with walls above our head of snow and ice.
“It was like a transformed world.
“And I think that got its fingers into my memory somehow and may have had some influence when I started writing about the Wall in Westeros and the men of the Night’s Watch.”
The author also committed to “finishing strong” on his A Song of Ice and Fire epic, amid “snarky” fan impatience.
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The author continued: “Yes, especially because a certain portion of them are really impatient and snarky about it.
“You know, you can get one person who posts 150 messages in three days, all of which is ‘Where is Winds of Winter?’”
“If any of you go home and post on your Twitter account, ‘Hey I was just at the Chicago Public Library Sandburg Award dinner and George R.R. Martin was there,’ you know by the third message someone will say, well, ‘What the hell is he doing there? Where is Winds of Winter?’
“So at this point, it is what it is.
“And, you know, I should probably leave right now and go back [to] writing Winds of Winter.”
He added: “It’s very important [to] me to finish A Song of Ice and Fire. I want to finish it.
“I still have two more books to do, and I want to finish it strong.”
“So people look at it and say, you know, this entire thing is an important work, not a half-finished or broken work.
“I know some of the more cynical people out there don’t believe that, but it is true.”
The Winds of Winter will hopefully release next summer if Martin sticks to his current deadline.
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