10 George R.R. Martin Quotes on Writing, Fantasy, and Feminism

It's popular and easy to hate on George R.R. Martin, since it seems like it's taking eons for him to write The Winds of Winter . But today, let's do some George R.R. Martin appreciation. After all, the guy did create the vibrant, massive world of Game of Thrones that we're all obsessed with. From the awesome dragons to the sassy comebacks, it all started with a spark inside Martin's mind. And that truly is magical.

Outside of his fantasy writing, Martin is, in fact, a very fun, smart, articulate person who clearly cares a lot about the worlds he lives in, both real and imaginary. You'll see in these quotes that he's deeply interested in what makes humans complex creatures. Plus, he has some sharp opinions on fantasy and writing that are fascinating to think about.

So, whether you've got the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series memorized, or if you're just turning on Episode 1 of Game of Thrones, take a moment to celebrate the brains behind the books, the imagination that created it all, the man behind the pen. We love you, George R.R. Martin! Please, please, keep writing so that we can dive back into the Seven Kingdoms soon.

1. “I have lived a thousand lives and I’ve loved a thousand loves. I’ve walked on distant worlds and seen the end of time. Because I read.”

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2. “You know, I've always considered women to be people.”

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3. “They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to Middle Earth. ”

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4. “I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they're going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there's going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don't know how many branches it's going to have, they find out as it grows. And I'm much more a gardener than an architect.”

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5. “I can describe an axe entering a human skull in great explicit detail and no one will blink twice at it. I provide a similar description, just as detailed, of a penis entering a vagina, and I get letters about it and people swearing off. To my mind this is kind of frustrating, it’s madness. Ultimately, in the history of [the] world, penises entering vaginas have given a lot of people a lot of pleasure; axes entering skulls, well, not so much.”

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6. “Some writers enjoy writing, I am told. Not me. I enjoy having written.”

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7. "We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La."

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8. “My own heroes are the dreamers, those men and women who tried to make the world a better place than when they found it, whether in small ways or great ones. Some succeeded, some failed, most had mixed results... but it is the effort that's heroic, as I see it. Win or lose, I admire those who fight the good fight.”

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9. “I think ultimately the battle between good and evil is weighed within the individual human heart and not necessarily between an army of people dressed in white and an army of people dressed in black. When I look at the world, I see that most real living breathing human beings are grey.”

10. "And if I'm guilty of having gratuitous sex, then I'm also guilty of having gratuitous violence, and gratuitous feasting, and gratuitous description of clothes, and gratuitous heraldry, because very little of this is necessary to advance the plot. But my philosophy is that plot advancement is not what the experience of reading fiction is about. If all we care about is advancing the plot, why read novels? We can just read Cliffs Notes."

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