Warning: Contains spoilers from Game of Thrones season 6, episode 4.
LONDON Anyone holding out a faint candle of hope that their favourite Game of Thrones character might actually be okay in the end hey, they’ve survived this long, right? may want to think again.
In an interview with Galaxy’s Edge, George R. R. Martin was asked about how he uses death in his writing and his response really doesn’t bode well for our best-loved characters.
“I think a writer, even a fantasy writer, has an obligation to tell the truth and the truth is, as we say in Game of Thrones, all men must die,” Martin said.
“Particularly if you’re writing about war, which is certainly a central subject in Game of Thrones.”
There are plenty of stories out there, Martin explained, in which a bunch of heroes set out on an adventure and none of them die but he went on to describe that as “such a cheat”.
“Death is so arbitrary,” he continued. “It’s always there. It’s coming for all of us.
We’re all going to die.
I’m going to die. You’re going to die. Mortality is at the soul of all this stuff.
“You have to write about it if you’re going to be honest, especially if you’re writing a story high in conflict. Once you’ve accepted that you have to include death then you should be honest about death and indicate it can strike down anybody at any time.
“You don’t get to live forever just because you are a cute kid or the hero’s best friend or the hero. Sometimes the hero dies, at least in my books.”
Okay, so we already sort of knew that (the Red Wedding may be several seasons old now, but the memories still lingers) but what does it mean for the rest of the books/show?
Well for one, the mention of cute kids could be ominous for the remaining Starks (obviously they’re not all kids anymore because they’ve grown with the books, but along with the Lannister children they’re the first young characters that spring to mind).
Based on how ruthless Martin can be with his characters and not forgetting the hardships the Stark children already endured and the current perilous situations some of them are still in, now is it really likely that they’ll all survive the remainder of the story?
Almost certainly not. If we had to bet on it we’d say they’ll probably last awhile yet (well, maybe not Rickon) but the chances of all four coming out unscathed are minimal at best.
And as for that comment about the hero dying? Well Ned Stark obviously went early on, but what about Jon Snow and Daenerys? The former has already been killed once and come back to life, while the latter has fought through an enormous number of nightmarish situations already surely, based on Martin’s logic, their luck has to run out at some point?
In the harsh and unforgiven world of Westeros, it seems all too likely.
And as for Martin’s conscience?
“I love all my characters so it’s always hard to kill them but I know it has to be done,” he explained. “I tend to think I don’t kill them. The other characters kill ’em.
“I shift off all blame from myself.”
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Read more: <a href="http://mashable.com/2016/05/17/george-r-r-martin-death-game-of-thrones/">http://mashable.com/</a>