Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin’s books are widely regarded as some of the best fantasy ever written, but what were his inspirations?
Comics, obviously. Where else would burgeoning fantasy writers get their ideas? Not only was George R.R. Martin a fan, but he managed to get his opinions, both good and bad, published on the “Letters to the Editor” page of Avengers #9 back in 1964, when the author was just 16.
He started out his complaints addressing them to Marvel’s Stan Lee this way: “I regret to inform you that I found one flaw in this otherwise perfect masterpiece, a flaw that is, regrettably, very common with you. When we last saw the Red Ghost in FF #13 he was stuck on the moon being chased around by three super-powered apes livid with hatred and waving Mr. Fantastic’s paralyzer ray at him. Now suddenly, you bring him back in full control of his apes without one single word of explanation.”
Here’s George R.R. Martin’s full letter to Stan Lee…
The note is big fun to read, not just because it’s Martin, but because of how honest the naive teenager is being with storytellers he clearly idolizes. At one point, he even becomes so friendly with Stan Lee that he refers to him as “old boy”. It’s hilarious and genuinely endearing.
Reading this and you can see that he’s already a skilled writer who uses his words well. It’s a rare window into the brilliant and sometimes frustrating Game of Thrones author before he became a famous author.