American novelist, screenwriter, and short-story writer George R. R. Martin is the man behind the A Song of Ice and Fire series, a book installment that became the basis of the fan-favorite show Game of Thrones.
Martin debuted his writing career in 1977, publishing his first novel called Dying of the Light. By the mid-1980s, he received writing credits for several television shows. In 1996, he published the first book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. He became a best-selling author the following decade after releasing his fourth installment, paving the way for an internationally celebrated television adaptation.
1. Early Life and Education
George R. R. Martin spent his early years in Bayonne, New Jersey, but his imagination and creativity seemed to take him to various places. He admitted to watching offbeat and suspenseful shows when he was young, such as The Twilight Zone and Thriller. He began writing in elementary school and sold monster stories to kids in his neighborhood, and started writing fan fiction during his high school years, for which he created new superheroes. The future best-selling author attended Northwestern University, where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism. He served the Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation for three years before working as a professor at Clarke College in Iowa.
Martin wrote short stories in his early career, and his debut novel, Dying of the Light, was released in 1977. By the 1980s, he worked as a story editor for Twilight Zone and the series Beauty and the Beast. Writing for television posed challenges for him, so he embarked on a new project in the 1990s—a fantasy story inspired by England’s Wars of the Roses.
2. A Song of Ice and Fire becoming Game of Thrones
Martin’s first installment in his book series may not be an overnight success, but word of mouth boosted book sales as his series progressed. During the release of the fourth volume, he found his creative work on the best-sellers list, which even upscaled his credit score. The books were launched to an even larger audience with the television adaptation of Game of Thrones, which aired in 2011 and garnered countless awards and fans along the way. The show became one of the most influential series in television history. Although the hit show wrapped its run on air in 2019, Martin intends to gas up his fantasy writing career, with the installments A Dream of Spring and The Winds of Winter yet to be published. These two novels are the continuation of his A Song of Ice and Fire series. His 2018 book, Fire & Blood, tells the history of House Targaryen. In 2021, HBO announced its launch of another G.R.R. Martin television adaptation titled House of the Dragon, which is highly anticipated by fans worldwide.
Martin is often compared to The Lord of the Rings’ J. R. R. Tolkien, but he is regarded for writing a grittier type of fantasy fiction. His Westeros is populated by men who follow their own interests and agendas. His plots are well handled to a huge degree, like a game of chess he so enjoys. As an author, Martin has shown no mercy to his characters, killing off the main stars unexpectedly. He said he wants to abide by his “moral obligation” to display the reality of war in his stories.
3. Personal Life
Martin currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, together with his longtime partner and wife, Parris McBride. He and his wife support the animal sanctuary, Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, and an arts collective called Meow Wolf. In 2019, Martin also launched a business investment named Beastly Books, a bookstore located in New Mexico. The renowned author is also a huge fan of the New York Giants, the New York Mets, and the New York Jets.