How childhood pet possession impressed George R.R. Martin to put in writing Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones might happen within the sprawling fantasy continent of Westeros, however its origins might be traced again to some humble turtle tanks in New Jersey. During a visitor spot on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, George R.R. Martin regaled the viewers with an epic story of reptilian betrayal and homicide that transpired throughout his childhood. 

“I love turtles. That’s how my writing career began, with turtles,” he stated. “I lived in Bayonne, New Jersey in a federal housing project. We were not allowed to have dogs. We were not allowed to have cats. The only pets I was allowed to have were turtles, little dime store turtles that we bought at Woolworths, and the little round bowls with the palm tree. I could fit two turtle bowls in a toy castle, so I had a number of turtles.”

Things took a flip for the unlucky when younger grasp Martin realized that the lifespan of an inexpensive turtle isn’t very lengthy, regardless of his finest efforts.

“The thing is about those dime store turtles is that they die very soon,” the author continued. “I fed them the turtle meals, I believed I used to be doing every little thing proper [but] in a number of months they’d be useless. I could not work out why they have been going, however it actually wasn’t my fault. So, I made a decision that they have been competing for the turtle throne, they have been killing one another to find out who be the turtle king. That was my first fantasy, ‘Turtle Castle,’ it preceeded Game of Thrones by a few years.”

When requested about a few of his different literary influneces, Martin listed Robert A. Heinlein, Andre Norton, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Robert E. Howard. Their iconic sci-fi and fantasy works have impressed his writing for years, however he is gotta wrap up A Song of Ice and Fire first earlier than he can transfer onto anything. 

“I’ve to do Winds of Winter subsequent,” he joked. “If I put ‘Turtle Castle’ ahead, they’re gonna be very mad at me … There’s a lot of stuff to write, so I should actually get home and get to work, I guess.” 

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