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George R. R. Martin Claims Female Fans Want More Gay Sex Scenes, and Talks the 'Song of Ice and Fire' Ending

By Cindy Davis | Trade News | August 12, 2014 | Comments ()


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George R. R. Martin is bewildered by fans requesting more gay sex. “I don’t pretend to understand this.” Game of Thrones has not only increased the author’s popularity and raised his public profile; it’s also upped Martin’s fan mail suggestions and flat-out requests. Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Martin said the HBO series has caused women to write, “begging for more explicit sex scenes” and in particular, an explicit male sex scene. While the writer says he wouldn’t shy away from such things, neither would he write them…just because. “You can’t just insert things because everyone wants to see them.”

On Writing His Books from Character Viewpoints:

“Frankly, it is the way I prefer to write fiction because that is the way all of us experience life. You’re seeing me from your viewpoint, you’re not seeing what someone over here is seeing. If the plot lends itself to that, if one of my viewpoint characters is in a situation, then I’m not going to shy away from it, but you can’t just insert things because everyone wants to see them…It is not a democracy. If it was a democracy, then Joffrey would have died much earlier than he did.”


On Who Inspired Brienne of Tarth:

“I enjoyed Xena the Warrior Princess a lot but I did not think it was an accurate portrayal of what a women warrior was or would be like, and I sort of created Brienne of Tarth as an answer to that.

I was inspired by people like Eleanor of Aquitaine and not so much Joan of Arc, but the queens of Scottish history, from Lady Macbeth on down - strong women who didn’t put on chain-mail bikinis to go forth into battle, but exercised immense powers by other ways.”


On Writing Fantasy, and Literary Prejudice Against Science Fiction and Fantasy:

“I’ve been aware of this since I was a kid and I take heart with the fact that it is changing. When I was 12 or 13, I had teachers take away science fiction books by Heinlein and Asimov and say: ‘You’re a smart kid, you get good grades. Why are you reading this trash? They rot your mind. You should be reading Silas Marner.’ If I’d been reading Silas Marner, I probably would have stopped reading.

These things are breaking down. It is an artificial distinction anyway - literary fiction in its present form is a genre itself.”


On Speculation and Theories of How A Song of Ice and Fire Will End:

“I’ve been planting all these clues that the butler did it, then you’re halfway through a series and suddenly thousands of people have figured out that the butler did it, and then you say the chambermaid did it? No, you can’t do that.

I’ve wrestled with this issue, because I do want to surprise my readers. I hate predictable fiction as a reader, I don’t want to write predictable fiction…I want to surprise and delight my reader and take them in directions they didn’t see coming. But I can’t change the plans. That’s one of the reasons I used to read the early fan boards back in the 90s but stopped. One, I didn’t have the time, but two is this very issue. So many readers were reading the books with so much attention that they were throwing up some theories and while some of those theories were amusing bullshit and creative, some of the theories are right. At least one or two readers had put together the extremely subtle and obscure clues that I’d planted in the books and came to the right solution.

So what do I do then? Do I change it! I wrestled with that issue and I came to the conclusion that changing it would be a disaster, because the clues were there. You can’t do that, so I’m just going to go ahead. Some of my readers who don’t read the boards, which thankfully there are hundreds of thousands of them, will still be surprised and other readers will say: ‘see, I said that four years ago, I’m smarter than you guys’.”


Does this mean that theory just might be correct? Oh, and have I mentioned my own theory dirty dream about Oberyn Martell being miraculously returned to life after having been scooped up by Twelve and Clara seconds before the Mountain…did that completely unacceptable thing (of which we’ll never speak again)?


Cindy Davis, (Twitter) swears she hasn’t written any sex letters to GRRM.




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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • "You can't just put stuff in there because people want to see it, unless it's boobs. Because I am TOTALLY NOT GAY and love boobs. Me being not gay is why I don't understand ladies clamoring for penis. Not gay."

  • dragonchild

    *snerk* Seriously though, as I said upthread I think this has more to do with GRRM indulging in what he wants and gay sex happens to be off the list. I have zero issue with that and more of a quibble with his answers to the public which portray his decisions to be more involved than they are. I don't think he feels insecure about adding gay sex, but it's not what he wants to read about, so it just won't be in there. That's not a sin lest 99.9% of authors get rounded up for the same charge, but he get so much mileage from being a "serious" author that the dishonesty here grinds my gears.

  • I agree with you 100% on all counts, I do think he makes too big a deal out of defending the lack of male nudity as though it is some sort of artistic choice rather than just his personal lack of interest in penis. I'd be okay if he just said "I like boobs, so I write a lot about naked, bouncing, jumbling boobs."

  • Pippa_Laughingstock

    "I want to surprise and delight my reader and take them in directions they didn’t see coming. But I can’t change the plans." Yes, sir. I freaking hate when the entire plot is based on surprising the audience and ends up making no sense at all. I'm looking at you, Dollhouse's final big bad.

  • “You can’t just insert things because everyone wants to see them.” Best inadvertant double entendre of the week. Shut down the internet for the week kids, we have a winner.

  • Miss Laaw-yuhr

    A million upvotes for this, especially since I generally operate at the level of the single entendre.

  • I'd joke that the next book is going to be delayed while GRRM thoroughly researches the topic of gay pornography, but it's not that funny of a joke. Plus, I've lost any expectation of there even being another book.

  • BWeaves

    "Oh, and have I mentioned my own theory dirty dream about Oberyn Martell being miraculously returned to life after having been scooped up by Twelve and Clara seconds before the Mountain…did that completely unacceptable thing (of which we’ll never speak again)?"

    I like it. I like it.

  • Luke Lane

    Gay porn is apparently pretty big with straight women. I'm not sure why exactly, but one needs to look no further than the increasingly popular M/M romance books to see this...mostly read, and written by women.

  • annie

    The lack of vagina close ups, for one. Also, lesbian porn is really big among men. I'm sure there are a million diatribes on the internet exploring this actually.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    The explanations I hear most frequently are 1. the dudes are better looking (because they're cast to be Hot Dudes and not a stunt penis) and 2. There is sexual focus on the men, rather than the camera lingering over the woman while keeping the dude off to the side as much as possible.

    You don't have to agree with it, but I think those are pretty valid points.

  • Why? Because hot dudes making out (or more) with other hot dudes is hot. I am shallow enough for that to be all I need.

    Same with hot ladies making out with hot ladies, or hot men making out with hot ladies. We need more hot people making out, is my point, I guess.

  • Dove of Doom

    "...you can’t just insert things because everyone wants to see them…It is not a democracy." Damn straight. I'm sick of this trend where fans think their support for works of fiction, whether they're novels or video games or tv shows, entitles them to input to their content. If you don't like how a series ends or that two characters you ship never hooked up, that's fine, but that doesn't mean those things were wrong creatively, even if every other reader or player or viewer agrees with you. Fan expectations do not and should not trump authorial vision.

  • dragonchild

    Everyone's entitled to an opinion; the problem is that it's not always a good one. As any stripper can tell you, there's an art to teasing your audience, keeping them engaged by never giving them everything all at once. What does the audience do? Demand the goods, of course. That's not necessarily a sign you should deliver though; it can very well be proof that a particular style is working. "The X-Files" got a hell of a lot of mileage from keeping the relationship between Mulder and Scully in the blurry area between platonic and romantic. As long as they never hopped in the sack together, there was something for the audience to root for.

    Of course, this really doesn't apply to ASoIaF, which has featured depravity, sex, violence and all manner of literary vice -- perhaps not so much in quantity as perceived (the show seems far more shameless), but the quality aspect of it is overrated. A lot of it just doesn't add anything to the story. Of all the reasons GRRM can give for not adding more sex, trying to keep the series high-minded would be the most hypocritical.

  • JustOP

    Many of my favourite moments in stories add little to the story. Not adding to the narrative doesn't make a moment worthless, and if a writer has included it, there's probably a purpose.

    Think Indiana Jones versus the swordfighter. Did that add anything to the story? No. Was it a worthless moment? No.

    Did it make a considerable impact on how we view Jones' character? Fuck yes it did.

    There are ways to 'add' to things which don't neccessarily affect the story. They build the world, inform the characters, imbue humour.

  • dragonchild

    I'm aware of this argument and I'm not opposed to it in principle. I agree with it, even -- on a case-by-case basis. However, while ASoIaF is heralded by its fans as high-minded and GRRM continues to pretend it is, when confronted about his choices, it really all boils down to it's in there because he wanted it in there. Which makes sense for an epic with lengthy descriptions of food and heraldry. A good portion of it could be removed and any relevant points would still be considered hammered.

    But then it wouldn't be what it is. I'm OK with the idea that someone's favorite moment in a story adds little to the story itself. "High-minded" and unnecessary content -- even explicit content -- are not mutually exclusive. However, the former at least has some expectation that everything has a reason. If you're not weaving together content and context, it really is in there "just because". So while I think fans have no business telling an author what to do, I will call out any refusal to deliver on fanservice out of some high-minded standards when a work is already on record as decadent with superfluous detail. As in, it never stopped him before, so this whole "I'm not going to put it in there just because" stance by GRRM rings hollow. I mean, it's OK but let's just be honest about it.

  • JustOP

    It never stopped him before... on things he wanted to include. That doesn't mean he now as an author should put in things he doesn't want to include to appease fans. It's still his work, his world, and he's free to do as he likes with it, and that includes deciding what he feels is going into it.

    The long descriptions of food and heraldry are likely just things that fascinated him.

  • dragonchild

    Agreed. So let him just say so. He's not committing any sort of sin by writing what he wants. He wouldn't get grief from me if he just flat-out admitted that instead of maintaining an air of principle or restraint.

  • dragonchild

    Yo, George, foreshadowing isn't supposed to be an Easter egg. It's used to shape expectations for character stories where the journey is more important than the outcome, giving the reader clarity and cohesion where there otherwise would be confusion. If you want to keep your readers in suspense, keep them in suspense. Drop hints and you certainly keep your readers engaged but, well, now you know the downside.

  • Maddy

    I love GRRM but sex scenes are not his strong point.

    Fat pink mast. Myrish swamp. Never forget.

  • Ian Fay

    No sex letters to GRRM? We completely understand.

    But hell, I'm a straight dude and I've considered sending a sex letter to Pedro Pascal.

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