Game of Thrones etc.

April 5th, 2011

So here’s an exciting thing.  For me, anyway.  And possibly even for you if you’re a lover of gritty fantasy literature (which you probably are, given that you’re here).  I’m flying out to LA on Thursday morning to interview George RR Martin for a Sky Books Special.  I know!  Your favourite grandmaster of edgy fantasy in televisual conversation with . . . some British guy.  Apparently they were looking for a fantasy author with a following in the UK who was a big fan of A Game of Thrones and its sequels.  They can’t have come up with one of those at short notice because they’ve ended up with me.  Anyway, it’ll be a half hour interview with questions ranging from Martin’s influences, aims and process, via his latest book A Dance With Dragons, to his input into and opinions on the forthcoming TV series, peppered, no doubt, with hilarious badinage, huge mutual respect, and pitiable and transparent attempts by me to steer the conversation towards my own work.

I’m told The George RR Martin Book Show Special will be airing first on Sky Atlantic on April 18th, 8.30pm, directly before the premiere of Game of Thrones at 9.00.  It’ll later be repeated on Sky Arts 1 and 2 though I’ve no times for that right now.

Neat, huh?

Posted in announcements, interviews by Joe Abercrombie on April 5th, 2011.

56 comments so far

  • Grey Freeman says:

    That. Is. Awesome.

    I’ll very much look forward to that.

  • neth says:

    You’re flying all the way to LA for 30 min. interview? Wow, seems a bit wasteful. But have fun. Are going to do any signing or other events while in the US west? *Cough* Arizona *Cough*

  • William Lexner says:

    A stopover in Boston to sign my books would not be taken amiss, either.

  • JonathanL says:

    I hope the room you two are in can contain that much awesomeness. Really, my favorite two current fantasy writers, just chatting it up like mere mortals.

    I hope someone in the states, like HBO, picks it up.

  • A-drian says:


    Have you ever talked to G.R.R.M before?

  • Tyrion Stark says:

    Ask him if there can ever be “too much” grittiness in fantasy. xD

    But what if he answers “yes”? Damn…

  • Davieboy says:

    Wow! Well they picked the right guy. Awesome news,look forward to the interview.

  • TrueBlueMug says:

    Every entry on this blog is comedic gold.

  • Bryce says:

    Wow, what an oppertunity to name drop your books infront of probable every fantasy reading adult in UK. But how to be subtle, there’s the challenge..

    This is not go to involve all us in a huge debate about whether we can like only either your or GRRM is it? :0)

  • Dungeonmum says:

    wow, don’t know who I envy more!

  • Now that? That I’ll be watching. And probably Game Of Thrones too, while I’m in front of the TV and all.

  • Elfy says:

    You’re a lucky man, Joe. George is a great guy to talk to, as well.

  • Heath says:

    Wow, sounds like fun! Any idea if this is going to be televised in the US or only on Sky?

    Also, Dragon Age II?

  • Chad says:

    Sounds good. Tell him that he should model his work ethic on yours. Just finished THE HEROES, BTW. Very good.

  • Liam says:

    Grats Joe! Look forward to the interview, both for George’s awesomeness and your trademark witticisms. Hopefully you end up with a bunch more readers for your troubles too, eh?

    Who knows, maybe they’ll look at your books in a 5 years to fill the gap when HBO catches up with George’s writing pace 😛

  • Jason says:

    That’s great. They couldn’t have made a better choice of interviewer. Please pick his brains about how he goes about writing and then tell us about how you differ.

  • john says:

    Long time lurker here. For the last 2 years, during discussions of the delays with DwD and GRRM’s diagnosis of urosepsis, I’ve told anyone who would listen that I predict you’d be someday asked to help finish ASOIAF. So make a good impression!

  • ErikNL says:

    “Your favourite grandmaster of edgy fantasy in televisual conversation with . . . some old American guy”

    fixed it for you, Joe.

    If you’ve a mind to ask GRRM some critical questions, might I suggest:

    “How afraid are you of falling into clichés as the story starts coming together? (Like the possibilities of Jon+Dany hooking up whilst R+L=Jon etc.)”

    I think this is why GRRM has such a hard time writing. The ending he originally thought of when envisioning a trilogy is likely wholly inadequate now, on every level.
    I don’t buy him being ‘slow’, I think the complexity is overwhelming.

  • DrGonzo says:

    As long as the upcoming books from GRRM are as good as the already existing books he can be as slow as necessary. In my opinion. But surely the complex story will give hin a hard time.

    Damn only one and a half week till A game of Thrones will start…

  • Eddy Gemmell says:

    Wow! What a night this is racking up to be. I really can’t wait.

    Are you questions scripted or are some of them yours …?

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    He refused point blank to come to my house. We’ll be talking for a couple of hours, I believe, but the actual show will be 30mins. Once they’ve edited out all the stuff of me trying to promote my own work.

    Will Lexner,
    Or next time you go to the gym you could stopover in Bath…?

    We’ve had dinner together once when he was in London.

    I try to entertain. I fail, but I try.

    Eddy Gemmell,
    Scripted, but I’ve had a fair bit of input, and I’m sure everyone hopes it will become a fascinating informal chat studded with moments of unanticipated humour and wisdom. But you can’t rely on that. Especially when talking to me.

  • Susanne says:

    I can’t wait I can’t wait I can’t waiiiiit.

    Also, have fun! Tell George we said hi.

  • Kate says:

    You are my two favourite fantasy authors alive, so I’m sure the conversation will be a very fun and interesting read. I hope this becomes recurrent and he comes to London to interview when you finish your new western-like book.

  • DrGonzo says:

    Hope I can get my hands on the interview somehow here in germany.

    Hope they will sooner or later start to produce The first law…

    Damn this year will be great. Heroes, The Game of Thrones on HBO and finally the next book from GRRM.

  • enjai says:

    So Joe, will there be any opportunities to try and sell your series as a film/TV show? I guess there must be HBO people etc floating around while you are out there?
    I still feel like your books would work better as films (especially the “stand alones”) but if AGOT turns out to be a hit (looking promising) other cable networks are very quickly go scouting for other grim and gritty fantasy authors.

  • A-drian says:

    Dinner once. Sounds epic.

    Did you talk about writing? Video games? American football? What did the both of you order?

    The mind is full of questions that don’t really need answering.

  • Elena says:

    Hey Joe,

    (1) that’s awesome. let everyone stateside know how to watch it.

    (2) in case you want to go in more humbly you came up on our first podcast. along with GRRM and AGOT stuff.

  • Ghostahcker says:

    Can’t wait! Two of my favourite authors sitting down to have a chat.

  • Sedulo says:

    Very thrilling! Now do you feel like a celebrity?

    It must at least SEEM as though you are moving ever closer to the white jacketed tuxedo, sweeping down a marble staircase with martini in hand! What a great gig!

    Maybe that is how the interview could open, you could sweep down the staircase into a drawing room where GRRM will have already been seated!

    Wait, it won’t be on here in the US? *POUT*

  • ogbebaba says:

    well this is great news now I have a (infinitely small)chance to have one of my dreams come true. My two favorite authors are having dinner. So here is my question how do I convince you to agree to team up with GRRM and wright the worlds greatest story? Its a great idea you have to admit right??

    I would love a whole novel by just you and GRRM but I would settle for you joining the WILD CARDS team. So JOE do you play well with others? Is there a chance in hell you would be interested in that sort of thing? think of all you could learn form his years of experience. think of how much he could benefit from your fresh new ideas. Come on man do it for the fans…

  • Jebus says:

    If you get the chance, ask Parris if she’ll dump George and marry me instead. I may have freaked them out at Aussiecon ’cause neither are replying to my various methods of contact. 🙁

  • Jason says:

    I definitely think Joe’s books should be films, although TFL trilogy could be a very good series. But I’d like to see British and European actors play most of the parts – not because I’m anti-American (and HBO has done great stuff, like Deadwood and John Adams), but because I think there are plenty of great Brit. & Euro. actors who should get a chance to play parts in adaptations of the leading Brit. fantasy author’s work. (I’m assuming that the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones will have a predominantly American cast, which is fair enough.)

    And now we can play ‘A Game of Casts’ – i.e. who should play what part…

  • Dan says:


    Don’t assume that. Nearly all the major characters revealed so far are played by British and Irish actors. Two notable exceptions are the brothers Lannister but considering that Peter Dinklage and Nikolaj Coster-Waldaugh are both bloody brilliant, that’s fair enough.

  • Jason says:

    Good to hear that ‘Game of Thrones’ will have an international cast – which means that if we ever get to see the world of the First Law in cinema, there’s no need to right the balance across the Atlantic.

    But it’s interesting that HBO have gone for a largely British and Irish cast. I wonder if they felt that American accents in a Medieval-fantasy saga would undermine its authenticity?

    But given that the world of Westeros (and the First Law) involve characters from different cultures and continents (this is yet another of the strengths of the realist trend in fantasy), I’m hoping the adaptation will also involve actors from countries outside the Anglophone diaspora.

  • Tim H says:

    Jason, that’s not unusual for HBO. Rome had a British cast, and even Band of Brothers was filmed in the UK and had a number of British actors. Given the number of epic costume dramas that have been filmed there, there’s a wealth of talent. And a British accent just works better for this sort of thing. Remember Brad Pitt playing Achilles? Yikes.

  • JonathanL says:

    Best Served Cold would be such an awesome 7-10-part miniseries.

  • Sedulo says:

    Has anybody noticed that British actors are now cast as Superman, Batman and Spiderman?

  • Sedulo says:

    Obviously it had little to do with their accents.

  • Pauly says:

    Dude, are you actually ready to go to Southern California?? If you have that pasty white English complexion, you better bring a bunch of sunscreen. Also, you should consider yourself warned that LAX Airport International Terminal is a heinous and evil place and in my opinion probably doubles as the third or fourth level of Hell. That said, it is definitely much worse than the first level of Hell commonly known as locked in IKEA for eternity, but probably better than frozen-over Hell when perennial doormats like West Ham or the Chicago Cubs win the their league titles. You were a real bastard playing dungeon master in your wasted and misspent youth. You know rigging dice roles, etc. It might be foreshadowing your future. Also, you might want to know that LA is world epicenter for street gang warfare, smog, suburban sprawl, freeway congestion, cosmetic surgery, and the porn industry. So, beware.
    Anyway, ask George if he prefers In-N-Out or Fatburger. They have a rivalry worthy of an ambitious Gurkish Church versus that Machiavellian Union Bank. Also, I was wondering if they made any of the male or female cast members of the Game of Throne audition topless. This approach seems to provide wonderful yet campy results for HBO in the True Blood Series. Just wondering.
    PS The ending with Black Calder worked for me in the Heroes.
    PS2 You can totally egg that Hollywood Reporter bastard’s house, see if he trashes your novels on line again, huh!!!

  • Melvin says:

    how i wish you fantasy authors come to asian countries 🙁

  • Jason says:

    Hi Tim H. Yes, I agree about Brad Pitt playing Achilles – but that whole film was a travesty. (For example, Achilles is supposed to be killed by Paris after he returns to the battlefield in anger and Hector having slain Patroclus.)

    Incidentally, there is a Greek film-maker, Michael Cacoyannis, who made adaptations of several Greek tragedies, like Iphigenia at Aulis, which is about the Greeks before they set sail for Troy. Some readers might find these interesting to track down.

  • Jason says:

    sorry: and Hector = at Hector

  • Sedulo says:

    @Jason..About Troy.

    Also what about Menalaus getting killed? Shock! I was prepared for adaptations but not complete changes such as that.

  • Sedulo says:

    I watched the first 15 minutes of The Game of Thrones and it looks AMAZING!

  • Jon says:

    Hey Joe,

    This is unrelated, except for the fact that I can’t wait for Game of Thrones on Sunday, but I put up a review for The Heroes at my writing group’s blog. Swing by, if you get the chance.

  • Jacob says:

    Ask him about the “unrevealed character” in the upcoming book. Sounds to me like that little indication is basically screaming “there is a plot twist here”.

    All those indications Eddard wasn’t dead perhaps?

  • Guess says:

    Sky is a british TV station right? How would I see this interview if I live in the US? Will it be online?

  • Guess says:

    BTW, I absolutely dare you to ask him when book 6 is coming out. You know you want to…

  • Katrine says:

    Mr. Abercrombie

    Could you ask Mr. Martin what his book pr year average is these days? maybe ask him if he is going for the 1 book a decade awards?

    In my opinion, eventhough I am a fan of his Ice and Fire Martin is one of the worst things to have come along for newer fantasy authors (who write books in trilogys or more)
    My point being this; Joe, I only bought your trilogy after you had completed all of the books. And I am only buying the new ones, because they are semi standalonish – you can thank Martin for that – no seriously, someone ought to smack him upside the head for that)

    Kind Regards

  • Bryce says:

    Just looked at the Sky TV blub, no mention of Joe being the interviewer, dont they know he’s the real star…..

  • Jon says:

    Hey Bryce, don’t know if you saw this, but here’s a small clip that features Joe, and he’s name-checked in the write up too!

  • Leslie says:

    I saw the Sky interview last night, it was really insightful. May I ask though was that a Dragon Age Origins T-shirt you were wearing underneath your jacket. Me and the Mrs were just wondering?

  • TheChubby41 says:

    Any chance of a link to this interview? I’m assuming it’ll get on the net someplace.
    How was your visit, Joe? Did you stick around after the interview or did you get the hell outta dodge asap? lol

    Sad to hear it was scripted. Hope they at least let you ask the WHY of the long ass release time on the next book.

  • Jebus says:

    Been looking all over the usual places, even the Sky site, to try and find a copy of the interview – did no one upload it to channel bit torrent? Youtube? Vimeo?

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