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George R.R. Martin tells Conan just because you know what happens in the books doesn't mean you'll know what happens in the show.

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The HBO show writers are on their own path:

Martin said showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss tend to turn “things up to 11″ when it comes to murdering characters (with a “Beautiful Death” campaign to boot). “They’re killing characters who are still alive in the books,” he said. “So really, no one is safe. Even the book readers who say, ‘Well, this character is safe. He’s not in any trouble because he’s still in book 5,’ may have an unpleasant surprise.”

As spoilers for both TV viewers and book readers become an issue, Martin revealed that sometimes even he is taken by surprise. “I have a little warning, but I do kind of squeal when I get the outlines,” he said. “Wait a minute, wait a minute, he’s not dead in the books.”

Martin also told host Conan O’Brien that it’s best he wrote the books before making the show. “Jack Gleeson, who played Joffrey, was actually like the nicest guy in the world,” he said. “When you make the show and you actually meet the actors, then it’s harder to kill them.”

He also discussed the importance of balancing the amount of magic in his story. “You need some magic in a fantasy, but too much magic is like too much salt in the stew—then all you can taste is the salt,” he said. “And anything can happen. Pigs are flying.”

“Actually I do have a knight with a winged pig on his shield in the next book,” he added.

As Martin continues to work on “The Winds of Winter,” the next book in “A Song of Ice and Fire,” he revealed his “secret weapon” for avoiding computer viruses. He has two machines, one for browsing the Web and doing taxes, and a DOS machine for writing, which isn’t connected to the Internet. “I use Wordstar 4.0 as my processing system,” he said. “It does everything I want a word processing program to do, and it doesn’t do anything else. I hate some of these modern systems where you type a lowercase letter and it becomes a capital. I don’t want a capital. If I’d wanted a capital, I would’ve typed a capital. I know how to work the shift key.”

That WSJ page also has Obama on an Iron Throne.

Obama iron throne

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