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George RR Martin: Game of Thrones characters die because 'it has to be done'

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He really does believe all men must die. 

“We’ve all read this story a million times when a bunch of heroes set out on adventure and it’s the hero and his best friend and his girlfriend and they go through amazing hair-raising adventures and none of them die. The only ones who die are extras,” said Martin. “That’s such a cheat. It doesn’t happen that way. They go into battle and their best friend dies or they get horribly wounded. They lose their leg or death comes at them unexpectedly.”

If a writer is going to be honest, said Martin, they have to write about death, especially if they’re telling a story about war or conflict. “Once you’ve accepted that you have to include death, then you should be honest … and indicate it can strike down anybody at any time. You don’t get to live forever just because you are a cute kid or the hero’s best friend or the hero. Sometimes the hero dies, at least in my books,” said Martin. “I love all my characters so it’s always hard to kill them but I know it has to be done. I tend to think I don’t kill them. The other characters kill ’em. I shift off all blame from myself.”

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