TAKE away the blood, gore and gratuitous sex and what do you have left at the heart of Game of Thrones?
Compelling characters created by great writing.
The man behind the mythical medieval world of Westeros and its often duplicitous residents, George RR Martin, is sharing his insights with fans at this weekend's Supanova Pop Culture Expo in Brisbane.
The author, who still has two books to write in his fantasy novel series A Song of Fire and Ice which inspired the hit TV show, has not visited the city since the '90s.
Martin started writing the first novel, A Game of Thrones, in 1991 and credits his wild imagination for the complex story which features hundreds of characters, far-reaching mythical lands and supernatural elements including fire-breathing dragons and "white walkers".
Despite pressure from fans to finish the last two books, and the occasional person showing up at his house, Martin believes the obsessive way in which many viewers are invested in his characters is a mark of success.
"I know the characters I've brought to life on the page hopefully have levels of complexity where there's good in them and bad in them," he said.
"I take great pride not only in the female characters but the males and the fact that people react to them in different ways. That shows that I've succeeded. Some people love Robert, some people hate Robert, and that's true of every character."
Joining Martin at Supanova are four of the show's stars, both past and present. Michelle Fairley and Mark Addy, whose Game of Thrones characters Catelyn Stark and Robert Baratheon died in series three and one respectively, and current stars Jerome Flynn (Bronn) and Lena Headey (Cersei) will all be meeting fans.
Game of Thrones
Did you know:
- Khaleesi and Ayra have become popular girl names after the success of Game of Thrones
- Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) played Anne Boleyn in The Tudors
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