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George R. R. Martin on how he writes female characters for Game of Thrones



George R. R. Martin and Maisie Williams.

George R. R. Martin’s characters from Game of Thrones are loved worldwide, primarily because of how well he writes them. Even the minor characters are well-defined by the beloved author. An important aspect of his character writing is the depiction of women. Martin once addressed how he writes female characters for Game of Thrones.

Martin’s Female Characters

In an interview with George Stroumboulopoulos (Strombo), Martin was asked a detailed question:
“There’s one thing that’s also really interesting about your books, and notice that you write women really well. You write them really differently. I know your wife is obviously a strong influence in your life. Where does that come from?”

George R.R. Martin On Strombo: Full Extended Interview

Martin Jokingly said, to the approval of the audience:

“You know I’ve always considered women to be people.”

Then he addressed how challenging it can be to write characters, like female characters, that he can not practically relate to:

“You know, one of the hardest things as a writer is to write someone who’s not yourself. I mean, the easiest fictional character to create is one who’s exactly like yourself.”

George R. R. Martin then described a character he created similar to his own personality: Tommy Tudbury, in a non-Game of Thrones novel.

Researching the differences and finding the similarities

Martin then emphasized the need for research when writing such characters, like a female character:

“There’s certain amount of stuff that you have to get by doing research; you have to talk to people who actually have had these experiences.”

Finally, Martin concluded by addressing the central part of the question, saying how he tries to find similarity in the motives of Women characters:

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“When writing about women, you have to start with the basis (that) they’re more like me than they are unlike me. They have some special
condition that they have a different set of gen*tals than I do, but it’s still the same old story, a fight for love and glory, right? We all want kind of the same things out of life, and that humanity can motivate characters and make them real, and that’s what I try to remember at all times.”

Read Next: George R.R. Martin’s show Dark Winds wins two Vision Awards


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Aryan, a freelance writer with a profound passion for the English language and literature, also happens to be an ardent fan of "A Song of Ice and Fire" and its television adaptation, "Game of Thrones." Fascinated by the intricate world-building, compelling characters, and rich storytelling of these epic sagas, Aryan finds great joy in delving into the depths of their narratives and analyzing the nuances they offer.


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