EXCLUSIVE EXCLUSIVE Don’t get too attached to your favorite “Game of Thrones” characters. The biggest surprise at the Writers Guild West Awards last night was the appearance of George R.R. Martin, whose best selling epic fantasy novels, “Song of Ice and Fire” are the basis for HBO’s mega hit, “Game Of Thrones” He doesn’t come to LA much and was treated like royalty at the event.
Martin has a warning about the upcoming season. “People are going to die who don’t die in the books, so even the book readers will be unhappy. So everybody better be on their toes. David and D.B. (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss co-creators of ‘Game Of Thrones) are even bloodier than I am.”
Martin was pretty much the most popular person at the WGAW awards. I asked him how it feels to be such a rock star author.
Martin:“It has good and bad aspects to it frankly. As a writer, you start out you’re obscure at first. You publish short stories and maybe a few hundred people read them, if you’re lucky a few thousand. You dream of great success. Sometimes your dreams come true. You get great success. It has wonderful things about it, but also has some drawbacks. You have to deal with it. It is what it is.”
How many more seasons are there to this wildly popular show?
Martin replied: “ Not really certain yet. This is the fifth season, the sixth season HBO picked up last year. We will have a 7th, 8th or 9th, no one knows. They only renew one or two seasons at a time. After we do season 6, maybe we’ll get a renewal for 7th and 8th. That all depends, Television is a very changeable medium.”
Even though it’s the hottest show on TV?
“Yeah, it’s the hottest show on TV now, but will it be the hottest show on TV two years from now? Hot shows come and go and television changes, and I’ve lived through that before. I certainly hope that we get to tell the entire story. Because whatever happens with the show I’m going to finish the books, it will be seven books. But each of these books are 1500 pages long and they each have enough material in them for several seasons. I have two more books, the one I’m writing right now, ‘The Winds Of Winter,’ and after that the last book, ‘The Dream of Spring,’ so those will be the two final books. But we’re talking 3000 pages of material. How many seasons that translates too? That’s up to D.B. And David.”
Lisa Kudrow proved to be a deft awards show host. The night was more bouncy, fun and casual than the usual Hollywood awards shows since it was not televised. Shonda Rhimes, who received the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award told the appreciative crowd, “You giving me this award is maybe a polite way of telling me to stop as if Thursday nights are not enough. I take the fact that being powerful and bad ass is just my right.”
Presenter Cheryl Hines said, “I don’t know why writers are such a big deal. I was on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ and we just made that shit up.”
Ben Affleck received the Valentine Davies Award for his charitable work. Self-deprecating Ben remarked, “They told me to write something to accept this. You shouldn’t tell that to a writer/actor like me. So it’s 150 pages, but it reads like 120.” Ben went on to explain that, “People of often skeptical of celebrities who engage in philanthropic work. I used to be one of them. We need to come to grips with the media glamorizing celebrities every choice, every tweet. I find it disingenuous to give somebody a microphone and then tell them you don’t want to hear them talk.” As Ben went on to tell his heartfelt reasons why giving back is important to him, he quipped, “Now I see how some of this could be cut.”
The most moving moment of the night? When the late Harold Ramis’s family accepted the Screen Laurel Award on his behalf.