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How 'Game of Thrones' author George R.R. Martin went from chess captain and journalism professor to a reported net worth of $15 million

"The most important thing for any aspiring writer, I think, is to read!" Martin said in a post on his official website. "And not just the sort of thing you’re trying to write, be that fantasy, SF, comic books, whatever. You need to read everything."

"The most important thing for any aspiring writer, I think, is to read!" Martin said in a post on his official website. "And not just the sort of thing you’re trying to write, be that fantasy, SF, comic books, whatever. You need to read everything."

Source: GeorgeRRMartin.com

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Today, the story's timeline in the television adaptation has blown past that of the books. So don't spoil show for Martin — he's apparently a couple of episodes behind on the show's seventh season.

Today, the story's timeline in the television adaptation has blown past that of the books. So don't spoil show for Martin — he's apparently a couple of episodes behind on the show's seventh season.

Source: Business Insider

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According to Variety, Martin knew that he wanted to work with Benioff and Weiss after they came up with the correct answer to his question: "Who is Jon Snow's mother?"

According to Variety, Martin knew that he wanted to work with Benioff and Weiss after they came up with the correct answer to his question: "Who is Jon Snow's mother?"

Source: Variety

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Martin was first pitched the idea for the TV series over a long lunch at Hollywood’s Palm in 2005, by screenwriters David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

Martin was first pitched the idea for the TV series over a long lunch at Hollywood’s Palm in 2005, by screenwriters David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

Source: Variety

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So far, the author has written 1.8 million words and killed off 3,717 characters in the series. Martin has said that his epic fantasy stories draw inspiration from world history and J.R.R. Tolkien.

So far, the author has written 1.8 million words and killed off 3,717 characters in the series. Martin has said that his epic fantasy stories draw inspiration from world history and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Source: Business Insider, The Tolkien Society, The Guardian

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Originally, "A Song of Ice and Fire" was supposed to be a trilogy. However, the tale quickly sprawled out of control, with dozens of point of view characters and twisting plots. Today, fans are still waiting on the release of "Winds of Winter," the sixth volume in the seven book series.

Originally, "A Song of Ice and Fire" was supposed to be a trilogy. However, the tale quickly sprawled out of control, with dozens of point of view characters and twisting plots. Today, fans are still waiting on the release of "Winds of Winter," the sixth volume in the seven book series.

Source: The Guardian, Business Insider, Business Insider

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Martin was working on a science fiction novel called "Avalon" when the scene that inspired "Game of Thrones" popped into his head in 1991. Inspired, he set his other story aside and began to crank out the fantasy epic. "Basically, I wrote about a hundred pages that summer," he told Rolling Stone.

Martin was working on a science fiction novel called "Avalon" when the scene that inspired "Game of Thrones" popped into his head in 1991. Inspired, he set his other story aside and began to crank out the fantasy epic. "Basically, I wrote about a hundred pages that summer," he told Rolling Stone.

Source: Business Insider, Rolling Stone

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He rose through the ranks to become co-supervising producer. Martin told the Hollywood Reporter that he learned a lot from his time on the show, and loved the cult hit itself. "Being able to bring that to television, to a mass audience, was great," he said.

He rose through the ranks to become co-supervising producer. Martin told the Hollywood Reporter that he learned a lot from his time on the show, and loved the cult hit itself. "Being able to bring that to television, to a mass audience, was great," he said.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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In 1987, Martin signed on to be a story consultant for "Beauty and the Beast," a fantasy television series that re-imagined the classic fairy tale as a dark police procedural.

In 1987, Martin signed on to be a story consultant for "Beauty and the Beast," a fantasy television series that re-imagined the classic fairy tale as a dark police procedural.

Source: GeorgeRRMartin.com

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He decided to pursue writing full-time in 1979. By the time Martin had become a story editor for CBS's "Twilight Zone" reboot in 1986, he had published five novels, two novellas, and several short story collections.

He decided to pursue writing full-time in 1979. By the time Martin had become a story editor for CBS's "Twilight Zone" reboot in 1986,  he had published five novels, two novellas, and several short story collections.

Source: GeorgeRRMartin.com

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McBride and Martin married in 2011. The Telegraph reported that the ceremony — a medieval-inspired affair — took place in their living room. The couple still resides in Santa Fe.

McBride and Martin married in 2011. The Telegraph reported that the ceremony — a medieval-inspired affair — took place in their living room. The couple still resides in Santa Fe.

Source: Telegraph

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At a party in 1975, Martin met his future wife Parris McBride. Martin was engaged to Gale Burnick at the time, whom he later married. After Martin and Burnick divorced in 1979, McBride moved to Santa Fe to be with him.

At a party in 1975, Martin met his future wife Parris McBride. Martin was engaged to Gale Burnick at the time, whom he later married. After Martin and Burnick divorced in 1979, McBride moved to Santa Fe to be with him.

Source: Telegraph, GeorgeRRMartin.com

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He began teaching journalism at Clarke College in 1976, and became the school's writer-in-residence from 1978 to 1979.

He began teaching journalism at Clarke College in 1976, and became the school's writer-in-residence from 1978 to 1979.

Source: GeorgeRRMartin.com

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To support his fledgling writing career, Martin also got involved in the 1970s chess scene and worked as a tournament director. He had started playing as a child, and went on to become captain of Northwestern's chess team.

To support his fledgling writing career, Martin also got involved in the 1970s chess scene and worked as a tournament director. He had started playing as a child, and went on to become captain of Northwestern's chess team.

Source: Independent

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Instead of fighting in the war, Martin did alternative service in Chicago with AmeriCorps VISTA, an anti-poverty program.

Instead of fighting in the war, Martin did alternative service in Chicago with AmeriCorps VISTA, an anti-poverty program.

Source: Strombo

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While his stories might be renowned for their brutality, Martin's anti-war views have influenced his writing. "If you're going to write about war and violence then show the cost. Show how ugly it is," he said in an interview with Strombo.

While his stories might be renowned for their brutality, Martin's anti-war views have influenced his writing. "If you're going to write about war and violence then show the cost. Show how ugly it is," he said in an interview with Strombo.

Source: Strombo

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He was surprised to receive the CO status, telling the Strombo Show that his local draft board believed that COs would be punished by the community and branded as cowards. "So they ruined my life," he joked in the interview.

He was surprised to receive the CO status, telling the Strombo Show that his local draft board believed that COs would be punished by the community and branded as cowards. "So they ruined my life," he joked in the interview.

Source: Strombo

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During this time, with the US in the midst of the Vietnam War, Martin applied for conscientious objector status. He said that he would have fought in WWII against the Nazis, but he "didn't think America had any business in Vietnam," he told the Strombo Show.

During this time, with the US in the midst of the Vietnam War, Martin applied for conscientious objector status. He said that he would have fought in WWII against the Nazis, but he "didn't think America had any business in Vietnam," he told the Strombo Show.

Source: Strombo

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That same year, the writer graduated summa cum laude with a BS in journalism from Northwestern University. He remained at the school for another year to complete an MS in journalism, too.

That same year, the writer graduated summa cum laude with a BS in journalism from Northwestern University. He remained at the school for another year to complete an MS in journalism, too.

Source: GeorgeRRMartin.com

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Martin began submitting stories to amateur comic fanzines. In 1970, at the age of 21, he sold his first professional story to Galaxy magazine, according to his official website.

Martin began submitting stories to amateur comic fanzines. In 1970, at the age of 21, he sold his first professional story to Galaxy magazine, according to his official website.

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune, GeorgeRRMartin.com

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Ultimately, he decided to just focus on storytelling. During his time at Marist High School, Martin devoured all the comic books he could get his hands on.

Ultimately, he decided to just focus on storytelling. During his time at Marist High School, Martin devoured all the comic books he could get his hands on.

Source: GeorgeRRMartin.com

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"I took archery once, figuring I could be Green Arrow but I couldn't hit the target, so that was a drawback. That was not working," he said at a 2014 Comic Con panel, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

"I took archery once, figuring I could be Green Arrow but I couldn't hit the target, so that was a drawback. That was not working," he said at a 2014 Comic Con panel, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

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Growing up, Martin thought that thought he might become a superhero or an astronaut.

Growing up, Martin thought that thought he might become a superhero or an astronaut.

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

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He was also a major bookworm. "Reading. That was the sport I was good at," Martin has said of his childhood.

He was also a major bookworm. "Reading. That was the sport I was good at," Martin has said of his childhood.

Source: Buzzfeed

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Martin caught the writing bug at a young age. According to his official website, as a kid he started "selling monster stories to other neighborhood children for pennies, dramatic readings included."

Martin caught the writing bug at a young age. According to his official website, as a kid he started "selling monster stories to other neighborhood children for pennies, dramatic readings included."

Source: GeorgeRRMartin.com

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The "R.R." portion of his artistic name dates back to his upbringing. The first "R." stands for Raymond, his father's name and Martin's middle name. The second stands for Richard, his Confirmation name.

The "R.R." portion of his artistic name dates back to his upbringing. The first "R." stands for Raymond, his father's name and Martin's middle name. The second stands for Richard, his Confirmation name.

Source: Adria's News

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Martin was born September 20, 1948 in Bayonne, New Jersey, to longshoreman Raymond Collins Martin and his wife Margaret Brady Martin.

Martin was born September 20, 1948 in Bayonne, New Jersey, to longshoreman  Raymond Collins Martin and his wife Margaret Brady Martin.

Source: GeorgeRRMartin.com

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