9 Cool Moments in Conan's George R.R. Martin Interview

Game of Thrones author still uses a DOS computer

by | May 14, 2014 | Comments

During Tuesday night’s Conan, host Conan O’Brien sat down with Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin to talk about his books and the smash HBO show. Here are nine wonderfully wacky things we learned from the interview [clip below].

1. Any wedding that doesn’t have at least three deaths is a dull affair.

“Your weddings are awful,” Conan said. Martin replied by pointing out that the Dothraki wedding set a standard for all weddings to come in the Seven Kingdoms.

2. It’s harder to kill characters after you meet the actors.

“I think it’s a good thing that I wrote the books before we started making the show,” Martin explained. Not for nothing, but Jack Gleeson who plays Joffrey is a really nice kid.

3. The showrunners are more bloodthirsty than Martin.

There have been times when showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have departed from the books, including occasionally changing the timeline of a character’s expiration. Martin said that sometimes he squeals when he sees a character has been killed off in the scripts. He joked that a showrunner might explain, “The actor asked for a raise; we had to do something.”

4. There’s a guy in Hoboken sitting on an Iron Throne right now.

Leading up to the season four premiere, HBO hosted a fan function at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. A Hoboken man attending the event won a seat raffle. His prize? His very own Iron Throne.

5. Martin still uses a DOS computer.

Martin actually has two computers. One is connected to the internet for surfing the web, checking emails, and filing taxes. The other machine is his writing computer, which still uses DOS, a PC operating system which has been obsolete since the new millennium. He also mentioned in passing that he uses Word Star 4.0 to type his manuscripts. “Did you make this computer out of wood?” Conan asked. “I don’t want any help,” Martin said. “I hate some of these modern systems where you type a lower-case letter and you get a capital… I hate spell check.” The other thing about his DOS machine — it’s not connected to the internet, which means it’s virus- and hacker-free.

6. A GoT fan found a missing girl by following a murder of crows.

Martin told the story of a 3-year-old girl who went missing in Russia, and how a Game of Thrones fan, aware of the habits of crows from watching the show, found her by tracking them. Before we pat any of those crows on the back, however, they were not trying to help. Martin pointed out, “They were sort of waiting for her to die so they could peck out her eyes.” Conan added, “It’s not exactly Lassie.”

7. Dragons were not always a part of the story.

In 1991, Martin had written the beginning of Thrones and debated whether or not the Targaryens should have actual dragons. But his friend Phyllis, after reading the first few chapters, told him, “George, it’s a fantasy. You’ve got to have dragons.” Thanks, Phyllis.

8. Pigs will fly. Sort of.

Martin says his next book has a knight with a winged pig on his shield.

9. Regarding that Ser Pounce spinoff…

Martin is aware of the internet’s reaction to King Tommen’s cat, Ser Pounce, and joked about a spin-off, The Adventures of Ser Pounce. “The internet went crazy when Ser Pounce appeared,” Martin said. “How would you know?” Conan quipped. “You have a computer from 1911.”

Here’s a clip from Tuesday night’s Conan in which George R.R. Martin explains his two computers:

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