Pop Culture

'Game of Thrones' author wants fans to really grieve over character deaths 

If you still get a little choked up when you think back to last Sunday's Red Wedding scene on "Game of Thrones," good! That's exactly how the man behind the tale wants you to feel.

Author George R.R. Martin, who wrote the novels that sparked the HBO series and serves as a producer and writer for the show, spoke with Ryan Seacrest in an interview that aired on TODAY Friday morning and confessed that he wants fans to feel it when he kills off a character.

"I can respect where they're coming from," Martin said of those still reeling from the latest bloodbath. "I want to go for the really strong emotions. I want you to be involved. I want to make characters that are so real to you, that when they die, it's like your mother died or your dog got run over by a truck. … You really do feel it, profoundly."

In other words, don't expect things to get easier as the story continues.

"I want my readers, or the viewers, in the case of a television show, to feel the danger, to feel they don't know what's going to happen next," he explained. "They don't know who's going to live or who's going to die."

That's why he took so much time to craft what eventually became "Game of Thrones" in his fantasy series "A Song of Ice and Fire" -- after all, it takes time to build a multilayered world with rich characters and plenty of suspense. It's also what originally led him to leave his past work of quick-turnaround TV writing (such as what he did for the 1980s hit drama "Beauty and the Beast") behind him.

"I'm going to do something as big as my imagination," he said of the thought process behind his "Ice and Fire" stories. "I'm going to write this series of books. They're never going to be filmed. I'm never going to have to worry about a budget. I'm never going to have to worry about shooting time. And, of course, the irony is … (it's) on TV."

Get ready for the next chapter of the TV epic. The season finale of "Game of Thrones" airs Sunday night at 9 p.m. on HBO.