The inspiration for King’s Landing was Staten Island: “We were poor, we had no money, it was a low-income housing project. We didn’t even own a car. We never really went anywhere. But our living room windows in the apartment we lied in for most of that period looked directly out at the water, I would see those lights [of Staten Island] across the way and they were like a magical realm to me.”
On his penchant for dramatic weddings: “No one has ever died at a wedding I’ve been to, as far as I know.”
On the inspiration for Joffrey: “I was a shy kid, I was the smart kid. There were always bullies in school that made life miserable for the smart kids and the shy kids. I think Joffrey was partly made up of all the bullies I ever knew in my life.”
On writing “strong” female characters: “There are strong women and there are weak women, there are heroic women and there are selfish women. I just try to write individual characters. Being male or female is almost secondary to the fact that they are people.”
On which “Game of Thrones” character he would play: “If I could magically clap my hands and become a different person, it would be cool to play Jon Snow, who is much more the classic hero. Everybody wants to be the classic hero, right?,” though he adds later that his favorite character from the series is Tyrion Lannister.
On the HBO series: “I love the TV show. I have to get out there at some point and do a cameo.” Apparently GRRM filmed a cameo for the original pilot but it ended up on the cutting room floor, so he says at some point, he’ll have to appear in another episode.
“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.