“If you’re going to write about death, you should feel it”: George R.R. Martin Has a Valid Criticism for George Lucas’ Star Wars After Defending the Infamous Red Wedding

George R.R. Martin does not care that Game of Thrones is too violent.

star wars, red wedding in got


  • Game of Thrones has often been accused of having too much violence.
  • Despite this, writer George R.R. Martin stands by the bloodshed.
  • He compared it to Star Wars, pointing out that George Lucas's series has more casualties.
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George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones is known for many things. Be it the book or the television series, the story is full of excellently written characters and a world the viewer could get lost in. Despite all of its assets, the series is not for all audiences. Having a reputation for mature themes, it has a lot of nudity and violence; something it has been criticized for time and time again.

Ser Barristan Selmy’s death in Game of Thrones
Ser Barristan Selmy’s death in HBO’s Game of Thrones

Martin has spoken on this more than a few times, voicing his disregard for such reproval and even defending it. Interestingly enough, he seems to have a theory as to why the violence in his series impacts audiences more, and the example ties in with George Lucas’s Star Wars franchise.

Game of Thrones—Gratuitous Violence?

George R.R. Martin gave an interview with Vanity Fair in which he addressed the violence in Game of Thrones. The show has often been accused of adding violence for absolutely no reason, having no bigger goal to the series, and simply existing for a shock factor. The writer and creator of the world spoke on this, stating that he has a theory of why the violence in his works elicits such strong reactions from his views.


“Of course, I’ve been accused of gratuitous violence and gratuitous s*x and occasionally of gratuitous heraldry and gratuitous feast scenes.” He continued.

jack gleeson and lena headey George R.R. Martin's game of thrones
Jack Gleeson and Lena Headey in George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones

“I want my emotions engaged. Those are the kind of novels I love to read and the kind of things I love to write. That’s what affects you emotionally. I’ve been accused of being a particularly bloody person. Star Wars kills more people than I do.”

The writer believes that the fact that emotion is tied to the violence that he portrays makes fans more upset. Naturally, if an unknown character dies in a world where death happens as frequently as breathing, no audience member would bat an eye. However, when Daenerys Targaryen gets stabbed out of nowhere, fans will be upset.

The writer tied this example in with another successful franchise; Star Wars.

Star Wars Has A Higher Kill Count

George R.R. Martin has also brought George Lucas’s Star Wars franchise into the conversation, pointing out that they have a higher kill count than Game of Thrones. During an interview with The Independent, he talked about the massacre that took place on Princess Leia’s home planet of Alderaan. In this sequence, an entire planet, with a population in the billions, was destroyed within seconds.


“Star Wars kills more characters than I do!” he said. “In the very first Star Wars movie they blow up the entire planet of Alderaan, which has, like, 20 billion people on it, and they’re all dead. But you know what? Nobody cares.” He went on.

A still from Game of Thrones
A still from Game of Thrones

Despite this, Lucas’s series is not accused of gratuitous violence, and the reason is that audiences did not have any emotional investment in that planet. While the number is very high, and fans recognize that, they are only regarded as numbers and not people.

“Everybody on Alderaan is dead. Oh, OK. But we don’t know the people on Alderaan. We don’t feel their deaths. It’s just a statistic. If you’re going to write about death, you should feel it.”

Red Wedding Game of Thrones House of the Dragon
The iconic Red Wedding scene in Game of Thrones

Instead of writing death like this, Martin prefers having emotions tied in so that when someone dies, it is not in vain. Their passing has meaning; be it the happiness fans felt when King Joffrey died, or the sadness they felt when they were forced to witness the Red Wedding, something the writer stands by,


Written by Ananya Godboley

Articles Published: 1150

A poet and art enthusiast, Ananya Godboley is a striving academic who is pursuing a career in Criminal Psychology, currently doing an undergrad degree in Psychology. Passionate about History, Philosophy and Literature, she loves to learn about new and interesting subjects. A writer for FandomWire with over 1000 published articles, she adores all things superhero and Taylor Swift.