George R.R. Martin Says Internet Fan Culture Has Spiraled Into “Madness”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Anatoly Maltsev/EPA/Shutterstock (8999492b) George R.R. Martin George R. R. Martin visits St.Petersburg, Russia - 16 Aug 2017 US writer George R.R. Martin attends a news conference in St.Petersburg, Russia, 16 August 2017. The author of 'Song of Ice and Fire' series of fantasy novels, which inspired NBO series 'Games of Thrones', visits to take part in St.Petersburg Fantastic Assembly. The event runs from 18 to 21 August.
Photo by Anatoly Maltsev/EPA/Shutterstock

Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin thinks the Internet has changed the way fans express themselves, and what they have to say can sometimes be “toxic.”

The author of A Song of Ice and Fire book series on which HBO’s GoT was based, addressed fan culture Friday on film critic Leonard Maltin’s 90-minute “Maltin on Movies” podcast.

Martin and Maltin both got their start writing “fanzines” in the pre-Internet era. The two discussed how the Internet has given fans a bigger voice, although Martin said far too often, the conversation can spiral into “madness.”

“The Internet is toxic in a way that the old fanzine culture and fandoms — comics fans, science fiction fans in those days – was not,” Martin explained.

“There were disagreements. There were feuds, but nothing like the madness that you see on the Internet,” he continued.

Martin and GoT showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff got a glimpse of those modern-day disagreements during the show’s eighth and final season.

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Passionate fans criticized the writing and the ending of the series, which some said felt rushed. More than a million people signed a petition demanding HBO remake the final season.

That’s not going to happen. But there are several spinoffs in the works.

Unfortunately, Martin said in the interview he doubts they’ll be as popular as the original series.

“The scale of Game of Thrones’ success has — reaching all over the world and invading the culture to [such an extent] — it’s not something anyone could ever anticipate, not something I expect to ever experience again,” Martin said.

He went on to call the popularity of GoT “a little surreal.”

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