Many impressions of George R.R. Martin as a writer probably peg him as a bloodthirsty fiend who sets out to take away everyone you love, but it’s important to know that in real life, he’s a pretty generous guy. As Mashable notes on Wednesday, the author on whose work the Game of Thrones TV series is based received a letter sent by a 13-year-old fan from the U.K. named Jack and responded in kind.
The young man wrote Martin in reference to his recent Prizeo crowdfunding charity effort to benefit Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, a New Mexico organization close to the author’s heart. As you may remember from last month, one of the prizes offered for a $20,000 donation was the chance to have a character in the next A Song of Ice and Fire book named after you and then killed off in a most grisly fashion.
Jack calls wolves his favorite animal and even wants to be a wolf conservationist when he grows up, so although he wasn’t exactly able to get the $20,000 together, he did include £153 ($260) of pocket money with the letter to donate to Wild Spirit. He also mentions the UK Wolf Conservation Trust based in Berkshire, England as one of his “favorite places.”
The fan had asked to be considered for an appearance and death in the next book (“a gruesome grizzly [sic] death is all I ask for”) but Martin politely declined, saying the spots were already filled and that “there’s a limit to how many people even I can kill” (a surprising twist). However, in response to Jack’s donation to Wolf Spirit, the author was pleased to give $10,000 in the boy’s name to the UK charity, which he calls “a wonderful organization I’ve heard much about.” You can read Jack’s letter and Martin’s response here.
Although Jack won’t be immortalized in The Winds of Winter after all, his donation adds even more to the successful crowdfunding effort. With two days left in the fundraising period, the effort has raised over $460,000.
Other donation prizes include signed items, tickets to the season five premiere, and merchandise, among others. Two lucky fans are also getting ready to meet up with Martin at Comic-Con’s exclusive Penguin Random House party in San Diego this weekend.
In addition to the Random House event, Martin is scheduled to sit down with Avatar Press publisher William Christensen during the convention to talk about all things “Thrones” and his other projects (and probably not say anything about when Winds of Winter will be ready, much to book readers' dismay). According to The Independent, he’s also expected to announce some casting news for season five. On August 19, he will appear in London along with sci-fi author Robin Hobb for an event to discuss their respective writing processes.