George R.R. Martin Says He May Return to Writing Game Of Thrones With Turtles

George R.R. Martin has indicated that he could return to a long-abandoned Game of Thrones project – and no, it's not some kind of new vow to finish The Winds of Winter and the final book in "A Song of Ice and Fire". No, George R.R. Martin is letting it be known that he may one day pick up the pen and finally get back to the thing that helped propel him down that path – Game of Thrones, a turtles story. 

Filmmaker Kevin Smith did a special event with George R.R. Martin called "Curious George: An Evening with George R.R. Martin and Kevin Smith". It was during that panel with Martin and Smith that the former jokingly recalled how he began writing the first Game of Thrones book while dealing with some harrowing deaths of his pet turtles! 

In a fascinating anecdote, Martin reveals how his fantasy imagination began as young as five, when he was poor and spent days playing with his pet turtles, which then led him to first conjuring the world of Game of Thrones

"We lived in the projects. We didn't have much money... And you were not allowed to have dogs or cats in the projects. But of course I was a kid, I wanted a pet, so I got turtles," Martin explained. "Dime store turtles that you bought at Woolworths or Kersges, and they came in these little plastic bowls that were half-water and half-gravel with a fake palm tree in the middle. And it so happened you could fit two of those bowls side-by-side in the courtyard of this toy castle that I had. So I put the turtles' bowls in the toy castle, and then I decided that since they lived in a castle, they were all kings and knights and other things I saw on TV in Robin Hood and King Arthur shows."

"The thing about dime store turtles though... is that they died pretty easily," Martin continued. "They only cost fifteen cents or something like that, and they'd give you the turtle food to feed them, I don't know if it was the healthiest food... and like a month later they'd be dead."


So what did George R.R. Martin do with the tragedy of his beloved pets dying? He turned it into a violent Medieval socio-political fantasy, of course: 

"...But I was very upset that my turtles kept dying and then I said 'Well why are they dying? I'm giving them their turtle food, they have the water'... And I decided that they were killing each other to compete for the turtle throne," Martin revealed. "So the first 'Game of Thrones' was all about turtles killing each other and stabbing each other an I started writing stories about that too. So 'Turtle Castle' is a precursor that I may return to one of these days. It'll be just like 'Game of Thrones' but with Turtles." 

He's joking, of course, but it's kind of a triggering joke. Martin actually owes his millions of fans a finish to the book series, that is long overdue. 

Game of Thrones is continuing with the prequel series The House of the Dragon. The Winds of Winter still has no official release date.