First premiered in 2011, HBO's Game of Thrones remains one of the beloved shows of our generation. Based on George R. R Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series, Game of Thrones developed into 8 seasons, and approached its groundbreaking conclusion in 2019.
Game of Thrones is well-known for its unforeseen character deaths that extremely shocked the fans. And throughout its eight-season run, the show maintained its key element that the show is widely known for, killing beloved lead characters. However, it looks like author George R.R. Martin got this concept from another fan-beloved author, Stan Lee.
In a recent interview with The Independent, George R.R. Martin revealed that the renowned Marvel Comics writer Stan Lee partly inspired the author to incorporate shocking deaths into Game of Thrones, particularly talking about the Wonder Man issue from Avengers #9 in 1964, which seems to be the author's primary influence. Martin mentions that after the hero transformed into a villain, Wonder Man had a change of heart and decided not to betray the Avengers before his death, which seemingly resembles the whole Game of Thrones storyline.
“That’s all Stan Lee, and you can see it all over my work! Unexpectedly killing characters, characters who are not what they seem, characters who are partly good and partly bad. Grey characters," Martin said. "You don’t know which way they’re going to jump when the moment of crisis comes. Stan Lee’s fingerprints are all over that.”
Aside from the show's unexpected deaths, Martin's Game of Thrones was also recognized for the complexity of its core characters, and viewers won't be able to determine whether that 'grey character' is good or bad until the story furtherly develops.
Nevertheless, it's not surprising to know that veteran writer Stan Lee influenced Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books, as Lee was originally known as the pioneer of mystical fantasy universes. For now, we’ll have to wait and see if Martin will use the same element for his upcoming Game of Thrones prequel spinoff House of the Dragon, arriving on August 21.
Game of Thrones is available to stream on HBO Max.