“Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin is a longtime member of the fantasy and sci-fi community, and as such has made it a point to attend many fan conventions — Worldcon, DragonCon, Bubonicon, and San Diego Comic-Con.
In one interview, Martin told fans he not only attended the first ever comic book convention in 1964, but he was the first person to buy a ticket. Martin was 16 years old.
But all that has changed.
Since the debut of HBO’s adaptation of his “Game of Thrones” series, Martin has become a bona-fide celebrity. Now, he can barely attend one of the Cons without being bombarded by fans of both the “Game of Thrones” show and his original book series, “A Song of Ice and Fire.“
At this year’s New York Comic Con, actress Natalie Dormer recalled speaking with Martin about this change. “He was talking about the early days, because he went to San Diego when it was really, you know, (laughs) he’s that old,” Dormer explained. “I think there’s a little part of him that is just pure geek and he kind of misses just being able to walk around and merge in [with the crowd].”
During 2014’s San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) Martin was asked what it was like attending cons now, and Martin replied: “It’s great, but there’s an edge to it too, I gotta admit.” With 50 total years of attending cons under his belt, the author sounds bittersweet. “The truth is I miss aspects of what I used to do at Comic Con. I can’t walk the floor anymore … and inside me there’s still that 13-year-old kid who wants to get that edition of Spider Man to complete his collection.”
Martin repeated these sentiments on his LiveJournal in July 2015, when he announced he would be skipping SDCC in order to spend more time at home (hopefully working on his next “A Song of Ice and Fire” book).
If truth be told, San Diego has gotten overwhelming in recent years. There are always good times catching up with friends, and hanging with the cast, but it’s not as if I can walk the floor anymore and look for old comic books, the way I once did.
Though Martin may miss the days of old, “Game of Thrones” has become a global phenomenon — something any writer dreams of. With two more highly-anticipated books in the works, along with at least two more seasons of HBO’s adaptation, the ride of fame is far from over for Martin. Perhaps he can take a page from Mark Ruffalo’s book, and wear a disguise to the next event he attends.
Watch Natalie Dormer’s full anecdote from Comic Con below.
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