The idea that George RR Martin is the most murder-happy writer in history has become something of a meme, perpetrated by a hyperbolic internet and cheap comedy hacks. And a few years ago, I'd gotten a little sick of seeing it all over (and a little sick of making that joke, because I AM ONE OF THOSE CHEAP COMEDY HACKS), so I decided to make a jokey op-ed style post about how William Shakespeare blows GRRM out of the water. But to add a little edge to it (and so it would sound less like me personally whining at the internet), I wrote it in the "voice" of George RR Martin as an obviously fake open letter.
Here's a small portion, in case you weren't familiar:
Now, at no point did I think anyone would ACTUALLY think George RR Martin REALLY wrote this open letter - I just wanted people to imagine him saying it, because I gotta imagine he's more than a little frustrated by all of this too. Like - would acclaimed author George RR Martin REALLY pen an open letter in which he refers to his readers as "illiterate shitlords"? Would he really write "straight up"?
Would George RR Martin REALLY release that open letter exclusively to DORKLY DOT COM as a JPEG?
The answer to all of these things is, obviously, NO OF COURSE NOT. But the internet being the internet, many people (MANY MANY PEOPLE) have debated - on the site, on Twitter, on Tumblr, on Reddit, etc. - whether or not this was actually written by George RR Martin. They argued long and loudly enough that - last night - the man himself had to get involved:
To set the record straight this is not me: https://t.co/Wwsvx0woVI. I would not use the phrase "straight up" to describe a character.-- George RR Martin (@GRRMspeaking) April 11, 2016
Which is exciting for me, personally, because that means George RR Martin has read something I wrote! What "something" is in this case (a faux-open letter in his voice that uses the sentence "That weak-ass shit wouldn't even give Shakespeare's sadistic bloodlust a chubby") is irrelevant - I've read some of GRRM's work, and he's read some of mine. We're pretty much peers.
But what I really want to say is this: I'm sorry, George. I never intended anyone to actually think that open letter was really from you. I'm sorry you've had to endure years of people thinking you were secretly a crass, angry writer. I thought the internet could use the tiniest bit of logic, and that was my tragic mistake.
But most of all, I'm sorry I fucked up in that letter and said Robb got his head sewed to Grey Wind's body when it's actually the other way around. I've lived with that specific regret for years, and I hope you accept my apology.
That being said, these letters from former Microsoft executive Don Mattrick and anime-lover Anthony Hopkins and THIS OTHER open letter by George RR Martin are totes real. Make sure to spread them around and talk about how real they are.