Here follows part 3 of our second interview with JW Whitmarsh author of Enchantress Awakening
NX: Ok. So in the previous parts you gave fan fiction and RPGs as examples of fantasy with adult interactions. Now we’re going to talk about Game of Thrones.
JW: You’re making it sound like these are separate interviews.
NX: It’s a page space thing.
JW: Right. It just makes me seem like I have endless free time. I do work sometimes, for the record.
NX: I’m glad to hear you don’t consider this work. So, Game of Thrones. That’s definitely intended for an adult audience.
JW: Exactly. Given how controversial all the sex is you’d think it would drive away viewers but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The world of A Song of Ice and Fire is one that embraces it’s earthy side. There’s very little fading to black there, Theon’s emasculation notwithstanding.
NX: Yeah, I’m kinda glad they didn’t show that.
JW: Yes completely, but it is strange in a way that a literal dismemberment is something we as viewers find harder to absorb than a beheading. Your quality of life after a beheading is somewhat worse, I hear.
NX: The sex in Game of Thrones is quite different than in the Elemental Cycle, isn’t it?
JW: Yeah. In most of George RR Martin’s writing there is some kind of twisted dynamic taking place, a power play or an expression of a character’s psychosis. Jon and Ygritte’s storyline somewhat stands out for it’s lack of creepiness.
NX: And it’s a storyline that people really invested with. It’s probably the only one that would fit comfortably into the Elemental Cycle. Could you see yourself writing a relationship like that?
JW: Absolutely, but if that relationship happened in the world of the Elemental Cycle, Ygritte would probably be the protagonist.
NX: So you wouldn’t have killed her off?
JW: Anyone can be killed. Being a protagonist doesn’t make you safe necessarily.
NX: Do you have a safe-list of characters who will never be killed or is everyone in danger?
JW: The correct answer here is to insist that no-one is safe. In reality, stories demand certain things and some roads are just more interesting than others. I don’t think surprising your readers is reason enough by itself to kill someone. There should be a storytelling logic. On the other hand, sometimes the logic is that it is simply not believable that everyone you like will survive simply because you like them.
NX: Have you ever thought of reprieving anyone or dooming someone you had planned to spare?
JW: I would say the fate of most characters is often in flux. Only a minority have fixed fates for good or ill.
NX: Is that another way of saying even you don’t know who is going to survive to the end?
JW: Yes. But considering what lies ahead for our heroes the chances that they will all make it are pretty slim.
Thanks to all who’ve read through to the end. We will try to fit in the last of the three interviews about Enchantress Awakening in the next week or so. Next time we will be discussing the role of magic.