Imagine a world without “Game of Thrones.” It’s hard to imagine, right?
Well, when “A Game of Thrones” hit bookshelves 20 years ago, in August 1996, the reception was less than impressive.
Author George R.R. Martin shared a blog post about his experience directly after the first book in the “a Song of Ice and Fire” series was published.
“Reviews were generally good, sales were… well, okay,” the author wrote. “Solid. But nothing spectacular. No bestseller lists, certainly.”
Martin said he went on a book tour to promote the novel, but the crowds were often small, and in one place, he actually made people leave the store.
“At one stop (St. Louis, if you must know), not only was attendance zero but I actually drove four patrons out of the bookshop, allowing me to set my all time ‘bad signing’ record at minus four (on the plus side, I had the time for long friendly talks with the readers who did show up),” he said.
Now, things couldn’t be more different for Martin.
Crowds gather by the hundreds to hear from the author, the novels are on bestseller lists all over the world, the hit HBO series based off of the books is record-breaking, and fans buy “Game of Thrones”-related items to flaunt around.
“Back then, I’d thought the whole story could be told in three books, and that it would take me three years to write them, a year per book,” Martin added. “Little did [Martin] imagine that he would be spending most of the next two decades in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros with Tyrion, Daenerys, Arya, Sansa, Jon Snow, Bran, and all the rest. But here I am, twenty years later … still working on book six… ((and no, sorry, I have no announcement to make on that front)).”
Cheers to Martin and the success of his series. We’ll be waiting patiently for that next book.