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George R.R. Martin On Vietnam And The Realities Of War
March 13, 2012
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Author George R.R. Martin talks about his choice to be a 'conscientious objector' to the Vietnam War, and why - as a writer - he's determined to show the two sides of war: the gruesome and the glorious. The 'Game of Thrones' exhibition continues at Toronto International Film Festival's Bell Lightbox and another GoT event will be held at VIFF's Vancity Theatre in Vancouver.

Martin will be in the red chair tonight, along with actor Rossif Sutherland.

On how he got "Conscientious Objector" status during the Vietnam War:
George R.R. Martin: The big question they would always ask you was 'Would you would have fought in World War 2 against the Nazis?' Yes, I would have fought in WW2 against the Nazis... but the Vietcong were not the Nazis and I didn't think America had any business in Vietnam...

On depicting warfare:
GRRM: War is so central to fantasy... and yet it's these bloodless wars where the heroes are killing unending Orcs, and the heroes are not being killed... I think that if you're going to write about war and violence then show the cost - show how ugly it is, show both sides of it. There's also the other side (which sometimes gets me in trouble with the opposite side of the political spectrum): the glory of war. Those of us who are opposed to war tend to try to pretend it doesn't exist, but if you read the ancient historical sources... people are always talking about the banners that 'stirred the heart'... I think that if you're going to write about that period then you should reflect honestly what it's about and capture both sides of it...

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