Round 1: George R.R. Martin vs E.L. James

George R.R. Martin

Special Attack: Killing your favourite character.


  • The most successful fantasy writer currently alive
  • Kills indiscriminately and without emotion


  • Extremely slow
  • Plagiarised middle initials from Tolkien

E.L. James

Special Attack: Guilty pleasure


  • Wrote the fastest-selling book of all-time
  • Good with knots


  • Also known as Snowqueen Icedragon
  • Widely parodied


How we think it’d play out…


George R.R. Martin closes his laptop.

‘Dead. They’re all dead.’

He sits there silently, looking at the computer in front of him and starts to shake. First his shoulders, then his arms and finally, with his head thrown back, he bursts into laughter.

‘Dead!’ he shouts. ‘I’ve finally killed them all and there’s nothing anybody can do about it!’

After he stops laughing (which takes a while, probably about an hour or two, we lost track when we went to make a sandwich) he sits and loses a staring match with the distance.

‘Now what am I going to do?’ he thinks. Harry’s code allowed him to calm his dark passenger by killing his creations but how was he supposed cope now that the books were finished?

I need more characters to kill,’ he thinks.

The laptop opens. George begins to write.

Katniss followed Peeta through the wooded arena. It was so cold. The organisers must be playing around with the climate settings.

‘They were just down here,’ said Peeta. ‘There’s a clearing. A bunch of them just lying there. Two were leaning against a tree, some just lying on the ground. I think they’re dead.’

They had been following a group of other tributes for hours but had lost track of them. Peeta had found them or, at least, he thought he had. By the time they reached the clearing it was entirely empty. Something wasn’t right. It was so cold.

‘Hold on’, Katniss said. ‘I’ll climb a tree and look for them. They can’t have gotten far.’

She climbed the nearest tree, a vaulting grey-green sentinel. At the top she looked around but there was no sign of the others. Down below, she heard Peeta talk.

‘Who goes there?’ he said. She looked down.  At the edge of the clearing, facing Peeta, was the opposite of a shadow. Tall and pale, its armour shining different colours. In its hand was a sword made of a metal Katniss couldn’t recognise. Peeta, bless him, stood his ground.

‘Come no farther,’ he said.

Katniss heard his voice tremble. She saw, as he faced down the terrifying creature, that Peeta was no longer the boy from District 12 who had once given her bread, but a man who was about to be sliced in two by something neither of them understood.

George R.R. Martin laughed and laughed and laughed. ‘More,’ he thought. ‘More!’

Christian Grey woke up, his hands and feet bound and spread, splayed across a large wooden X. Sitting at the other end of the room was Simon From Misfits.

‘I know you,’ said Christian, his eyes a striking gray in the dark, torch-lit room. ‘You’re Simon from Misfits. I thought you were great in Grandma’s House as well. Hey, is that getting another series at all?’

Simon from Misfits looked at him and took out a knife.

‘What are you doing with that knife? Hey, I like it a little rough but I draw the line at blades.’

‘Oh, I’ll draw the line with blades,’ said Simon From Misfits.

‘No,’ said Christian as someone walked forward. ‘I said at bla…’ The sentence was interrupted as Simon from Misfits plunged the knife into Christian’s totally ripped torso. His trademarked eyes dropped lifelessly.

‘Why, Simon From Misifts?’ he whispered. ‘You were marvellous in Caerdydd. Why?’

George R.R. Martin laughs and laughs and laughs.

‘That’s better,’ he says. He decides to call it a day with the writing, sends off the finished books to his agent and heads outside for a well-deserved walk.

A little over two months later, George R.R. Martin is at a party. It is a secret event for all the bestselling authors of the past ten years that, erm, definitely doesn’t happen. Don’t even bother trying to find out about it. You aren’t invited. Because it doesn’t exist. Over drinks and canapes he finds himself talking to E.L. James.

‘How dare you?!’ she says.

George is confused but assumes she’s another fan angry about a character death.

‘I’m sorry,’ he says. ‘I never said Westeros was a fair world.’

‘What are you talking about? How dare you write about Christian Grey in that way? My agent showed me. Everyone’s been reading it!’

‘But the only time I’ve ever written about Christian Grey is…oh.’

George turns to James. ‘I’m sorry, you’re right. That was for me, you don’t understand. It’s a need. Harry’s code allows me to feed it, it was never meant to impact on anybody else’s life.’

‘And how would you like it if I wrote about Ned Stark and Cersei Lannister?

‘Ned?’ thinks George. ‘Oh, she hasn’t even read the first book.’

‘You haven’t read the first book, have you?’ he asks.

‘No, but I intend to. I’m halfway through watching the first series. It’s incredible, they’ve done an amazing job.’

‘So you’ve no idea what happens?’


George R.R. Martin smiles. ‘Ms James,’ he says. ‘You can write about Ned and Cersei all you like in private and I will continue to write about Christian Grey in private, should I wish. In return, I won’t tell you exactly who dies in my series and when.’

E.L. James immediately agrees and quickly walks away. There are many arguments worth fighting but none of them are worth the risk Game of Thrones spoilers.




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