Quarter Final: George R.R. Martin vs Agatha Christie

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

Agatha Christie

Special attack: A sudden plot twist


  • Best-selling novelist of all time
  • Expert in murder technique and investigation


  • Over-fondness for dramatics
  • Secretly hates her most popular character


How we think it’d play out…

Content with his earlier victory over Philip Pullman and excitedly anticipating the deaths of his promised unsuspecting characters, Martin sits once again at his laptop. Despite feeling such joy, something was missing. Compromise was not something Martin was familiar with, and although he’d get what he wanted in the end, it simply wasn’t the same.

Martin needed a classic character, the most unsuspecting of all, someone from an entirely different genre, a different time, a different world even!

“Miss Marple!” he exclaims. It was perfect. No one would expect it: everyone loves an elderly detective, who could be more perfect?

“Now,” Martin pauses for a moment. “How to write it, how to write it.”

Turning to his laptop Martin types away, tapping frantically at the keys as he plots the death of one of the best-loved detectives of all time.

It had been a long day of detecting for Miss Marple, and this case in particular had been tough to tackle. She had her options narrowed down to either Sally, the spritely housekeeper, or Jack, the elderly gardener.

The perpetrator’s weapon of choice had been poison, but what would tie either one of them to the murder? Just as Miss Marple sat down, sipping her evening cup of tea, a creak from the floorboards in the hallway disturbed her…

“Stop right there, Mr Martin,” cried a frantic voice, “I’ve been hearing about your attacks on fellow authors’ famous characters for some time now. I’m afraid I can’t let you do this, George; first my beloved Poirot was so brutally taken from me and I won’t let you take Miss Marple too!”

Unperturbed by Agatha Christie’s apparent trespassing into his home, Martin simply finished his sentence before turning to face her.

“Agatha, don’t take it personally – it’s the character I’m killing, not you.”

“She’s my character! She should be mine to kill if I wanted to, not that I ever would of course, but the option should be mine and mine alone!” Christie became more and more distressed as Martin hinted at the decidedness of the situation.

“My sincerest condolences, Agatha,” Martin responded, a slight grin forming across his face, “but it’s done. Poison in her tea, if you must know.”

The need for an unsuspected twist in the story was much greater than the need to protect Christie’s emotions. Not one to sustain a negative relationship, Martin offered a compromise (as hard as that may be). “How about, in return for Miss Marple I’ll let you decide the fate of one of my key characters?”

“Just one? Miss Marple’s worth three at least!” Christie cries.

“Three? How about two, and I’ll throw in one of my trademark fisherman’s caps for good measure.”

“Fine”, Christie added abruptly, “but just you wait Martin, just you wait.”

Martin returned to his laptop, chuckling with delight at the day’s success. He wasn’t worried: there was no way Agatha Christie could alter the fate of his characters, not with what he had in store.




Cast your vote below and tell us what you think in the comments

Don’t forget to vote in our other author face-offs

What do you think?