Acclaimed author George RR Martin's talent is undeniable. His A Song of Ice and Fire book series led to Game of Thrones, arguably HBO's most popular show of all time. While his wildly imaginative tales have made him one of the world's most popular authors, what inspired him to create these worlds is pretty surprising. In a recent interview with Stephen Colbert, Martin explained how the pet turtles he had as a child led him to The Iron Throne.

“I love turtles, my writing career began with turtles,” Martin told the host of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert when asked about the turtle brooch he was wearing.

“I lived in Bayonne, New Jersey, in a federal housing project," Martin continued. "We were not allowed to have dogs. We were not allowed to have cats. So the only pets I was allowed to have were turtles, little dime store turtles. I had a toy castle. I could fit two turtle bowls in the castle. But the thing is about those little dime store turtles is they die very soon.”

“I fed them the turtle food, I thought I was doing everything right," Martin explained. "I couldn’t figure out why they would die. It certainly wasn’t my fault. I decided they were competing for the turtle throne. They were competing for who would be the turtle king. That was my first fantasy: Turtle Castle. It preceded Game of Thrones by many years.”

Game of Thrones: Turtle Castle kind of has a nice ring to it ... but A Song of Ice and Fire was definitely a better choice.