George R.R. Martin has never been a writer who lacks for ideas. A Song of Ice and Fire is proof of that; the book is exploding with interesting scenes, characters, and descriptions. He enjoyed building the lore behind his world so much that a number of sidebars written for a different project eventually became an entire book called Fire & Blood, now the basis for HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon.
That said, some things come easier to him than others. Answering fan questions for Penguin Random House, Martin revealed which character he found easiest to write—and which one he “struggles” with.
“The Tyrion chapters seem to write themselves,” Martin said, singling out the trouble-making Lannister as a character he finds easy to get into a groove with. “And I had a very hard time … writing Bran. Because Bran, of all the characters, was the one who was most involved in magic. And I think magic in fantasy … has to be handled with a great deal of care, or [it] can overwhelm the story. So I rewrote some of those Bran chapters over and over again.”
He continued, “And I’m still struggling with the new ones that are in The Winds of Winter, but hopefully we’re getting there.”
The Winds of Winter is the upcoming sixth volume in Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire fantasy book series, the one he’s been working on for over a decade by this point. He says he’s about 75 percent done; hopefully that means the Bran chapters are already behind him.
There’s another character who comes easily to Martin: Bronn, the foul-mouthed mercenary who hitches his wagon to Tyrion’s star early in the story. “The more time Tyrion spent with Bronn, the more interesting the character became to me,” Martin said. “I wanted to know who he was and what about him. And I liked his dialogue, I liked the sound of him. He played very well off Tyrion.”
The Winds of Winter doesn’t currently have a release date—but you probably already knew that.