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Just in case you’ve been getting too comfortable in your viewing of Game of Thrones, the books’ author George R.R. Martin wants to remind you that he doesn’t write the typical Hollywood, the-hero-always-wins type stuff we’re all used to. In his world, all men must die. That’s right, all of them. Women, too—and not just the ones you don’t care for.

When asked whether he uses death as a literary tool—remember Ned Stark’s decapitation, The Red Wedding, or poor Jon Snow’s betrayal by the Night’s Watch?—Martin told Galaxy’s Edge Magazine that he doesn’t look at it like that.

“I think a writer, even a fantasy writer, has an obligation to tell the truth and the truth is, as we say in Game of Thrones, all men must die. Particularly if you’re writing about war, which is certainly a central subject in Game of Thrones,” he said.

ned life
It was precious to us, Ned. – Tumblr

And just in case you were going to misinterpret him and think that the characters you love will be spared, he added that the death of a central character is inevitable.

“You can’t write about war and violence without having death,” he said in the interview. “If you want to be honest it should affect your main characters. We’ve all read this story a million times when a bunch of heroes set out on adventure and it’s the hero and his best friend and his girlfriend and they go through amazing hair-raising adventures and none of them die. The only ones who die are extras.”

Yeah, that’s because we don’t care about the extras! They’re, well, extra!

OK, so it’s likely true that we wouldn’t be such raving GOT fans if GRR weren’t so heavy handed when it comes to lopping off main characters’ heads or appendages. His ruthless style is refreshing in a world where the good guy shoots with 100 per cent accuracy and the bad guys can’t hit the broad side of a Hollywood action star.

But please, we ask just one thing of you, George RR: don’t kill Jon Snow again. Please. Once is enough. All men must die, we get it, but surely once is enough…