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Lit geeks and 'Game of Thrones'

March 16, 2011 |  1:28 pm


Two American students of Irish literature are the writers behind "Game of Thrones," the HBO series adapted from George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels. Dan Weiss, left, was studying  James Joyce and David Benioff, right, Samuel Beckett at Trinity college in Dublin when they first met.

That was many years ago. Both authors of literary fiction -- Benioff's novels include "The 25th Hour" and "City of Thieves," and Weiss is the author of "Lucky Wander Boy" -- the two wound up getting excited about adapting George R.R. Martin's fantasy series.

On Hero Complex, Joy Press talks to the two about how that came to be.

“Game of Thrones” landed on Benioff’s doorstep. Literally. Martin’s agent sent him a hefty package of the books, several of which run more than 1,000 pages. Initially the cheesy fantasy covers repelled Benioff, but after he started reading, he was hooked. “At some point I e-mailed Dan and said, maybe I’ve lost my mind, but this is more fun than anything I’ve read in years and years.”

Dan felt similarly exhilarated. “You almost literally disappear into those worlds, and I hadn’t done that since I was 12 or 13 years old. It’s the kind of experience that’s very hard to have as an adult reader. … A crack-like propulsion to get to the next chapter."

Read more about how the writers tackled Martin's opus at Hero Complex.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Dan Weiss and David Benioff. Credit: Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times