George R.R. Martin might not have finished his A Song of Ice and Fire series just yet, but he's still got plenty of projects on the way. The author of Game of Thrones' source material has a lot to live up to now that the show is over. He's got two more Ice and Fire novels on the way, five TV shows in development (three of the five shows set to be Thrones spin-offs, one of which stars Naomi Watts), and has also worked on From Software's next game, Elden Ring.
Understandably, he feels a lot of pressure from Game of Thrones' success. In a new interview on the Maltin on Movies podcast, he admitted he doesn't think he'll ever be able to match that popularity with what comes next.
"The scale of Game of Thrones' success has—reaching all over the world and invading the culture to [such an extent]—it’s not something anyone could ever anticipate, not something I expect to ever experience again," he explained.
The final season of Game of Thrones, which followed an outline Martin gave to series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, was controversial with fans when it aired. Critics and fans particularly took issue with dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen's character arc. Martin added on Maltin on Movies that he's anticipated a lot of kindergarten teachers will "hate" him.
"Kindergarten teachers are going to hate me, with the 'a' and the 'y,' when all these little Daeneryses start hitting school," he joked.
Thousands of children across the U.S. were named in honor of Dany in 2018, although most settled for the nickname "Khaleesi."
While he wasn't upset about the reaction the show had, he did use it as a moment to address internet toxicity.
"The internet is toxic in a way that old fanzine culture and fandoms—comics fans, science fiction fans—in those days, was not," he added. "There were disagreements. There were feuds, but nothing like the madness that you see on the internet."