Stephen King and George R.R. Martin, together in Albuquerque; next stop, King’s Landing or Derry?

Photo courtesy Stephen King's Facebook page

Photo courtesy Stephen King’s Facebook page

In this image we see two men responsible for the deaths and/or grievous bodily harm of thousands of fictional characters. And we love them for it.

Last night in New Mexico Bangor’s proudest son Stephen King was interviewed by the mastermind of “Game of Thrones,” George R.R. Martin, in an event at the Kiva Auditorium in Martin’s hometown of Albuquerque. It was part of King’s tour for his newest book, “End of Watch.” Here’s King’s tweet about their chat:

This got us thinking: in which ways are Westeros and Essos (the worlds created by Martin for his “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series and subsequent “Game of Thrones” TV juggernaut) and the King universe (the setting of The Dark Tower series, “‘Salem’s Lot,” “Hearts in Atlantis,” “The Stand” and countless others) similar? How are they different? Both authors have created worlds so staggeringly complex and multi-layered it’s hard to know where to begin. Their bad guys are really, really bad — which is scarier, the Night’s King or the Crimson King? Ramsay Bolton, or Pennywise? Cujo, or the Mountain? Stylistically, neither man is afraid to kill an important character, or delve into knotty, difficult, sometimes ambiguous questions about good and evil. And both worlds are ideally suited to adaptation to both the small screen and big screen, what with “Game of Thrones,” and with the forthcoming, long-awaited film adaptation of The Dark Tower series.

There’s one big way in which they are quite different, however. King is renowned for his prolific pace in publishing — while fans of Martin’s are still waiting, waiting, waiting for “The Winds of Winter,” the follow-up to “A Dance With Dragons,” which came out in 2011.

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, UMaine graduate, proud Bangorian and a writer for the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food to all the cool things going on in the Greater Bangor area. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra. She's interested in everything that happens in Maine.