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Believe it or not, Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin is a huge comic book fan. Martin grew up with very little money, and as such, he never traveled far when he was young, and that limitation is what led him to be the creative person he is today.

“I do think some of my desire to write, and some of my desire to read was motivated by the limits of the life that I led,” Martin said in an interview. “We didn’t have much money to spend. We didn’t have a car. My school was on 5th street. I walked to it, for all intents and purposes, that was my world. My world was five blocks long.” 

Among the books he read were, of course, comic books. One comic he was drawn to in particular was the Fantastic Four. It may seem quaint by today’s standards, but at the time, Martin loved the Thing, who was nothing, if not, a monster. The idea of following a “monster” and humanizing him was one that really resonated with him, and the idea of of a squabbling family. So much did he love it that he wrote fan mail to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby singing its praises, and it went on to be the first time Martin was in print.

In a recent interview on Superheroes Decoded: The Thing, an upcoming History Channel special, Martin shares an excerpt from that letter.

Check it out below:

The publication of this letter, as well as Stan Lee’s response to it in the magazine, changed Martin’s life, and today we know him as the man behind Game of Thrones, one of the biggest high fantasy franchises of all time. Fans are obviously impatient for him to finish the next installment of the story, The Winds of Winter, and it’s pretty cool that as he eagerly awaited each issue of the Fantastic Four, fans now eagerly await his next story.

It all comes full circle.

Game of Thrones returns to HBO this summer!

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SOURCES: VHSfx, Superheroes Decoded: The Thing