The number of characters that die in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R.R. Martin is both a continuing source of angst for “Game of Thrones” fans and almost a running cultural joke at this point.
So when Martin offered the chance to two lucky fans to have a character named after them in the “Fire” series and have those characters die in the books, many “Fire” devotees jumped at the chance.
According to Prizeo, the website that runs the contest, Martin’s offer to name the characters after two people who paid $20,000 to charity (the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and The Food Depot of Santa Fe, N.M. are Martin's charities of choice) was one of the top prizes in Martin’s contest (in a category named “Martyr”). Contestants can also qualify to be a “lord of Winterfell” and receive a signed map of “Fire” locale Westeros by donating $500 or be a “hand at the table” and have breakfast with Martin by donating $15,000. (While the opportunity to be killed off in the “Fire” series is gone, many other offers are still available.)
In addition, those who donate qualify for the chance to have dinner with Martin and take a helicopter ride to the Wolf Sanctuary.
As for that opportunity to have your alter ego killed in the “Fire” books, the description on the contest site reads, “There is one male character and one female character available. You can choose your character's station in the world (lordling, knight, peasant, whore, lady, maester, septon, anything) and you will certainly meet a grisly death!”
The offer to die in the “Thrones” series was taken up within hours, according to the Hollywood Reporter, and so far the campaign as a whole has raised more than $350,000.
“The outpouring of love and support has been far greater than I could ever anticipate, and has left me astonished and at a loss for words,” Martin said of the funds raised in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.
Eight people are currently on the waiting list for the offer to be killed off in the “Fire” books.
In addition, Martin insists that those who picture him gleefully contemplating which characters will meet their end next are misinformed.
“Despite my sinister repute, I actually find it hard to kill off characters that I've been writing about for some time. Good guys or bad guys, they're all my children," he told the Hollywood Reporter. "But this time the slaughter should be easy, since the victims will be laying down their lives in a good cause. I will do my best to make their ends memorable.”