Last week, author George R. R. Martin offered two charitable Game of Thrones fans a once-in-a-lifetime (and death-time) opportunity: With a $20,000 donation to a Prizeo campaign benefiting a wolf sanctuary, one male and one female reader would inspire a character to be killed off from an upcoming novel in his ongoing series A Song of Ice and Fire. But Martin’s offer brought an unexpectedly large amount of donors awaiting grisly literary death. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, the two contest spots were nabbed within hours, with eight others added to a waiting list in hopes of an epic slaying.
One of the fans awaiting demise is Facebook employee Dave Goldblatt, who claims to have made his $20,000 decision in 10 minutes. “I’m fortunate enough to be in a position to do this cool thing, and it’s going toward a good cause,” he says. “I don’t think I’m doing anything extraordinary.” (Pause to think about how Martin is going to make “Dave Goldblatt” sound Game of Thrones-y. Lord Goldblatt of Davendorf?)
In addition to naming the characters after the donors, Martin is also allowing them to choose their “character’s station in the world (lording, knight, peasant, whore, lady, maester, septon, anything).” Goldblatt says he is eyeing a “Valyrian if at all possible,” but wants Martin to decide. “I wouldn’t want to impinge upon his creative process,” he says.
The charity has already brought in over $350,000 for Santa Fe’s Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and local food organization The Food Depot of Santa Fe. Martin says the campaign’s unexpected success has “left (him) astonished and at a loss for words,” though he’s now left with a more selfish goal: usurping the Prizeo fundraising throne held by pop idols Justin Bieber and One Direction. “It is good to be the king,” Martin says. “Of course, no man sits easy on the Iron Throne.”
Last week, Martin’s editor, Anne Groell, hinted that the epic A Song of Ice and Fire series might be extending to eight books, instead of the originally intended seven. Meanwhile, Game of Thrones is set to conclude its fourth season on Sunday, June 15th.