FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — George R.R. Martin took his rightful place at New York Jets training camp and — spoiler alert! — everyone survived.
The "Game of Thrones" creator, a big Jets and Giants fan, watched the two-hour-plus practice Wednesday at the Jets' facility with general manager Mike Maccagnan — playing the role of the kingsguard, of course — at his side.
Decked out in a black Jets hat, black pants, T-shirt and suspenders decorated with skulls and crossbones, Martin chatted with players, fans and Jets officials who surely wanted to know the fates of characters Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Sansa Stark and Daenerys Targaryen, among others. He also sat down for a video interview with Jets left tackle, and "Game of Thrones" fan, D'Brickashaw Ferguson.
Martin is the author of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" epic fantasy novels that were adapted by HBO for its Emmy-winning dramatic series "Game of Thrones." The books and series are known for major characters and fan favourites meeting their untimely, and often gruesome, demise.
It won't be the only local stop for Martin, who is planning to be at the Staten Island Yankees game Saturday night. The game will take on a "Game of Thrones" theme, with the home Yankees playing as the Staten Island Direwolves and the visiting Hudson Valley Renegades dressing in the gold and red colours of the House of Lannister.
Martin is currently in the process of writing the sixth book in the series, "The Winds of Winter," which will be followed by "A Dream of Spring." In his free time, Martin also keeps an online journal in which he blogs about whatever's on his mind, including the state of the Jets and Giants.
Both the show and novels are popular topics of conversation in workplaces around the world, including in NFL locker rooms. The Wall Street Journal wrote in a story published Wednesday that many players around football camps are debating about spoilers for the "Game of Thrones" series, which completed its fifth season in June.
Martin had an easy solution on how to settle it all — and, no, not trial by combat.
"I think all the players," Martin said, "should read the books."
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Dennis Waszak Jr., The Associated Press