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Readers have been anxiously awaiting the next installment of George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, a.k.a. the books that spawned the hit HBO show "Game of Thrones." But they may not be too happy to hear that Martin plans to off a bunch of characters in the next few novels.

While appearing at a roundtable event in London with fellow fantasy author Robin Hobb this week, Martin dropped the bomb that as he plans out the next chapters in the "Ice and Fire" series, he's preparing some serious bloodshed.

"The way my books are structured, everyone was together, then they all went their separate ways and the story deltas out like that," Martin explained, "and now it's getting to the point where the story is beginning to delta back in, and the viewpoint characters are occasionally meeting up with each other now and being in the same point at the same time, which gives me a lot more flexibility for killing people."

Ah yes -- nothing like some flexible killing, right? But before "Game of Thrones" fans throw a fit at the thought of losing more beloved characters, Martin reminded them that the series wouldn't be nearly as compelling without all its twists, turns, and, yes, death.

"I could have written a story about a well-adjusted family," the author said. "Ned Stark comes down to King's Landing and takes over and solves all their problems. Would that have been as exciting?"

We're guessing not.

[via: BuzzFeed, h/t Uproxx]

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