George R.R. Martin talks about writing the first "Game of Thrones" chapter

"One day, the first chapter of 'Game of Thrones' came to me: the scene where they find the direwolf pups in the summer snows," says George R.R. Martin

CBS All Access
This video is available on Paramount+

Anderson Cooper speaks with George R.R. Martin, the author behind "Game of Thrones." Below is a transcript.

Anderson Cooper: Do you remember what the original seed of the idea was?

George R.R. Martin:It was 1991. I was actually writing another novel. I was writing a science fiction novel that I had been intending to write for some time. And just one day, the first chapter of "Game of Thrones" came to me, the scene where they find the direwolf pups in a-- in the summer snows.

Anderson Cooper: That was the first scene that you wrote?

George R.R. Martin: That was the first scene that I wrote. Yeah. That scene came to me. And I wrote it in, like, three days. It just poured out of me.

Anderson Cooper: What about it struck you?

George R.R. Martin: It was-- it w-- was a scene that haunted me. The characters seemed so real. I knew right from the beginning, I mean, that first sentence. They find the direwolf pups in the summer snows. I knew they were the summer snows. So this was a place where it snowed even in summer. So what could result in that? And, you know, wheels started turning. How would-- what kind of world would have that? Where do these people live? What is the rest of the kingdom like? And the-- the world building grew parallel to the story. You know, I'm-- I'm writing a story, and someone makes a reference to some king, who has been dead 100 years. And I threw a few of those in, and then I said, "I better write a list of all these kings or I'm gonna start contradicting myself." So I wrote a list of the Targaryen kings, and the names of their reigns, and at some point, I said, "I better have a map." So I sat down, and I drew a map, all while I was still writing the story.

The video above was edited by Will Croxton.