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George RR Martin on Scottish independence: 'I've suggested building a giant wall of ice between the two nations'

The Game of Thrones author has waded into the debate...sort of

It’s the question on everyone lips, and the answer all interviewers want from their subjects. But George RR Martin has a joke ready on hand to dodge the Scottish independence debate.

The Game of Thrones author’s fantasy world of Westeros is protected at its northern border by ‘The Wall’, a 700 feet high ancient block of ice that stretches for 300 miles separating the Seven Kingdoms from what lies beyond.

So, to those pressing him for a stance on the issue during his visit to the Edinburgh Book Festival, Martin has a simple suggestion: “Build a giant wall of ice between the two nations”.

In fact, the 65-year-old US novelist was inspired by Hadrian’s Wall when creating his fictional defence, while Scottish, Irish and English history has helped informed his storylines.

“Love and hate, sex, revenge: these are a big part of history and a big part of my books,” Martin told the Guardian. “You read about the wars of the roses and it’s an endless series of revenge killings, effectively.”

While in Edinburgh, Martin revealed that he has thousands of pages of unseen material that he is considering publishing as a short story.

"There are discarded chapters and paragraphs and everything in-between," he said. "Because I follow the characters and they sometimes lead me down dead ends. So, at the end of the sequence, I will probably have tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of words."

Martin is working on sixth novel The Winds of Winter at present but a release date has yet to be confirmed.