Calling all Game of Thrones fans!

Fans of Game of Thrones have been given the chance to be immortalised in fiction after author George R. R. Martin auctioned off new characters in his next novel for charity.

Readers were given the opportunity to have a character named after them – who will then killed off in a typically brutal manner! – in the next book in The Song of Ice and Fire series. One male character and one female character were available and both were snapped up within hours at a whopping £20,000 each. The winners, one of which is Facebook employee Dave Glodblatt, can also choose their status in the world of Westeros – from a lord, lady or maester to a knight or a common peasant.

People are still able to donate money in exchange for a whole range of other prizes in the online auction, which is raising funds for The Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and a food depot that helps to feed tens of thousands of people across North New Mexico. Prizes include opportunities to meet the author and Game of Thrones memorabilia, from t-shirts, maps and board games to signed scripts and George R. R. Martin’s own hat.

The auction has just four days to go – so if you fancy parting with your money for a good cause, and getting some signed goodies in return, go to…

If you’re on a budget, even a small donation will enter you into a prize draw to win a trip to Santa Fe and share a helicopter ride to the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary with George R.R. Martin himself.

So far, the campaign has raised over $450,000.

People waiting for the next instalment in The Song of Ice and Fire still have a long way to go – George R. R. Martin is still working on a draft of The Winds of Winter. If you just can’t wait, he has published several chapter extracts from the unfinished book to keep fans happy. They’ve all been complied here…


From page to screen

Pride and PrejudiceAll book lovers, everywhere, will have experienced on at least one occasion the immense frustration of watching a TV or big screen adaptation of a classic novel fail to do justice to the original.

But sometimes, one such adaption comes along that well and truly bucks the trend. Today marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a novel that has enjoyed enduring popularity and continues to inspire countless adaptations on screen.

The majority of the time, I would fall firmly on the ‘books are best’ side. However, sometimes TV adaptations can prove particularly effective in making classic literature a bit more accessible and slightly less daunting. I know first-hand that having to study literature at school can sometimes have an adverse effect, probably from having to analyze novels rather than just being able to sit and enjoy them. As a result, I’ve got a shelf of novels that I always think I should read – The Moonstone, Middlemarch, and North and South just to name a few – but that always somehow seem to get passed over in favour of modern fiction.

TV and film adaptations take classic novels from the schoolroom desk to the living room sofa, The Paradiseand maybe after watching an adaptation or two some people might be inspired to go and read a classic for themselves?

A recent Radio Times poll (here) voted the BBC’s 1995 TV mini-series was voted the best ever adaption of Jane Austen’s classic novel, which is probably down to the now infamous lake scene involving Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy! But it’s not only Austen that translated well from page to screen. From The Paradise, based on Emile Zola’s Au Bonheur des Dames, to Brideshead Revisited and the BBC’s Sherlock, it’s clear that literary dramas are here to stay

Everyone’s got a favourite adaption – so if there are any good ones you’d recommend, let me know!