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Why George R. R. Martin wrote “Game of Thrones” on a 30-year-old word computer

May 14, 2014 By Abraham

The first five novels in George R. R. Martin’s wildly popular A Song of Ice and Fire series have checked in at a staggering 5,216 pages. Many authors might worry about losing their work to a computer virus, but Martin is not one of them.

During a recent visit with Conan O’Brien, the author explained his eccentric computer set-up for writing his enormous manuscripts. He maintains one computer for browsing the internet and a separate computer that’s a simple DOS machine.

Using a 1980s word processor called WordStar 4.0, Martin writes his epic novels on a screen that looks like this…

Game of Thrones on Wordstar

WordStar is no longer maintained or developed, but the antiquated program remains Martin’s tool of choice. He explains,

“It does everything I want a word processing program to do and it doesn’t do anything else.”

You can check out Martin’s full explanation in his interview with Conan below…


  1. Andy says:

    My first word processor was part of a Commodore 64 program called “Trio” (word processor, spreadsheet and a data base), I couldn’t begin to tell you the number of hours I wasted writing horrible Star Trek stories on that thing. I loved it! In every measurable way, MS Word is a thousand times better than that old software package, but to this day I wish I still had Trio. Black screen, amber text, no Ribbons full of icons, just words on a screen.

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