While it's merely implied in the Game of Thrones books that certain characters are gay or bisexual, the HBO show has been more forthright, even showing gay sex scenes (among the many sex scenes included in the show).
When asked about this difference at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Monday, author George R.R. Martin told fans that because the books are narrated through "viewpoint characters," and none of them are gay, there have been no gay sex scenes in the books so far.
"I'm not going to do it just for the sake of doing it," he said. "If the plot lends itself to that, if one of my viewpoint characters is in a situation, then I'm not going to shy away from it, but you can't just insert things because everyone wants to see them. It is not a democracy. If it was a democracy, then Joffrey would have died much earlier than he did."
Martin also talked about how, despite his success and that of other authors, there is still a kind of literary prejudice against science fiction and fantasy.
"I've been aware of this since I was a kid and I take heart with the fact that it is changing ... When I was 12 or 13, I had teachers take away science fiction books by (Robert A) Heinlein and (Isaac) Asimov and say: 'You're a smart kid, you get good grades. Why are you reading this trash? They rot your mind. You should be reading Silas Marner.' If I'd been reading Silas Marner, I probably would have stopped reading."
And for book fans eager to know more about the final two installments in the Song of Ice and Fire series (spoilers follow), Martin dropped a hint about a certain character. He said that Willas Tyrell (who has neither been mentioned nor portrayed in the TV show) will play an important role in the remaining books. He is the older brother of Margaery and Loras Tyrell (Natalie Dormer and Finn Jones in the show).