Ruling is hard. This was maybe my answer to Tolkien, whom, as much as I admire him, I do quibble with. Lord of the Rings had a very medieval philosophy: that if the king was a good man, the land would prosper. We look at real history and it's not that simple…Real-life kings had real-life problems to deal with…. My people who are trying to rule don't have an easy time of it. Just having good intentions doesn't make you a wise king.
George R. R. Martin, Rolling Stone interview, Jun 13, 2014