George R R Martin on Machiavellian plots in Game of Thrones

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Game of Thrones author George RR Martin talks to Alan Yentob about the Machiavellian characters in his fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.

As well as drawing upon the traditions of fantasy literature, Martin explains how the "grittiness" of real English and Scottish history influenced his world of Westeros. He says he was also inspired by the plotting and intrigue of Machiavelli's era during the Italian renaissance.

He discusses differences in characterisation between his books and HBO's Game of Thrones television series.

Martin is speaking to BBC One's imagine... to mark the 500th anniversary of Niccolò Machiavelli's book The Prince.

Imagine... Who's Afraid of Machiavelli? is on BBC One at 22:35GMT on Tuesday 3 December 2013. It is available afterwards on BBC iPlayer.

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