Fantasy author George R.R. Martin, whose tome Game of Thrones is being adapted for television by HBO (the series premieres April 17), is never at a loss for words—just try thumbing through his ridiculously intricate descriptions of a knight's wardrobe. Recently, some of Martin's words irked one of TV's power players: Lost showrunner and nerd king Damon Lindelof.
Speaking with The New Yorker, Martin roused the dragon in Lindelof when he said: "We watched [Lost] every week trying to figure it out, and as it got deeper and deeper I kept saying, ‘They better have something good in mind for the end. This better pay off here.’ And then I felt so cheated when we got to the conclusion.”
Oh, snap. But that wasn't even the haymaker. Lindelof's Dharma-brand underwear got scrunched up when Martin said this: "I want to give [my readers] something terrific. What if I f*** it up at the end? What if I do a Lost? Then they’ll come after me with pitchforks and torches.”
Lindelof took to his preferred platform, Twitter, with several responses that sit somewhere between downright nasty and tongue-in-cheek. "I don't take issue with his opinion, I take issue with the fact that he coined 'Pulling a LOST' as empirically 'f***ing up the ending,'" he said in one tweet. "I've just been informed George is working on his feud response. I'll have it in FIVE YEARS! #NOYOUDINT," he said in another, making a dig on the notoriously long time it takes Martin to write his books.
[Spoiler alert for those who have not seen the Lost finale] The ending of Lost might go down as the most polarizing finale of all time, with even the most hardcore fans of the mind-bender split on its quality. Supporters praised its characterization and metaphysical questions, detractors wanted answers and thought the big revelation at the end was a cop out.
Lindelof has since said that this "feud" isn't really a feud at all, and that he's a fan of Martin's work (he's currently reading Game of Thrones). But he also feels the need to vehemently defend his show in the face of criticism. Martin has yet to respond to Lindelof's comments.
Just as Lost was once an obsession of mine, I'm currently all about Game of Thrones. It pains me to see two of my favorite creative people butt heads, but I can understand both sides. Martin has a right to voice his opinion (I agree with him that Lost's ending was disappointing), and Lindelof has a right to defend what he affectionately calls his "baby." But isn't handling criticism in the job description for a TV showrunner? Ever since Lost ended, Lindelof has been a bit immature when defending his show against an army of complaints (except for one epiphany he made after he himself was disappointed by Harry Potter). If that many people are complaining, maybe they have a point?
And at this point, is it okay to say "Pull a Lost?" Like, if I don't show up for my friend's party and give him a stupid excuse, can he say I "pulled a >Lost?"
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom