Take a look at this pudgy, old nerd. A good, long look. Now realize that George R.R. Martin here has created what is currently the biggest thing in television, and one of the biggest things in literature: Game of Thrones. Martin began having his short stories published in the 1970s, with his first novel – Dying of the Light – being published in 1977. He wrote two more books (Windhaven and Fevre Dream) before his fourth book, The Armageddon Rag, was a commercial failure, causing Martin to move into writing for television. He wrote five episodes of The Twilight Zone starting in 1986, and in 1987 had his novella Nightflyers adapted into a movie. That year, he also began writing for the TV series Beauty and the Beast starring Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton, writing 14 episodes. In 1991, Martin wrote the first book in the series called A Song of Ice and Fire, and he’s been writing that series ever since. In 2011, the book series became a massively successful TV series, and there is current speculation as to whether Martin will be able to write the final books in the series before the TV show catches up with him. Nevertheless, we have George R.R. Martin to thank for all that awesome, medieval political intrigue on HBO. Cheers to you, Mr. Martin! George R.R. Martin turns 64 today.