This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman has thanked Game Of Thrones author George RR Martin for making his friend’s year before he died of cancer.
In a series of posts on Twitter, Fogelman told how his friend Alex Hanan – a huge fan of the fantasy series – bumped into Martin at a Broadway show and went on to share a pizza and a chat with the writer.
Fogelman tweeted: “Over a year ago a close buddy and I get to see Springsteen’s Broadway show. It’s a big deal for us. My buddy, Alex, gets there super early, because he’s excited, and calls me as I’m in a cab heading there.
“He’s talking a mile a minute. While waiting outside the theater, he has spotted George R. Martin. He says he’s going to go talk to him. I beg him not to. He hangs up on me.”
Fogelman said his “larger than life” friend was “obsessed w Game of Thrones”.
When Fogelman arrived at the theatre, Hanan told him he had approached Martin and managed to get his mobile number.
“George was with his wife and told Alex they usually go for pizza after a show,” said Fogelman.
“Alex says to him: ‘maybe we will join you.’ Alex and I chuckle at his chutzpah.”
Fogelman said Hanan sent a text to Martin after the show and, while he assumed Hanan would end up disappointed, to his “absolute shock” Martin replied and told them to meet him at a pizza restaurant.
“Alex and I go,” he said.
“I’m convinced it’s going to end badly. A weird miscommunication. We are going to get ghosted. At least it will be a funny story. And then… George and his lovely wife arrive.
“We eat pizza for an hour or two. George and I talk shop. Alex tries to play it cool, only makes a few nerdy Thrones references. At meal’s end, George gives Alex a Westeros coin. Alex reacts stronger than is appropriate for a 40-something man. We all part ways. Alex is giddy.
“Here’s what George R Martin didn’t know that night. My handsome, well-haired, larger than life pal Alex is battling a random case of stage 4 lung cancer. He will pass away a year later. I will dedicate then S3 premiere of This Is Us to him.
“But for that entire year, Alex never stops talking about his night with his hero. And, in turn, I will never stop telling that story. Or, bigger picture: Alex’s story.”
Fogelman said that for their friends, watching the eighth series of Game Of Thrones would be “bittersweet without Alex texting us annoying spoilers”.
“But it will also be a reminder of our friend, who we miss terribly,” he said.
“And for me; not just a reminder of the power of storytelling. But also also a reminder of the importance of kindness (for no other reason than being kind) these days.”
He concluded: “Our friend, Alex Hanan, is watching TV tonight from above. Spoiling every single reveal for everyone up there, driving everyone nuts.
“Thank you George R Martin for making what would turn out to be Alex’s last year. And thanks to all involved for making his favorite show.”