Game of Thrones promises ‘grisly death’ to top donors

In a video and statement on the crowdfunding site Prizeo.

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com, the author calls for donations to the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, a refuge near the southwestern US city of Santa Fe.

“I’ve always been fond of wolves,” he said, noting that “US wolf populations hit critical lows during the 20th century.”

The money raised – the overall goal is set at $US500,000 – will also support The Food Depot charity, which provided more than 500,000 meals to people in need last year.

The US novellist calls for donations starting at just $US10.

But at the highest level, $US20,000, a man and a woman will each be given the chance of having a character – “lordling, knight, peasant, whore, lady, maester, septon, anything” – named after them in Martin’s upcoming Song of Ice and Fire novel, according to Prizeo.

“You will certainly meet a grisly death,” the site warned.

As of Friday evening more than $US280,000 had been raised – including two donations of $20,000 each claiming the character-naming prizes.

Other rewards offered for smaller-scale donations included T-shirts and books.

Since its debut in 2011, the HBO drama based on Martin’s best-selling novels about a struggle for power between feuding clans in seven mythical kingdoms has won a devoted global fan base – President Barack Obama reportedly among them – to establish itself as the star of the US cable channel’s stable.

The series has wowed critics with its densely-layered plot, lavish production values and a readiness to kill off, invariably in gruesome fashion, protagonists who had hitherto seemed integral to the show.