Turtles have always been my sigil, I suppose. When I was a kid, growing up in Bayonne, NJ, I lived in a federal housing project, and we were not allowed to have a dog or cats. The only pets I could have were turtles. So, I had an entire toy castle filled with dime-store turtles. I gave them all names, and since they were living in a toy castle, I decided they were all knights and kingsand I made up stories about how they killed each other and betrayed each other and fought for the kingdom. So, Game of Thrones, actually began with turtles. I decided later to recast it with actual human beings.