As an young boy I read LOTR. It hooked me to the high fantasy genere.
I read LOTR multiple times. For years I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I started writing fan fiction about it. I read WoT, Mazlan Book, SoT, but they all came short. I was left seeking the first thrill.
And then I found ASOIAF. I threw down the book when Ned dies. I vowed to never come back after the red wedding. I had to take a break when Arya goes blind.
It’s easy to kill off charactors. It is hard to make readers empathise when they die.