Help find the stolen scripts for GAME OF THRONES

George RR Martin puts the word out that some lightfingered postal worker apparently stole the HBO Game of Thrones scripts that had been mailed to him so that he could sign them and donate them to a charity auction. He wants his fans to look out for the scripts going on sale and help catch the crook.
The US post office delivered the envelope in a plastic baggie with a pre-printed note apologizing for the "damage." But this was no error in handling. The envelope was torn open at one end, and both scripts were gone, though Dan's letter remained.

I am convinced the scripts were stolen.

Last year we donated a signed STAR TREK script to a charity auction and it brought $1200. These two scripts may not have gone for quite that much, but they would have brought home some significant bucks. Someone in the US Post Office (we believe the package made it across from Belfast relatively unscathed) recognized their value and removed them.

So... I am putting out the word to all my fans and readers. Whoever sold these scripts will presumably try to cash in at some point. So if any of you ever see scripts fitting this description turn up on ebay, one of its competitors, or on some dealer's table -- notify me at once, and report the stolen property to whatever local authorities are appropriate.

Stolen Scripts (via Beth Pratt)


  1. jez, you really think someone bothered to rip open an envelope containing documents, when they could easily identify DVDs or electronics? Accidents happen dude, and you’ve no proof they were nicked unless they turn up on eBay…

    Did they happen to complete the customs declaration as
    2 x motion picture scripts, Value $ 2400

    cos, that would get um stolen… if they were stolen must have been something to give them a clue as to the value of two wads of paper.

    Not sent registered AirSure I take it? Use FedEx next time.

    The system has ways to deal with this. If the item was declared and insured correctly, then just make a claim – potentially securing more money than the auction might!

  2. The postal system opens packages and steals things all the time. You’re lucky if this hasnt happened to you yet!

    1. Bull, risking a job with the USPS for $2,400 crazy, and while there are plenty of crazies in the USPS (my dad’s a steward), most would have just tossed the package and reported it lost.

      1. Not to mention that losing your job would be the least of your worries. Messing with the mail is a federal crime, and it would seem that a USPS employee doing so would be made an example of.

        1. True, Postal Inspectors take this pretty seriously, if I recall, you don’t get 5 years in federal prison for opening a FedEx envelope. 

    2. That’s probably true, just like it’s true that busboys are spitting in your food all the time, dry cleaners are just Febrezing your clothes without washing them all the time, mortuary workers are having sex with your deceased relatives all the time, those who enforce the law are themselves violating it all the time, believers in ideology X are failing to live up to its precepts all the time, judges are taking bribes all the time, cubicle workers are wasting valuable corporate office supplies all the time, parents are failing to nurture their children all the time, and internet commenters are committing the fallacy of secundum quid all the time. You can find dozens of hundreds of examples of all of these things, especially if you don’t let yourself get bogged down with the hundreds of thousands or millions of examples where it doesn’t happen.

      Martin could be right–absolutely it’s possible. He might even be doing the smart thing by assuming his (much more interesting) guess at what happened is correct, since this is the only possibility where he can actually do something to help himself. But for what it’s worth, I’ve never lost a valuable package in the mail, but I have had a few random pieces of junk mail show up mangled or empty with the same kind of notice he got. If that doesn’t convince you that the Post Office never steals valuable things, then the anecdotal opposite shouldn’t convince you or anyone else that it happens “all the time.”

  3. I thought everyone knew to use FedEx for valuable items? Sending items of value in the regular o’post is kinda asking for it.

    Not saying he deserved it – but certainly a school boy error.

    1. I’m still waiting for the explanation for why FedEx is immune to thievery. Probably because the private sector is so much better at law enforcement that the government.

      1. It’s not, but due to the fact that they know where your package is at all times, they have two days to get it there and hand delivery by a real person who has you sign something, there’s much less opportunity to steal something.

        Given the USPS has (at most) a general idea where your package is (In Transit) and when it will get there (estimated 5-7 days) and that they’re not around when you get it (at most they put down a red flag on the mailbox), I don’t send valuable things through them.

        Letters?  Sure.  Small packages I’ll be sad about if they don’t arrive?  Great.  A valuable document?  No way.

  4. Mr. Martin should also report the missing items here:

    The works in question are not ‘antiquarian’, but they are rare, and could be offered to a dealer, as well as Ebay or Craig’s List.

  5. I work for a children’s charity in the UK.  We did a campaign encouraging school children to describe their own wish.  We grant wishes, it was an awareness campaign.  We suggested if the school-kids wanted to make a donation, make it a small one.  

    We got back thousands of envelopes with little rips in the corners.  The kids had donated a £1 coin and each one had been stolen.  A flick of the wrist and the coin comes out.  Money donated by children, to terminally sick children, with our address on the front (which makes clear EXACTLY what we do) and it was stolen.  So, between one postbox and the man who delivers our mail, who could possibly have perpetrated this vile act?

    Just so you know.  There are no depths to which some of your fellow humans will not go.

      1. The police had no jurisdiction as the British Post Office, being headed by the current monarch, has its own police force.  Their own police force, being largely made up of paper-shufflers, accomplished nothing in 5 years.  No leads, no evidence, no ideas whatsoever.  Nada.  Zip.

        1. Royal Mail is no longer operated by or on direct behalf of the crown. It is now a private company (since 1969) that has been given explicit permission to retain the title, “Royal”. The link to the crown is purely in the name alone these days, so you’ve been mis-informed. 

          BWT RM say: “Cash should be packaged securely and so that it is not visible through the envelope. Do not indicate on the outside of the packaging that cash is enclosed. Coins should not be sent in envelopes – our automated sorting machinery may damage envelopes containing coins, which can lead to delay in delivery and increase the likelihood of the contents being lost.”

          BTW the Post Office refers to just the “shops”, always has.

    1. While stealing from children donating to a charity is horrible, the key here is a coin. I’ve visited a modern mail-sorting site, they sort envelopes by machine, not by hand. The envelopes fly around faster than the eye can follow them, and the machine chews up and spits out anything heavy. People would sometimes send rings or other metal objects in regular envelopes, not realising they should have used a padded bag. The envelopes would sometimes continue on their way, but mostly they’d get ripped to shreds by the machine, with no way to figure out who sent them or where they should have gone to.

      I’m willing to bet a high-speed machine somewhere was raining pound coins for a few days, not that a postal worker was getting rich.

  6. meh.  just look in a history book under: what happens near the end, or slightly after, the War of the Roses… and you can have a copy too.  (slight name changes are recommended, but seem largely optional)

  7. How would a postal worker even know what was inside the package? Aren’t most document envelopes full of some pretty dull stuff for the average mail thief?

    1. He doesn’t need to know what is inside, just looking at who is addressed to and the size of the package he/she can suppose it is something worthy.

      Like… who knows, a draft of the 6th novel or gold ingots (basically the same).

      1. the vast majority (i.e. >99%) of people would have no clue at all who he is.
        Paper scripts are just documents – i.e. reams of paper… 

        1. It only takes one of the hundreds of thousands of people who DO know who Mr. Martin is, or what the Game of Thrones show is, to recognize the potential of said envelope.  Your dismissal of the possibility has just as much (or as little) evidence as Martin’s speculation that they were intentionally stolen.  Besides that, what he’s asking fans to do is to FIND the ‘evidence’ you complain about the lack of, by keeping an eye on eBay and similar – so why the whining? Dang, Tito. 

  8. The appropriate solution is to get Brienne of Tarth to wander around for hundreds and hundreds of pages looking for them.

  9. The Postal Inspectors are the oldest US LE Agency (pace the US Marshals and their spurious claims), and they are at least as relentless as their RCMP brethren. I wouldn’t want to be the Philistine who ripped open the envelope, if that is what happened, and have the Inspectors looking for me.

  10. I had over $1,000 worth of vinyl banners from one of my sponsors stolen out of the tube they were sealed in.

  11. I once accidentally dropped my bank deposit into the mail box with the rest of my mail.  I didn’t realize it – I knew I couldn’t find it but for the life of me but didn’t know where it went.  A few days later it turned up in my mail in one of those USPS “damaged mail” envelopes, complete.  They found the address on my deposit slip and put the deposit in the envelope.  Awesome.

    Since then, I’ve been a bit more skeptical of “it was stolen” claims.  Seems more likely to me that it was caught in a sorting machine.

    I don’t even know what Game of Thrones is, and I would bet money that the average postal employee, pretty much all of them actually, would have no idea who anyone involved in it is.

    1. I taped a one dollar bill onto a postcard and mailed it to a friend, just to see what would happen.  When she got it, it had been nicely packaged in a clear baggie with the dollar still attached.  

    2. I’m consistently amused at the assumption that all postal employees are the same – and they’re all like you. 

      BTW, for those commenting that it should have been registered, etc., a quote from Martin’s post: ” Dan Weiss sent them across the pond (registered and priority, signature required).”

  12. The USPS has stolen a CD and two small Nintendo DS-related items that were in transit to me. The CD had a tracking number, but they simply changed status to “delivered” after I phoned to ask why the disc sat in the warehouse for a week.

    1. I KNOW all about that CD! Word gets around quick amongst us thieving postal employees!  All the mailmen here in NJ are laughing about the guy who stole your CD and Nintendo stuff. Wait til you see what we take from your mail next!

  13. Well, it is usual to use the Post Office in the UK, it is usually pretty safe. But in this case I would have sent it registered post. And don’t assume no one at Tomb Street sorting office wouldn’t have heard of the Game of Thrones – particularly if he posted it at the time everyone was distracted by riots in East Belfast between the sorting office and the Titanic Paint Hall where the show is shot.

  14. I just sent this link to my wife, saying I was surprised it wasn’t declared and insured for the amount they thought they would get at auction.  Her response was:

    “Yeah, that’s like Stark stupid”

  15. they could auction off the letter and the empty plastic bag. might get more than they expect.

    1. I really like that idea!  Especially if it comes with the promise of the script if it ever turns up!!

  16. Until proven otherwise, the scripts are “Missing,” not “Stolen.” I work for the postal service and can tell you that there is a vast channel of automated equipment processing these things at a very high speed.  The scripts were in an envelope, not a secure box, and they may have been ejected from their envelope during processing. Now, if there is identifying information on a script, it can and would be reunited with the sender. Without some sort of address, maybe not. But it’s unfair of Cory to repeat the unproven claim that the postal service ‘stole’ the scripts. Finally, the commenters who claim there is no secure way to track, or send something hand-to-hand, are mistaken. There are options, like Registered Mail or Express Mail.

  17. I’ve spent an evening with Mr. Martin and his wife. He didn’t seem the sort to be prone to imagining thefts where none had occurred. I’m sure he’s dealt with damaged material being passed through the mail before this (he is an author, after all, and oversized packages are frequently bent or slightly crushed), and wouldn’t be asking for assistance if he didn’t believe his understanding of the situation was justified.

    As far as postal theft goes… a much younger incarnation of me once rented in a house-full of people that included a guy who took a job for the USPS. He promptly began to steal choice items from the mail, and in under three months was arrested on federal charges. It does happen. I hope this isn’t the case this time, and that the scripts have simply been misplaced due to lack of packaging.

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