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"This Is Us" Creator Shares the Emotional Story of His Dying Friend's Dream Coming True

"Alex never stops talking about his night with his hero."

In celebration of the final season of Game of Thrones premiering on Sunday, This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman shared a personal story on Twitter about the author behind the series, George R.R. Martin. Since he posted the tale, it's gone viral. And just like Fogelman's hit NBC series, it's sure to make you cry.

More than a year ago, Fogelman was on his way to meet his friend Alex Hanan to see Springsteen on Broadway in New York when he got an extremely excited phone call from Hanan.

"He's talking a mile a minute," Fogelman tweeted. "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."

He continued: "Now, a bit about Alex. He is larger than life. Handsome and charming…with the best head of hair you've ever seen. He's also obsessed with Game of Thrones like no one you've ever known. And he never listens to anyone so I just KNOW he's going to go accost George R. Martin."

Sure enough, Fogelman arrives at the theater to find out that not only did Hanan get a picture with the elusive author, he also got his cell phone number. When Martin told Hanan that he and his wife usually go out for pizza after a show, Hanan even invited himself along.

Throughout the entire show, Hanan is debating whether or not to text Martin. "I beg him to let it go," Fogelman wrote. "I know George will never reply and Alex will be disappointed."

But, true to form, Hanan goes through with it anyway and, to Fogelman's immense surprise, Martin responds and invites them to join him and his wife at a local pizza place.

Even then, Fogelman is convinced this is all a miscommunication and they're about to be "ghosted," until Martin and his wife actually arrive.

They eat pizza together for an hour, and at the end of it all, Martin gives Hanan a Westeros coin. (Sidenote: Can you believe Martin apparently just carries these around with him?)

"Alex reacts stronger than is appropriate for a 40-something man," Fogelman wrote.

But the entire experience meant more to Hanan than Martin could have ever imagined.

"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 the [Season 3] 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."

Fogelman added that watching the final season of Game of Thrones "will be bittersweet without Alex texting us annoying spoilers."

Fogelman ended the thread by saying that even though he misses his friend dearly, he knows he is "watching TV tonight from above." And he believes that this story is "not just a reminder of the power of storytelling, but also a reminder of the importance of kindness (for no other reason than being kind) these days."

Well, Fogelman, you did it again.

And for more stories of celebrities making a huge impact on the lives of their fans, read this touching story of how Mark Hamill made one terminally ill child's wish come true.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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