George RR Martin has decided not to write a script for Game of Thrones’ sixth season.
The man behind the book series HBO’s hit fantasy drama is based on usually pens a script per season, but says he “cannot afford” the time away from the next instalment, The Winds of Winter.
“After wrestling with it for a month or so, I’ve decided not to script an episode for season six of Game of Thrones,” Martin explained this week on his blog.
“Writing a script takes me three weeks, minimum, and longer when it is not a straight adaptation from the novels. And really, it would cost me more time than that, since I have never been good at changing gears from one medium to another and back again. Writing a season six script would cost me a month’s work on Winds [of Winter], and maybe as much as six weeks, and I cannot afford that.”
Though he won’t be as involved, Martin is confident that his epic fantasy is in good hands: “With [showrunners] David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Bryan Cogman on board, the scriptwriting chores for season six should be well covered. My energies are best devoted to Winds.”
“So… back to it,” he concludes.
The author has been actively involved in HBO’s adaptation of his tale since the beginning. So far, he has written the scripts for the eighth episode of the first season, The Pointy End; the ninth episode of the second season, Blackwater; the seventh episode of the third season, The Bear and the Maiden Fair; and the second episode of the fourth season, The Lion and the Rose. He didn’t write an episode for season five again because of Winds of Winter.
In an effort to finish the much-anticipated next instalment of the Song of Ice and Fire series, Martin has also decided to skip upcoming comic conventions. Writing on his blog earlier this month, he said: “I have too much to do. Too many things on my plate.”
Clearly the 66-year-old is determined to get the epic novel on bookshop shelves as soon as possible…
Game of Thrones series five begins in the UK on Monday 13th April at 9pm on Sky Atlantic