George RR Martin turned down a Game of Thrones series eight cameo for a very practical reason

The bestselling fantasy author was "tempted" to appear in the series' final episodes

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If Ed Sheeran can pop up as an awkward singing soldier, you’d think that George R.R. Martin would be able to blag a cameo on Game of Thrones, the TV adaptation of his own bestselling epic fantasy novels.

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Perhaps Martin has been holding out for the right part, no doubt preferring to play a foot soldier in the Army of the Dead over, say, a friendly innkeeper. But eight seasons in and he’s yet to make an appearance.

However, according to Martin himself, the reason he turned down a cameo in season eight was purely practical. Of the potential role, Martin claims that the series’ showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss invited him to fly from his New Mexico home to Northern Ireland to film a scene.

“David and Dan invited me to a cameo in one of the final episodes, which I was tempted to do,” Martin told Entertainment Weekly. “But I didn’t think just for the sake of a cameo I could take the time to return to Belfast.”

Ed Sheeran in Game of Thrones (HBO/Sky)
Ed Sheeran in Game of Thrones (HBO/Sky)

Instead, the author decided to focus on writing the long-anticipated sixth instalment of his Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter, which Martin has been famously struggling to write for the past eight years.

Martin didn’t disclose what the cameo would have entailed, but our money’s still on something a lot more macabre than Sheeran’s fleeting appearance…

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Game of Thrones will return to TV in the US on Sunday 14th April 2019, simulcasting with a UK broadcast in the early hours of Monday 15th April on Sky Atlantic. It will then be repeated in the UK on Monday evening.


Watch Game of Thrones seasons 1 – 7 on NOW TV