George R.R. Martin had a chance to appear in the upcoming final season of Game of Thrones, yet decided against it.
The author whose A Song of Ice and Fire novels form the basis for the HBO hit was extended an invitation by series showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss to travel from his New Mexico home to Northern Ireland to be included in a scene in season 8. But the author decided to focus on writing his next book, the long-awaited The Winds of Winter, instead.
“David and Dan invited me to a cameo in one of the final episodes, which I was tempted to do,” Martin told EW. “But I didn’t think just for the sake of a cameo I could take the time to return to Belfast.”
Martin pointed out that he previously did film a cameo in the show in the first Game of Thrones pilot, which was subsequently reshot. “There was a cameo in the original pilot that was cut,” he noted. “I was a guest at Dany’s wedding. But that was when she was played by Tamzin Merchant so all that footage got thrown out when we recast with Emilia Clarke.”
Martin has famously struggled for eight years to write the sixth novel in his saga, The Winds of Winter. There’s also a planned seventh novel, A Dream of Spring. Game of Thrones returns for its final season April 14. A prequel series co-created by Martin will shoot a pilot in the summer (no word yet if he’ll appear in that one).
Follow @jameshibberd for ongoing exclusive GoT scoop and interviews. Start reading our recaps for your rewatch with the first one here. And check out our Game of Thrones podcast, with the most recent episode giving a final season preview.