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George R.R. Martin Clarifies That He Actually Does Watch Game Of Thrones

Just like that, George R.R. Martin is back on the Game of Thrones series hype train. Except he technically never left. 

Several outlets were reporting on Wednesday that the revered author, whose A Song of Ice and Fire novel series serves as the source material for the beloved HBO fantasy drama, had stopped watching Game of Thrones. Now, Martin has stepped forward to correct the reports and clarify that he does watch Game of Thrones, but he's behind on the seventh season. 

The author told Entertainment Weekly in an email that he doesn't remember saying that he doesn't watch the show anymore, noting that perhaps something was miscommunicated during translation. The misinformation was reportedly first extracted from a series of interviews Martin gave at a fan convention in Russia, in which he appears to have stated that he was too wrapped up in writing the new Thrones book to watch the show. He explained to EW that during his trip overseas, he didn't watch any television, Thrones included. 

Martin is still very much dedicated to the HBO series, often seen posting trailers on his blog, hosting screenings of Game of Thrones at his his historic Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, and praising the show's actors, producers, crew, and creatives during awards season. However, the one thing Martin avoids is discussing the series' current storylines, as they have extended past the narrative scope of his five novels. He instead defers those questions to Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. 

"The book series and TV adaptation go their separate ways," Martin told Metro in a separate interview. "On the screen, characters are killed right and left. About 20 of them have died already, which are quite alive to me and will appear in a new book." However, the stark deviation hasn't stopped Martin from tuning in, and he wants to make that clear. 

What remains true is how busy Martin is writing the next installment in the Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter. Rumor has it that the novel will be finished next year, though Martin has time and again indicated that he's not in any rush to complete it and doesn't have a set deadline. "I did not start to write slower over the years," he stated. "I was working on the first book for six years and four years on the second one. Fantasists who release their novels every year do not offer books of large volume. These are not [1,500] pages like mine, but, for example, 500. In addition, I have not become younger. Age does not add enthusiasm."

Beyond the core Thrones world, Martin recently confirmed that he's collaborating with writers on the possibly Game of Thrones prequel series, which Martin hopes everyone will stop referring to as spinoffs. "I don't think it really applies to these new projects," Martin said. "What we're talking about are new stories set in the 'secondary universe,' to borrow Tolkien's term, of Westeros and the world beyond, the world I created for A Song of Ice and Fire. It is a world, and a pretty big one."

It's certainly good to hear that Martin hasn't abandoned the series altogether, but he'd better catch up on the seventh season quickly, since the 81-minute finale airs this Sunday. 

As we count down the days until then, check out everything you missed in the last episode, "Beyond the Wall."