A Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin has announced that he will not be writing an episode of Game of Thrones' sixth season. Martin made the announcement via his Livejournal.
Speaking of which... after wrestling with it for a month or so, I've decided not to script an episode for season six of GAME OF THRONES. 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, and maybe as much as six weeks, and I cannot afford that. With 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.
WINDS is, of course, The Winds of Winter, the long-awaited sixth novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series on which HBO's Game of Thrones is based. Martin wrote one episode in each of Game of Thrones' first four seasons, but passed on Season 5 in order to focus his attention on other work, including but not restricted to The Winds of Winter.
When I say, "my plate is full," I don't just mean with WINDS. I am still editing the latest Wild Cards volume, HIGH STAKES. I have an overall deal with HBO, and three new television concepts in various stages of development, with a variety of collaborators and partners. I am consulting on a couple of videogames. There's the Wild Cards movie at Universal, where I'm a producer. And I've recently formed a new production company to make low budget short films based on a trio of classic short stories by... well, no, not yet, that would be telling. Premature telling.
Martin has also cancelled his trips to this year's San Diego Comic Con and World Fantasy Con, but still plans to make his other scheduled appearances at this time, including Norwescon and ConQuesT. He reserved the right to cancel appearances in the future, but says he'll avoid cancelling any events where he is a guest of honor.
While Martin has always been adamant about keeping his own writing and publishing schedule – and rightly so – he does seem to be really hitting the grindstone on The Winds of Winter recently. Passing on another season of Game of Thrones suggests that he's got a ways to go yet, and we know the book won't arrive in 2015, but perhaps there's still a chance we'll see it in early 2016, before the Game of Thrones Season 6 premiere.