Martin created the Song of Ice and Fire book series the HBO drama is based on and even wrote one episode per season for the first four years of its run. However, the author told Metro that he's now so busy writing books and touring that he no longer even watches the show.
For many Thrones fans, the idea that Martin is too busy working on The Winds of Winter or his Game of Thrones spin-off pilots or his other books to even devote an hour a week to the show is probably heartening (he has been working on the novel for six years already, so it's understandable that some fans have grown impatient). Yet despite devoting so much time and energy to writing, Martin still doesn't have a timeline for Winds' potential release.
"I did not start to write slower over the years," Martin said, clearly taking a jab at his critics. "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 1.5k pages like mine, but, for example, 500. In addition, I have not become younger. Age does not add enthusiasm."
Martin does promise that whenever Winds of Winter comes out, fans' enjoyment of it won't have been diminished much by watching the show, which has deviated greatly from Martin's plan.
"The book series and TV adaptation go their separate ways," Martin explained. "On the screen characters are killed right and left. About twenty of them have died already, which are quite alive to me and will appear in a new book."
Hmm... just who could Martin be referring to? It's reasonable to predict book readers haven't seen the last of the entire Tyrell clan, as well as the surviving Baratheons (not to mention poor Myrcella). But what if Martin is also planning to bring back some long-gone surviving book characters, such as Pyat Pree or Robb Stark's widow, who is alive and well (and potentially even pregnant, according to some fans) in the books? That could make for some truly interesting deviations...
UPDATE: George R.R Martin has clarified to Entertainment Weekly that he does, in fact, watch Game of Thrones, he's just not up to date on the current season. Martin believes that an error in translation (he was in Russia at the time) is the cause behind the misunderstanding.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.