George R. R. Martin on HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Killing Main Characters

"On the screen characters are killed right and left. About 20 have died, which are quite alive to me and will appear in a new book," says author

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George R. R. Martin on HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Killing Main Characters
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Game of Thrones Season Seven is breaking its own ratings records – the most recent episode, "Beyond the Wall," became the second most-watched installment in the show's history. But George R. R. Martin – who wrote the HBO fantasy-drama's prime source material, the novel series A Song of Ice and Fire – is not one of those viewers. The author recently told Metro he's too busy to watch the series due to his busy writing and touring schedule.

Game of Thrones was originally tethered to Martin's novels, but the show has moved forward with new plot strands while the author has continued to work on the forthcoming sixth installment of the Song of Ice and Fire saga, the oft-delayed The Winds of Winter

Martin told Metro the plots in the two mediums will continue to diverge. "The book series and TV adaptation go their separate ways," he said. "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."

Martin didn't offer a progress report on The Winds of Winter, and it remains unclear when he'll release the book, which follows 2011's A Dance With Dragons. In a January blog post, the author wrote of Winter, "Not done yet, but I've made progress. But not as much as I hoped a year ago, when I thought to be done by now. I think it will be out this year. (But hey, I thought the same thing last year)."