George R.R. Martin skipping 'Game of Thrones' for 'Winds of Winter'

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"A Song of Ice and Fire" author George R.R. Martin has been a regular presence in the first four seasons of "Game of Thrones" by writing one episode of the show per season. But in Season 5 he will be absent, as he tells Zap2it he is prioritizing writing his next "Game of Thrones" novel "The Winds of Winter" over the TV series.

"I'm not actually writing an episode for Season 5," Martin tells Zap2it during an interview after the show's San Diego Comic-Con 2014 panel. "As you may know, there's this book that people are kind of getting antsy about delivering. It takes me roughly a month to do an episode, so I decided, given the realities, I'd better skip this one this season and just concentrate on finishing the book."

Martin also addresses his Comic-Con panel reveal that the character of Jeyne Westerling -- who Robb Stark marries in the novels and is still alive, unlike her show counterpart Talisa -- will appear in "The Winds of Winter" prologue. But that doesn't necessarily mean that she will die, or that this will be the last fans see of her.

"Let me make this clear here: I didn't say she was the viewpoint character. I said she was in the prologue. It's the viewpoint character who always dies," he says. "I like to break rules. Just when I get it established what the rule is, I like to break it. So maybe the viewpoint character will die in the prologue, and maybe they won't."

Watch the above video to hear what Martin has to say about fans trying to puzzle out his book mysteries before he reveals them, and whether the absence of certain characters in the show means they won't have significant roles to play in the novels.

"Game of Thrones" Season 5 is slated for a spring 2015 premiere date on HBO.
Photo/Video credit: Zap2it, Getty Images