Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin snubbed a cameo in the final season of the fantasy TV drama because he couldn’t justify taking time out to fly to Northern Ireland to shoot it.

The busy writer was approached by show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and asked if he was interested in making an appearance, and he admits he came close to saying yes.

“David and Dan invited me to a cameo in one of the final episodes, which I was tempted to do,” Martin told Entertainment Weekly. “But I didn’t think just for the sake of a cameo I could take the time to return to Belfast.”

Instead, George decided to stay at home and complete the long-overdue next installment to the book series, The Winds of Winter.

He also tells EW.com he did film a cameo for the original pilot of the show – but it was cut: “There was a cameo in the original pilot that was cut. I was a guest at Dany’s wedding. But that was when she was played by Tamzin Merchant, so all that footage got thrown out when we recast with Emilia Clarke.”

Meanwhile, TV sisters Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner pranked cast and crew through the final season of the show – by locking lips over and over again.

The two Brits, who play Sansa and Arya Stark on screen, thought it would be fun to make everyone feel a little awkward on set.

“People always think Maisie and I are a couple,” Turner told Glamour U.K. in a recent joint interview with her co-star. “I mean, I am obsessed with her, so you never know… We tried to sneak a kiss into every scene we did together to freak everyone out a bit. It kept them on their toes, making sure they were following the script.”

Game of Thrones returns to TV on 14 April.