The rumor comes from Game of Thrones alum Ian McElhinney, whose Ser Barristan Selmy character was killed off in Season 5, who claimed David Benioff and D.B. Weiss asked Martin to delay releasing his final books until the HBO series was finished airing. The rumor would've meant that Martin was lying for all these years when he insisted he was still writing his books. “No, THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING are not finished," Martin responded on his blog. "DREAM is not even begun; I am not going to start writing volume seven until I finish volume six. It seems absurd to me that I need to state this. The world is round, the Earth revolves around the sun, water is wet… do I need to say that too? It boggles me that anyone would believe this story, even for an instant. It makes not a whit of sense. Why would I sit for years on completed novels? Why would my publishers — not just here in the US, but all around the world — ever consent to this? They make millions and millions of dollars every time a new Ice & Fire book comes out, as do I. Delaying makes no sense. Why would HBO want the books delayed? The books help create interest in the show, just as the show creates interest in the books. So… no, the books are not done. HBO did not ask me to delay them. Nor did David & Dan."