[This article contains potential SPOILERS for Game of Thrones season 6.]

Game of Thrones fans won’t have another season of the HBO show until 2016, and who knows when the next novel will be published. And yet, despite new episodes being off air and new pages being nowhere near bookstores at the moment, fans still have to hide themselves from potentially massive spoilers.

Case in point: George R.R. Martin, author of the globally popular book on which the equally popular HBO series is based, is well-known for being vocal about his work, and prone to getting into conversations with his fans. In fact, he often responds to comments on his personal blog, and this time he let slip a little detail about a popular character. And that particular detail may wind up getting him in some trouble.

Don’t read any past this point if you’re trying to avoid any and all Game of Thrones spoilers.

Stephen Dillane in Game of Thrones Seaosn 6 Did George R.R. Martin Spoil the Game of Thrones Season 6 Premiere?

When asked directly by a fan if Stannis Baratheon was alive or dead, Martin replied: “In my books? Alive, beyond a doubt.”

This is a spoiler for fans of the books and show alike. It’s not necessarily a huge spoiler, as many fans have doubted that Stannis actually died, despite the letter Jon Snow received claiming as much (even the true author of the letter is something frequently disputed by readers). Furthermore, in the HBO series, the character’s fate was left uncertain when Brienne’s supposed deathblow was never actually seen onscreen. Still, although plenty of other potential cast additions have led to questions of who’s alive and who’s dead, thanks to photographs of actors in certain specific filming  locations, whether or not Stephen Dillane is going to return has been kept under wraps.

The books and the show have diverged on certain key plot points. In some cases characters who are still alive in one version are already dead in the other. So it is possible that Stannis is dead in the show, despite his book counterpart still being alive. In fact, David Nutter, who directed the season 5 finale, ‘Mother’s Mercy’ previously stated in EW, “From the very beginning, and [through] the script process, that was the intent — he’s dead.”

That said, Game of Thrones revels in its bloodbaths, so a character dying offscreen is likely going to come under some serious scrutiny either way. Besides, with so much intrigue surrounding a certain character’s future on in the series, it may be worth it to take comments like Nutter’s with a grain of salt. Add that to Martin’s comment about Stannis being alive “beyond a doubt,” and that may mean fans will still have Stannis to look forward to when season 6 kicks off.

Game of Thrones Season 6 will premiere on HBO in 2016

Source: Livejournal, EW

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