Watch Peter Dinklage explain why he's never read the Thrones books

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Mar 27, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT (Updated)

Peter Dinklage still hasn't read the books his hit HBO series is based on, and he once had to admit that fact while sitting next to their author.

Game of Thrones, the epic, cutthroat fantasy series based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels, is just days away from premiering its fourth season, and if the buzz leading up to that release is any indication, even more seasons are likely. Dinklage, who won an Emmy in 2011 for his portrayal of the cunning Tyrion Lannister, has been one of the show's central characters since its premiere, but during a recent appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman, he admitted that he still hasn't read the books that first featured Tyrion and all the other characters who populate the world of Game of Thrones.

"I haven't read the books that it's based on, and George Martin, our author, is probably going to kill my character soon because I've mentioned that," Dinklage said.

Different actors have different approaches to things like source material, of course, and Dinklage is not the only one of Game of Thrones' stars who hasn't read the books. Some actors don't want to know what happens to their characters at all, while others read only their characters' sections and leave everything else in the books as a surprise. Others still read everything they can get their hands on, but Dinklage hasn't delved much into Martin's books, because Tyrion is already his job. At least, that's part of the reason ...

"I can't read them now because our TV show is my day job," Dinklage said. "But ... I started to read it, and I got confused, so ..."

Dinklage trailed off, then added, with a chuckle: "They're amazing books, though, George."

Dinklage then noted that he once had to admit he hadn't read Martin's books while Martin was not only in the same room, but sitting right next to him at a Q&A event. 

"I had to confess that in front of him for the first time," Dinklage said.

"And how did that go?" Letterman asked.

"Not well," Dinklage said. "Not well at all, but he's a very sweet man."

Check out the full clip of Dinklage talking with Letterman, including a discussion of Game of Thrones as an illegal downloading giant, in the video below.

The fourth season of Game of Thrones premieres Sunday, April 4, on HBO.

(Via Rolling Stone)