Comic-Con 2013: ‘Game of Thrones’ Panel Report

“Game of Thrones” has been one of the most anticipated panels of Comic-Con International for the last two years. This year was no exception.

To kick things off, HBO played a hilarious “In Memorial” video set to Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” that featured most of the major and minor character deaths from the last three seasons. The rapidly climbing body count from the destruction of Stannis Barratheon’s fleet at the Battle of Blackwater was particularly amusing.

Elvis Mitchell served as this year’s moderator, but it was David Benioff and D.B. Weiss who introduced the cast: Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, John Bradley, Richard Madden, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie and Emilia Clarke. Series creator George R.R. Martin came out next, before Mitchell was introduced.

During the panel, a brief deleted scene from the third season was shown in which Grand Maester Pycelle (Julian Glover) tries to convince Tywin (Charles Dance) to reinstate him to the King’s Small Council. Tywin even sees through Pycelle’s senile old man act… and Pycelle actually admits it! Pycelle also mentions the way he served up King’s Landing to Tywin during Robert’s Rebellion as proof of his loyalty.

Dinklage revealed that during intense scenes opposite his onscreen father, Dance will rub Dinklage’s shoulders to make sure that they still “love” each other as performers. Dinklage praised his co-star and the quality of their scenes together.

To the surprise of the panel, former “Game of Thrones” co-star Jason Momoa did a run-in and he planted a big kiss on Clarke, who called out “My Sun and Stars!” to him as he ran back out. Clarke also noted that it was “exhilarating” to film the final moments of the season as Daenerys was embraced and carried by her new followers. Clarke said that she was surprised by her Emmy nod this week and that she was awakened with calls from friends and HBO representatives on the day they were announced.

Benioff and Weiss recalled the infamous Red Wedding episode and said that the crew of the series cried on the set. Madden admitted to crying himself while on a plane the day after he wrapped up his part. Madden went on to say that he’s feeling the void in his life, as he would normally be getting ready to film the new season of “Game of Thrones.”

It was mentioned that Fairley had to deliver Catelyn Stark’s death cry twenty times and she nailed it each time. Fairley credited Madden and the director of the episode, David Nutter as well as the script. She described the process as piece of music that “you have to work through.”

Mitchell brought up a subtle change in posture for Sam in the season finale when he learned that Gilly had named the baby after him. Bradley said that Sam’s brand of heroism is that he’s always the underdog and he always absorbs the punishment that he receives. But Bradley added that Sam “is a dude” who has stepped up to his greater responsibilities.

Harrington offered a tease of the new season by saying that Jon Snow has always gravitated towards father figures like Ned, Commander Mormont and even Mance Rayder. But next year, Jon will get sick of that and become his own man. Harrington and Leslie also touched upon Jon and Ygritte’s relationship… particularly their “breakup” during the season finale where she shot him three times with an arrow.

Surprisingly, Benioff revealed that he had argued that the series theme composed by Ramin Djawadi should be used as the music for “The Rains of Castamere.” But Benioff conceded that Wiess convinced him that it was the right call to get Djawadi to write a new piece for it after praising Djawadi’s music and the memorable opening credit sequence for setting the show’s tone.

During the fan Q&A, Martin was asked if he would consider writing a prequel novel about Robert’s Rebellion. Martin replied that he is still busy writing the last two novels in the series and that the secrets of Robert’s Rebellion will be fully explored by the end. But he left open the possibility of revisiting that world at an earlier time frame.

“Game of Thrones” will return to HBO in Spring 2014.

Photo Courtesy Getty Images


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