Comic Con: HBO's Game of Thrones Season 4
Honestly, I'd be happy if this panel just featured George R.R. Martin coming out on stage and pointing and laughing at all the people whose emotions he destroys each year. After the gut punch that was the Red Wedding, I completely give myself, body and mind, to Game of Thrones and accept that the HBO show is going to have its way with my fragile mental state for the next few years at least. Bring it on.
Since they haven't started shooting Season 4 yet, the panel started with a tongue-in-cheek In Memoriam video honoring the characters we've lost over the last three seasons—all set to "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday" by Boyz II Men. Watch it here:
Usually, I'd cover things in chronological order, but I'm going to start this with the absolute best thing that happened during the Game of Thrones panel: Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) randomly runs on stage and gives his former Khaleesi a kiss, yells "I'm not dead yet!" and runs off. Emilia Clarke perfectly followed it up with, "My sun and stars."
Now that we have that out of the way, the panel was moderated by film critic Elvis Mitchell and featured pretty much everyone: showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, author George R. R. Martin, and stars Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Michelle Fairley, Richard Madden, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie and John Bradley. It was a packed house but pretty much everyone got their moment to shine.
- The first thing Mitchell says is "You heartless bastard!" to Martin. The author says that he has so many characters that of course he has to kill some off. Than he accuses Weiss and Benioff of being more cruel for killing off some characters that are still alive in the novels.
- The Red Wedding obviously came up immediately. The producers called it the "throw the book across the room" moment and said they were surprised fans of the book managed to keep it a secret for uninformed fans of the show. They also expressed how hard it is to see cast members go. Even the manly crew in Ireland was tearing up during their last day on set. Michelle Fairley apparently had to do 20 takes of the howling scene.
- When asked if they've all read the books, Fairley said she read the book for whatever current season they were filming, so she still knew what was coming. Peter Dinklage said, "In four or five years, when this is all over, I'm going to go back and read all the books."
- Martin said he needs to finish writing "The Winds of Winter" and "The Dreams of Spring." He'll be very busy since the show will catch up to him. He also said no prequel novels are in the works. He also looked back fondly on Sean Bean who "dies so well."
- John Bradley said he did view Sam as a hero, no matter how goofy he might be. "Sometimes it's braver to absorb punishment and be the underdog."
- They played a deleted scene from last season involving a scene between the king's father and advisor down by the shore.
- On Tyrion's many tense verbal showdown with his father Tywin, Dinklage said, "Every time we have one of those scenes, Charles gives me a nice little shoulder rub after each take to make sure we love each other."
- Someone asked if the actors know what happens to them in future books but Martin said some actors want to know while others don't. He has spilled a few secrets on set, but maintains that "the books are the books and the show is the show."
All in all, there wasn't much shared about the next season, but it was great to see the cast and crew sharing stories. Fans didn't seem to be disappointed.