Game of Thrones panel w/ Season 7 promo and blooper reel (Comic Con 2016)
Even though the new season is still months away from filming and showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss are notoriously tight-lipped, Game of Thrones panels are still a blast. The cast and crew have such a great chemistry and sense of humor that fan Q&As are legitimately fun—even if there’s no new info revealed.
This year the Hall H panel included Benioff and Weiss, along with actors Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Conleth Hill (Varys), Faye Marsay (The Waif), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Kristian Nairn (Hodor), Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton), and Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark). Even better, instead of Chris Hardwick, the panel was moderated by Rob McElhenney (Mac from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia).
Enjoy our highlights below. [And obviously spoilers if you haven’t seen Season 6 yet.]
- Hodor was clearly the audience’s favorite character, with Kristian Nairn receiving the most applause by far. The actor said he did not expect the outpouring of emotion following Hodor’s death and realized the scale of it when he was in LA recently and saw Hodors all over random doors throughout the city. The showrunners said that they learned about Hodor’s fate and how he got his name three or four years ago from George R.R. Martin.
- Benioff and Weiss confirmed the earlier reports that Seasons 7 and 8 will be shorter. When McElhenney asked what they expected fans to do with three more free Sundays each year, they said they can just rewatch old episodes.
- “Battle of the Bastards” and “Hardhome” director Miguel Sapochnik was also on the panel and revealed that “Bastards” was based on two real life historical battles, the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, where the French encircled the English, and theBattle of Cannae in 216, where soldiers created a real life wall of dead bodies.
- Even though “Battle of the Bastards” was the show’s biggest episode in terms of budget, the filmmakers still couldn’t do everything they wanted. The wall of shields was a clever way to conceal the fact that they didn’t have anymore extras behind that first line. And they also only had a small group of extras for the pile of dead bodies, so they kept having to stack the same people over and over again for each different shot. Though not scheduled for Season 7, when Sapchnik was asked about returning for Season 8, he said, “I very well hope so.”
- While pointing out that Sam was the “sweetest” character on the show, McElhenney admitted that the world of Game of Thrones hates sweetness, so Sam most likely wouldn’t make it to the end. When asked how he would like to die, John Bradley said he hopes Sam gets crushed to death by a tower of books in the giant library.
- When asked what Varys’ ultimate end game was, Conleth Hill said “he could be working for someone else the whole time, but it doesn’t feel like that.”
- Sophie Turner said he most exciting moment in the season was finally getting to kill Ramsay, to which actor Iwan Rheon responded, “It was an honor.”
- On why Sansa didn’t just tell Jon Snow that she had called in Littlefinger and the Knights of the Vale, Sophie Turner said, “That’s what i wanted to know too.” She guessed that Sansa wanted the credit for the victory for herself and “because it makes for really good television.”
- On what Sansa thinks of Jon Snow as a leader, Sophie Turner was less kind. “Sansa doesn’t think Jon has the knowledge, experience or intellect to run the North. He has morals to make good decisions, but whether those are the the right decisions… Whatever, Jon.”
- Waif actress Faye Marsay said she didn’t think the “Arya and Waif are the same person” theory was true and when Weiss and Benioff were asked, they just shrugged.
- Someone asked if Sansa and Jon would hook up since they’re not really brother and sister now and we know Jon Snow likes redheads. Weiss and Benioff said “That hadn’t occurred to us. Thank you!” But Sophie turned said, “I swear to God, Dave and dan, if you make anything happen, I will kill you.”
- “Kit Harrington farted a lot.” - Sophie Turner on any funny stories from filming season 6. (The frequent jokes about Sophie Turner doing vodka shots backstage before the panel might actually be true.)
- When asked what Hodor would say to Bran if he could speak normally, Kristian Nairn joked and said “No.” (As in, “No, I don’t want to carry you anymore.”)
- Who will end up on the Iron Throne? Each cast/crew member gave their own answer:
Miguel Sapochnik: They should all share it.
Liam Cunningham: Probably a White Walker.
John Bradley: Jon (“Out of pure bind loyalty.”)
Nathalie Emmanuel: Daenerys, for the same reason
Conleth Hill: “I know, but I can’t say.”
Sophie Turner: “I want Littlefinger on the throne. It would be fun and quirky and sadistic.”
Iwan Rheon: “Just melt the thing down and have a democracy.”
Faye Marsay: Arya
Isaac Hempstead Wright: A four-pronged Stark democracy
Kristian Nairn: “Someone with honesty and integrity—Brienne.”
They finished the panel with a brief promo for Season 7 and a blooper reel for Season 6, both of which you can watch below!