Comic Con: Game of Thrones panel with cast and crew

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

It's always bad timing when it comes to Game of Thrones and Comic Con. The July date means that the previous season has already finished airing and production on the next has yet to begin. Still, if you have to spend time with the cast of a show, it's hard to beat the inhabitants of Westeros. 

The panel for the HBO juggernaut was packed to the brim, featuring stars Gwendoline Christie, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Natalie Dormer, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie, Rory McCann, Pedro Pascal, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams; as well as showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss and creator/serial killer George R.R. Martin. To kick things off, they showed two videos, one a hilarious blooper reel and the other a casting announcement. (Moderator Craig Ferguson called it "Some of the people you'll get attached to and watch die horribly.) Check out both right now!

Now before we cover the highlights of the panel, I should point out that there were no surprise announcements or bits of info about the next season. In fact, the panel refused to even entertain any questions about the future of the show. (One guy did try to sneak one about Lady Stoneheart but was immediately rebuffed.) That being said, the cast and crew were on their A-game as far as keeping the crowd entertained, so enjoy the highlights below:

– Rory McCann (The Hound) was seated between Gwendoline Christie (Brienne) and Maisie Williams (Arya). Naturally this created some good natured tension. (Christie said The Hound "got off lightly" and McCann instinctively called her a bitch.) Getting to "downstairs kick" Brienne was something he always wanted to do and getting to bite his ear off was one of the best moments of her life.

– George R.R. Martin said he tries not to let the show influence the writing of the book. It gets a little tricky but since the book existed 16 years before the show, he's able to keep them separate.  

– The creators were originally pitched to adapt the books in to films, with each two-hour movie covering one book. They had a three hour lunch with Martin and he didn't agree to give them permission until they answered the question, "Who is Jon Snow's mother?" When asked who is mother was, Weiss replied "Mrs. Snow."

– Filming for season five will include new locations in Croatia and Spain later this year.

– They lost a location this year due to a man who didn’t want his property associated with "Porn of Thrones."

– Martin claimed his reputation for killing characters is exaggerated. Weiss and Benioff are far bloodier than he is, having killed a number of characters who are still alive in the books. 

– On how he prepares for his role as Jon Snow, Kit Harrington answered "many, many hair products."

– Moderator Craig Ferguson pointed out that all the locations in Westeros sound like artisanal cheese farms. (King's Landing, Winterfell, Highgarden, etc.) 

– Martin said he's running out of name for places. The publisher is having him make a map book for places thousands of miles away that the story would never go. 

– Natalie Dormer and Sophie Turner both admitted that they're jealous of never getting to kill anyone on the show. Dormer said she herself is a big fan of "swords and violence" and pointed out that a shot from the Hound-Brienne fight was ripped off from the movie ROB ROY.  

– Martin admitted that a lot of Game of Thrones is stolen from Scottish history and lore, including events like the Black Dinner and Glencoe Massacre.

– Weiss and Benioff said that Stannis is a particularly fascinating character and will be taking advantage of the character and actor in the next season

– The one scoop Martin did share was that Robb Stark's wife Jeyne Westerling (not seen in the show) will be in prologue for the upcoming Winds of Winter.

– Each season is shot as if it’s a ten hour movie, with five different directors shooting two scenes each. It's shot out of order depending on timing and availability and the actors have to travel back and forth to accommodate that. 

– Martin really wants to have 13 episodes a season, but the show literally can't do more than 10 from a monetary and timing factor. There's no downtime; as soon as they finish one season they immediately have to start the next. 

– Sophie Turner hopes Sansa and Tyrion are reunited in the future. They could be the new power couple—the Brangelina of Westeros.

– Is Arya still a Stark or someone completely different now? Maisie Williams said "She is no one."

– When asked about having more male nudity,  Sophie Turner yelled, "YES!"  Kit Harrington refused to discuss it for fear of having to "get his kit off next season." John Bradley West, who plays Sam, said, "They can't really lose with me, because it will still get the boob count up."


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