The epic Hall H was the site of the epic Game of Thrones panel on the Friday of Comic-Con 2012. On the panel were Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), Rose Leslie (Ygritte), and Richard Madden (Robb Stark). Author George R. R. Martin served as moderator, and he did an admirable job with his questions for the cast and for executive producer Carolyn Strauss who was also on the panel. Kit Harington (Jon Snow) had been expected on the panel but was injured recently (don’t worry, it’s not supposed to affect his role in Season 3).
The panel began with Martin introducing this Season 2 recap featurette, followed by a new cast featurette:
Featurette: Game of Thrones Season 2 Recap (Comic-Con)
Featurette: Game of Thrones Season 3 – New Cast Members
The appearance of Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Doctor Who, Phineas and Ferb) on the video received a terrific ovation, and it was nice seeing Ellie Kendrick, werewolf Tom’s new friend on last season’s BBC Being Human. For more information on the new Season 3 characters, see the press release at the end of this post.
After that video introduction of new cast members, Martin said “besides those actors we have a lot of others… I think we’re already the biggest cast in television, and we’ve just grown bigger. So clearly, I have to start killing some of these characters off to make room for the new ones.” The cast wasn’t on stage yet so we can only presume their nervous laughter.
It was an enjoyable panel, basically spoiler free and therefore full mostly of stories from the Season 2 production, and quips and banter between the author and the cast. Martin said to Allen that his character has “a healthy libido” and started listing all of the trysts we’ve seen so far. “All thanks to things I wrote. And have I gotten even a box of chocolates?”
Martin then pointed out that Madden’s character also had sex last season, and asked if he preferred the sex scenes or the violence. He replied in his lovely natural Scottish brogue, “I think I’d rather do the violence, I get more of a kick out of that… swinging a sword’s a bit more fun,” which was greeted with roars of laughter, and Strauss apparently whispering in his ear about certain American colloquialisms.
Martin pointed out that Leslie, also a Scot, is the only member of the cast who actually grew up in a castle. She said it was cold, and there is a dungeon. “Hide and seek would last for days.” When Martin confirmed that Leslie won’t inherit the castle, that it will go to her older brother, he mused “But you know, if something should happen to those siblings… ” which was particularly ominous, and therefore hilarious, coming from the author of Game of Thrones.
He asked Clarke if she was still moving about unrecognized, since she looks so different in her natural brunette hair. Clarke replied that she does now get recognized periodically, but often it’s a dramatic moment. She told of the time when she was in an elevator, and the doors opened to someone who saw her, gasped, breathed “Khaleesi!” and the doors slowly…closed…again, on the stunned fan.
Allen was prompted by Martin to tell the story of receiving a script for last season that described a scene in which his character was killed by Bram. “I thought it was amazing, what a great way to go…” Then while on holiday he received a call asking what he thought about it, and he said “’it’s cool, guys; it’s your show, it’s fine, it’s cool.’ Then they asked me, ‘How would you feel about being a zombie?’ ‘Yeah, all right, that would be fine.’ ‘… there would be no dialogue whatsoever.’” At which point he realized they might not be serious.
As Losties may remember, Martin is not one to shy away from intentionally or unintentionally dissing someone else’s work, and had this to say when he was asked about moral ambiguity in Game of Thrones:
Fiction should be morally complex. We all enjoy a science fiction movie where twelve foot squids come down from space … but there are few deep moral questions there. In my mind it’s a lot more interesting if you think “did Dany do right or wrong if she imprisons Xaro Xoan Doxos and Doreah in the vault at the end. Is Jon Snow doing the right thing or the wrong thing when he kills Qhorin Halfhand. What’s happening if Rob marries … and of course Theon is a whole bundle of mysteries…
A fan in a terrific northern costume asked everyone what their own sigil (the animal representation of each house) would be if they had one. Allen’s would be an Arsenal badge (as a Man City fan myself, I am choosing to restrain myself from comment), Strauss’s would be an ostrich, Madden’s would be a wolf, Fairley’s a horse, Leslie’s an eagle, and Clarke’s, not surprisingly, would be a dragon.
Martin was asked by a fan from Iceland – “the North sends their regards” – about the turtle that he wears on his hat, and if it was his sigil. He said it could be considered that; when he was growing up he lived in public housing that didn’t allow cats or dogs, so he had turtles that he housed in a toy castle. He decided since they were living in a castle that they were all knights and kings, and made up stories about how they killed each other. “Game of Thrones actually started out as Game of Turtles” he laughed.
As the panel was concluding, Martin said that they had one more thing to share with us, and presented an approximately 10 second video; about three seconds of which was the Season 3 premiere date: March 31, 2013. And with that, the panel was off on another adventure.
Here’s the press release for the new Season 3 castmembers and characters, which gives a bit of info about where the new characters fit into the realm. Bookmark this page and start studying, you have only eight months:
HBO CONFIRMS NEW CAST MEMBERS FOR THIRD SEASON OF GAME OF THRONES
LOS ANGELES, July 16, 2012 – HBO has confirmed some of the new cast members for the third season of the hit series GAME OF THRONES, with many of the actors appearing in a video that was unveiled Friday, July 13 at Comic-Con 2012.
Among the new actors and the characters they will portray are:
Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell. Also known as “The Queen of Thorns,” Lady Olenna is the grandmother of Margaery and Loras Tyrell and is, in many ways, the true leader of their powerful family.
Mackenzie Crook as Orell. A wildling raider, Orell is a “warg” or “skinchanger,” with the ability to enter the mind of an animal and control its actions.
Clive Russell as Bryndon “The Blackfish” Tully. Known far and wide as “The Blackfish,” Brynden is a famous knight and the uncle of Catelyn Stark. He quarreled bitterly with his brother, Lord Hoster Tully, and the two were estranged for many years.
Nathalie Emannuel as Missandei. Originally from the peaceful island of Naath, Missandei was sold into slavery as a child, along with her brother. She received education in various languages and became a translator to the slave trader Kraznys in Astapor.
Kerry Ingram as Shireen Baratheon, the only child of Stannis Baratheon. An avid reader, she escapes her lonely life through myths and stories – her books are her most treasured possessions.
Paul Kaye as Thoros of Myr. A key member of the outlaw band known as the Brotherhood Without Banners, he is a Red Priest, in service of the Lord of Light, and originally hails from the Free City of Myr, in Essos.
Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Jojen Reed, a mysterious and enigmatic young man who becomes an important ally to Bran Stark.
Ellie Kendrick as Meera Reed. The eldest daughter of Howland Reed and a staunch Stark loyalist, Meera and her younger brother Jojen seek out Bran Stark to protect him on his hard journey north.
Richard Dormer as Beric Dondarrion. Once the lord of Blackhaven and a celebrated warrior, Lord Beric has now become the leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners, a band of vigilante outlaws.
Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane. A famed wildling warrior and chief lieutenant of the “King Beyond the Wall,” Mance Rayder, Tormund is fearsome and strong, with a large build and a beard to match.
Philip McGinley as Anguy, an extremely skilled archer and key member of the outlawband known as the Brotherhood Without Banners.
Tara Fitzgerald as Selyse Baratheon. The wife of Stannis Baratheon, Selyse spends much of her life in seclusion, shut away in a gloomy tower.
Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully. The younger brother of Catelyn Stark, Edmure has recently become Lord of Riverrun in the wake of his father’s death.
Anton Lesser as Qyburn, a former maester of the Citadel, who was stripped of his chain many years ago.
Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, GAME OF THRONES is an epic drama set in the world of Westeros, where ambitious men and women of both honor and ill-repute live in a land whose summers and winters can last years. The Emmy®- and Golden Globe-winning fantasy series concluded its ten-episode second season in June, with the third season scheduled to launch in 2013.
Season two cast members included: Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Aidan Gillen, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Richard Madden, Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Sophie Turner, Jack Gleeson and Alfie Allen.
Season three credits: The executive producers of GAME OF THRONES are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger, Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers, George R.R. Martin, Vanessa Taylor, Alan Taylor, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis; produced by Christopher Newman and Greg Spence.
Game of Thrones Season 3 premieres Sunday, March 31, 2013 on HBO.