Last night, the cast and crew of Game of Thrones took to the Comic-Con stage to host their latest GOT panel… and if there was an award for the best use of a Boyz II Men song then it would most definitely go to the production team behind the panel.
John Bradley, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie, Richard Madden and George R.R. Martin took to the panel whilst Elvis Mitchell moderated this year.
The panel was kicked off with a ‘In Memorian’ montage which paid homage to the death count of the first three seasons – and my, there was quite a body count. The video was set to Boyz II Men’s ‘Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday’… If there was an award…
George R.R. Martin pointed out that the show has killed characters who are still alive in the book: “I’ll only take some of the bloodthirsty blame here”.
Speaking about the explosive Red Wedding episode in which Cat and Robb were killed off, David Benioff said: “When we wrapped the Red Wedding, I remember hugging Michelle and Richard thinking ‘it’s the last time we’re going to work with them’.”
They may be gone, but definitely not forgotten as Madden walked to the stage with a series of “King of the North!” chants.
Madden added: “[The Sadness] was a character thing, but it’s also an actor thing. Now that it’s July, and I’m thinking ‘God, I’m supposed to be doing Game of Thrones’.” He added that there is now a Game of Thrones sized hole in his life.
There was also congratulations all round for Emilia Clarke for her Emmy Nomination. She said: “Bizzarrely, my alarm went off really early in the hotel, and whilst trying to find things to throw at the alarm to turn it off, I saw I had a missed call from HBO.
“It was a phenomenal season to film. You think Daenerys is peaking in episode five, with getting her army, but the last episode was absolutely exhilarating to film”.
Fairley, meanwhile, praised the “Rains of Castamere” theme, the musical cue that signals the beginning of the Red Wedding. “It was like someone walked over your grave,” she said. Benioff added, “It’s just one of those haunting things that’s playing in my head right now.”
Continuing with the Red Wedding discussion, Weiss said: “We knew that if we could get to that scene, and do justice to the ‘Holy Shit’ of that moment, we’d have done something great”.
Speaking about Sam, John Bradley said: “I think Sam’s always been a hero. I think one branch of bravery is to stick up for yourself, and ward off the bad vibes, but it’s braver sometimes to absorb punishment, and just be the underdog all the time, and I think Sam had a lot of that. The moment where he turns his life around and becomes the hero was a moment of complete instinct. He just needs to get out of his own head”.
Coming up to Red Wedding week, Martin said he was going to stay away from the TV at all costs.
He said: I discovered that there are no countries without television. I decided there was no escaping it, I figured I might as well just hunker down in Santa Fe, and I managed to survive the storm. Fortunately, I don’t think anybody threw their television set into the fireplace”.
Of course, there is the fear that the TV show is creeping up too quickly on the books so Martin quipped that he has to get writing faster to ensure there’s a steady flow with the TV production. “I have to write quickly because those guys are catching up to me. The locomotive is coming up behind me, and I’m still laying the tracks”.
When asked what it is like to play an empowered female character, Clarke said: “Going to drama school, I couldn’t have imagined that I would get to play such a strong woman… as a young girl myself, I find her empowering”.
Of course, a lot of the actors don’t follow the books as they are released, they follow the novel as they are filming the scenes to avoid any spoilers. Back when Robb was ready to be killed off on the show, Richard Madden claimed that he found out via Twitter. He was reading the books in conjunction with the production of the show … but found out his character was a gonner before he’d even read the scripts.
Martin added that he is happy to tell the characters the direction of the novels if they want to know.
Game of Thrones will return to HBO in the fall.