Now that season four of Game of Thrones has concluded the show is beginning to enter uncharted territory. Sure, there are two books left to film, but how will HBO combine them? And what will they start sneaking in from as-yet-unpublished material?
Let’s see if the 2014 San Diego Comic Con GoT panel: featuring showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, author George R.R. Martin, and cast members John Bradley, Gwendoline Christie, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Natalie Dormer, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie, Rory McCann, Pedro Pascal, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams…can tell us!
There will be SPOILERS FOR SEASON 4 AHEAD, oh sweet summer children.
The panel opened with a season 4 blooper reel:
- George R. R. Martin said that he knew some of the cast read the books beforehand but when moderator Craig Ferguson asked the panel who had done so no one raised their hand!
- Who is Jon Snow’s real mother? D. B. Weiss: “Mrs. Snow.”
- The show is filming in Ireland, Croatia, and Spain next season (for King’s Landing and Dorne), although some locations refuse to let them film because the show involves incest. (The term “Porn of Thrones” was used.) Show runner David Benioff countered, “I feel like if the Bible thumpers stop thumping for just a minute, they would see there’s just as much incest in there.”
- Filming for season 5 starts on Monday.
- The cast constantly worries about killing off and GRRM and the show runners said nothing to mollify that particular worry!
- HUGE new cast announcements!
- Alexander Siddig will play Doran Martell.
- Toby Sebastian will play Trystane Martell.
- Jessica Henwick wil play Nymeria.
- Rosabell Laurenti Sellers will play Tyene Sand.
- Keisha Castle-Hughes will play Obara Sand.
- Jonathan Pryce will play High Sparrow.
- DeObia Oparei will play Areo Hotah.
- Enzo Cinelto will play Yezzan.
- Nell Tiger Free will play a recast Myrcella Baratheon.
- Of all the gods in the series, GRRM feels the Many-Faced God best represents him as a person.
- “Your face is your tool,” said John “Samwell Tarly” Bradley while describing their acting style in Iceland, inviting many many bitten off jokes. (The full quote was “We’re very warm from the neck down, but our face is freezing up and our face is our tool.”)
- The panel refused to answer what will happen when the show catches up with the books. They’re obviously a little tired of that particular question…
- Why do all of George’s locations sound like names of cheese farms? “I like cheese.” Also he’s running out names for things and having to draw maps for places the show and books will never go…
- Gwendoline Christie on fight training: “I’ve always been really swordy.” We hope this translates to her role in the forthcoming Star Wars sequels!
- Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) would love it if their characters got to use swords, too, hint hint George. Turner blurts out, “I want to kill someone!” while Dormer relates that she was “really into swords in my 20s.”
- Stannis will play a much larger role in season 5 than he did in season 4, as the show runners love utilizing Stannis and Stephen Dillane.
- To George: Should book readers stop watching the show once Game of Thrones catches up to the books in order to avoid spoilers? GRRM: “I encourage everyone to watch the show. I do also encourage everyone to read the books. They are fictional characters, and there are two wonderful ways to tell the story.“
- WINDS OF WINTER spoiler: Jeyne Westerling is in the prologue.
- The show runners try to schedule character death scenes as the actors’ actual last scenes so they can nail it emotionally.
- Rory ”The Hound“ McCann: ”When she punched me..“ Gwendoline ”Brienne“ Christie: ”Best moment of my life.“ Rory: ”And when she bit my ear…“ Gwen: ”Second best moment of my life!“
- Kit Harington is not averse to being nude onscreen in upcoming seasons. That is, if the show itself gets around to featuring more male nudity. (Hashtag #KitsKit anyone?)
- When asked about their preference between direwolves and dragons, GRRM said ”Pass“ while Nikolaj Coster-Waldau stirred up some frenzy by responding ”Direwolves…they’re easier to kill.“ Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell) didn’t play their game and just said, ”Snakes.“
- A fan asking about Lady Stoneheart got shouted down by Craig Ferguson and the panel!
- GRRM wishes each season was 13 episodes and not just 10.
- So far, GRRM has really loved the material that the show runners have added, like season four’s duel between The Hound and Brienne, and the confrontration between Bronn and The Hound in the brothel.
- Captain Jack Sparrow is now trying to hijack the spotlight and everyone’s a little weirded out. Although it’s funny how easily he fits into what you’d expect a Game of Thrones pirate to look like…
- Sophie Turner hopes Tyrion and Sansa meet again someday and that they’re like a power couple.
- Maisie Williams is SUPER in-character. Does she think that Arya still considers herself a Stark? ”She is no one.“
- How come the Night’s Watch stopped looking for Benjen Stark? Kit Harington answers: ”I love Benjen! I just got distracted…“
- The show runners were bummed about not being able to have Tyrion and Jaime discuss Tysha but since they hadn’t introduced that thread earlier in the show they didn’t want to have Tyrion’s ”final speech” just be one long explanatory monologue about it.
And that’s the game! Aside from the cast announcement, the panel was pretty light on season 5 news and book 6 news. Still…very fun blooper reel.
All of our ongoing San Diego Comic Con 2014 coverage can be found here.