MX23RW : Wednesday, January 16 02:18:56

Live: 'Game of Thrones' panel at Comic-Con

Live: 'Game of Thrones' panel at Comic-Con
Read updates from the Comic-Con panel for epic fantasy series Game of Thrones, live and direct from San Diego.

Jaws off the floor yet?

The twist was hardly a surprise to fans of the books, but the culmination of series three of Game of Thrones still managed to become branded the most shocking and gruesome storyline in TV history.

Two of the fan favourites killed off in that most bloody of bloodbaths, Michelle Fairley (Catelyn) and Richard Madden (Robb), are back from the dead for today's panel, which will be presided over by evil Thrones creator George RR Martin.

Please note that all times in this live blog are Pacific, which is eight hours behind the UK and three hours behind the East Coast.


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2.46pmHello and welcome back to Hall H, where we're moments away from getting started on the panel for Game of Thrones.

2.49pmThe moderator for this panel will be author of the books, George RR Martin, who as we know from last year is a big fan of the long anecdote.

2.51pmIn addition to the dearly departed Robb and Catelyn Stark, the panel will also include John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Kit Harington (Jon Snow) and Rose Leslie (Ygritte).

2.52pmOh, in a last-minute change, Martin has been dropped as moderator in favour of Elvis Mitchell.

2.53pmThe panel starts with a video called 'In Memoriam', in which we see every gruesome death on the show, one by one.

2.54pmMy personal favourite was 'Robert's Bastard #3'

2.56pmThe video ends with the message 'The North Remembers'.

2.57pmTwo of the writer-producers have come out to introduce the cast. Hang on, neither of them is 'Elvis Mitchell'. This moderator business is chaos.

2.58pmHuge cheers for Peter Dinklage, who has surely hoisted himself onto some kind of box on his seat.

2.59pmMichelle Fairley has come out wearing a strange white scarf that looks more like a neck brace.

3.01pmGeorge RR Martin comes out onto the stage - as a panel member, before the REAL Elvis Mitchell comes out to take over moderator duties.

3.02pmIs it true Martin lies to his wife about which characters are going to die? "I shouldn't get into that but I have many characters so killing a few is easy, I just create more."

3.03pmWriter Weiss: "We always knew Robb was going to die." Fellow writer Benioff: "I remember hugging Michelle and Richard and thinking this is the last time we're going to work with them. The whole crew were in tears."

3.04pmMadden: "Yeah I did cry on set and then got straight on the plane, and did just sit and cry on the way home. People were looking at me as if I was crazy. I was ordering multiple drinks. It was a character thing but also an actor thing."

3.05pmFairley: "I knew how many years I signed for so I knew it was coming. You read the book and it's a great reference to have, but your script is your bible."

3.07pmDinklage says he doesn't read the books. "I don't want to know what's coming. Maybe in a few years when it's done I'll read them all for perspective."

3.08pmThe fond goodbye from the last episode. Harington: "It really hate blowing smoke up David and Dan's arse, but they are really good at writing great dialogue. I had fun. Some of the most brutal scenes are the most fun."

3.09pmLeslie: "She was convinced her and Jon were going to be a team together. It's that devastation from the fact he's betrayed her... it's horrible that there's that realisation. It hits her there and then and she is like 'he's not going to get away with this, I'm going to hunt him down and hurt him.'"

3.10pmClarke on her Emmy nod: "The night before I was with Rose Leslie hoping that the show would get some recognition, but never in a million years did I think I would get anything. It took a while to register."

3.11pm"It has been a phenomenal season. You think she's peaking in episode five with getting her army, and then the final episode was absolutely exhilarating to film."

3.12pmThe Red Wedding episode. Weiss: "So much of that is down to the books. We knew when we read that part of the books in 2006 that if we could make this happen, get to this scene and do justice to the 'holy shit' of that moment, then we would have done something right. It was exciting and terrifying, and such a difficult scene to pull off."

3.15pmFairley on approaching the inevitable scene: "It's a very gradual thing actually. You have to work your way through it like a piece of music. You don't want to overplay it. Because I had Richard by my side, and a great script and David Nutter directing, [it was easier]. There was a key change in the music and it's literally like someone walked over your grave, it gave you a chill."

3.18pmBradley on Sam's evolution into hero: "I think Sam's always been a hero. One branch of bravery is to stick up for yourself and ward off bad vibes. It's braver sometimes to absorb things and just be the underdog all the time. The interesting thing about Sam is he lived in his mind for so long, he's an academic almost, he's got a curiosity about how the world works, but the one moment that turns his life around is a moment of complete gut instinct. He just needs to get out of his own brain a bit, and when he is placed under enormous pressure, you find out he is a bit of a dude."

3.20pm"Sam had been saved by Jon Snow - his life but also his spirit, when he thinks there's no good left in the world and this guy defends him."

3.22pmHarington: "There's equal parts Jon trying to find a paternal figure. He's always drawn to these strong-willed men, and they find him appealing and want to nurture him and raise him in their form. What's interesting about what's coming up is he gets sick of that and he turns into that person, I think."

3.24pmDinklage on Tyrion's father: "It says so much about an actor when you can't imagine another actor playing that role, and Charles Dance is that actor. After every scene he gives me a little shoulder rub, as a fellow thespian. I find the scenes fascinating because he's so frustrated with Tyrion. His three children are not in the right person, they are three parts of one person and they each lack what the other has."

3.26pm"He knows that his father, who is let's face it the true ruler, feels the same way about Joffrey as I do, he just doesn't say it."

3.27pmIs it true Martin said he would avoid any countries with a TV when the Red Wedding episode plays? "I discovered there were no countries without a TV when that episode aired."

3.28pmWhy were people so quiet about the episode before it aired, even though it's in the books? Benioff: "The fans are very self-moderated. There's always going to be a couple of douches on messageboards who want to tell you what happens. But the self-control, so many millions of people knew about this episode before it aired but they were very respectful."

3.30pmWeiss: "The first season was the test case, whether or not people were going to spill the beans on what would happen to Ned stark. The fact so many people managed to keep quiet about such a monumental event in the story, I then realised we had a good group of fans."

3.31pmClarke: "Coming out of season two, her self-confidence and confidence in others was rock bottom. So in season three ramping up to the scene, she had a lot of self-doubts in a way. It was taking the plunge. It was the first time she did something without talking to her closest advisors."

3.32pm"She's testing herself, it's the biggest risk she's ever taken. If it doesn't work, it's game over, and if it does work, game on. And amazingly it does. She just builds from that and asks advice less, and just listens to herself more."

3.33pmMadden: "The whole time doing it, we tried not to pre-empt anything and make it as realistic and honest as we can. That's what the books do. We commit to decisions, then you get the script and your character goes a different way and you have to change as an actor. That's what keeps it honest. Robb Stark's doing the same thing. By the time episode nine starts, there's nothing to say this isn't going to work out. He's done everything he possibly can, you think we're on the home stretch now and you think it's going to be great and we're going to have a big party at the end of season three. But that's not what happens."

3.35pmClip time now. A deleted scene between Charles Dance and Julian Glover, set before the first counsel. They're having a right old bicker.

3.40pmAudience Q&A time. A boy wearing a 'Keep Calm and Tyrion' T-shirt asks Dinklage what it's like to work on diverse sets. "It's amazing. I get to be on T-shirts. I was thinking about this the other day, because of the show we get to travel to the most amazing places. I'd never heard of Dubrovnik before the show but now it's one of my most favourite places in the world."

3.41pmA fan is concerned that the show will end and asks Martin if he'd consider writing any prequels, which would necessitate Ned Stark's return. "First I have to finish the Winds of Winter and the Dream of Spring and I have to write quickly. The locomotive is coming up quickly behind me and I'm still laying the tracks. Would I write other stories in this world? I might, but I don't think it would be a prequel. That's being revealed in flashbacks through the present series, so by the time we're done you'll know all that. Writing a book about that would be connecting the dots and you already know all that."

3.44pm"No offence to Sean Bean. It's always sad to see Sean die. He's a great actor - but he does die so well."

3.45pmA passionate woman stands up and talks about the strong female characters on the show. "As an aspiring actress, it's really inspiring."

3.46pmClarke: "Getting to play her is a phenomenal experience as an actress. It empowers me as a woman so getting to play that is incredible. They have written her to absolute perfection. To have even the remotest possibility that I've made other women feel empowered is just amazing."

3.47pmDo any of the actors have a relationship like JK Rowling and Alan Rickman, where Martin has told them the future of the books? It's a unanimous no from the panel. Martin: "Occasionally if someone asks me, I'll tell them, but some of them prefer not to know and read script at a time."

3.48pmQuite promptly, time is called and it's a wrap on this panel. Thanks for joining me! There's one more blog to come from me today and it's a biggie: The Amazing Spider-Man 2, in around 90 minutes' time. Do join me again then!

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