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If there was any doubt left at all that ‘Game of Thrones’ exploded in its second season, the line of fans hoping to get into the San Diego Convention Center for the show’s Comic-Con panel erased it. Thousands of people lined up, snaking halfway around the massive building. The lucky ones who actually fit inside the hall roared throughout the one-hour discussion moderated by George R.R. Martin, particularly when …
George made an announcement
The ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ author kicked things off by passing on David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ regrets that they weren’t able to join the panel because they’ve already begun production on Season 3. Martin also had one other absence he was disappointed to share. “My co-creator, that 13-year-old who’s in charge of the boobies, he wanted to be here too,” Martin said, referencing the ‘Thrones’ SNL sketch starring Andy Samberg. “He heard this was a good place to do some scouting. But there was an emergency – there was a scene being shot in Belfast that had no boobies in it, so he flew over to put that to rights.”
The Blackwater caught fire … again
During the five-minute recap of Season 2 that played before the panel began, the crowd watched as their favorite scenes unfolded on giant screens around the room. When Bronn’s arrow ignited the wild-fire-laden ship on the Blackwater, the room erupted with a blast so concussive you could feel it thump through your chest, and the volume only increased as the crowd went ballistic.
Emilia Clarke set foot onstage
It’s not just the Dothraki who love their khaleesi. As Martin announced the final panelist to walk to the table, the room went wild. And the mother of dragons knew exactly what her people wanted to hear: All about her children. “For Seaon One, I had kind of a lime-green sausage,” she said. “They put a face on it for me. Then in Season Two, we had live-scale dragon models – which I got very protective of. Even when we weren’t filming. It was a little alarming.”
Theon got (yet another) nasty surprise
Alfie Allen may have a cushy job sampling the many working girls of Westeros season-in and season-out, but his exec-producers have found other ways of tormenting him. “David and Dan wrote a fake script for me,” he told the crowd, “and I got killed by Bran in it. I didn’t say anything to them. I think they were expecting me to, and then I went on holiday. About three weeks later, I got a call. I was sitting on a beach, and they were like, ‘So how do you like the new ending?’ And I was like, ‘It’s cool guys – it’s your show. It’s fine.’ And they were like, ‘Ok, cool. We’ve got another thing for you. How do you feel about being a zombie? No, wait, hold on … How do you feel about being a naked zombie? With absolutely no dialogue whatsoever?’ And then I was like, ok guys, you’re having me on.”
George explained his personal sigil
When a fan from Iceland asked the author why he wears a hat with a turtle on it, Martin told the origin story of his power animal. “Turtles have always been my sigil, I suppose. When I was a kid, growing up in Bayonne, NJ, I lived in a federal housing project, and we were not allowed to have a dog or cats. The only pets I could have were turtles. So, I had an entire toy castle filled with dime-store turtles. I gave them all names, and since they were living in a toy castle, I decided they were all knights and kings … and I made up stories about how they killed each other and betrayed each other and fought for the kingdom. So, ‘Game of Thrones,’ actually began with turtles. I decided later to recast it with actual human beings.”
Richard Madden made the ultimate choice
Comic-Con panels have made an art of asking actors impossible questions, and the Young Wolf got a whopper: Which do you like more – the sex or the violence? “That’s a tough one,” Madden replied. “I think I’d rather do the violence. I get more of a kick out of that than standing on a quite cold set in Ireland with all my clothes off … Swinging a sword is a bit more fun.” The fans immediately erupted into laughter, and Madden sheepishly replied, “Ok, I see that now …”
A surprise trailer was shown
“Before we close here, I’m told we have one last little, very brief, treat for you,” Martin told the crowd after the Q&A was finished. The screens lit up with the ‘Game of Thrones Season 3’ title card, and the room went wild. The image shifted to reveal that the next installment would premiere on March 31, 2013, and the cheering got even louder. And then the trailer stopped, to groans and laughter. “I told you it was very brief,” Martin reminded the applauding fans.