Celebrity moderator Seth Meyers kicked off this year's Comic-Con panel with a "sizzle reel of pop culture" -- a supercut of all the times that Game of Thrones has been referenced on other TV shows like: The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, Family Guy, South Park, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Sesame Street, the White House Correspondents dinner, Pretty Little Liars, Saturday Night Live, and Parks and Recreation.
The clever tribute was a great warm-up for the 6,000+ fans in attendance, who were then primed for the arrival of the cast. Here are the best moments from the 2015 panel:
1. John Bradley equates Sam's knowledge of sex to his knowledge of outer space.
"I think that Sam would happily accept more of the same," Bradley said in answer to Meyers' question about where Sam and GIlly's relationship is headed. "I've said this before but I think up until Gilly, you know, Sam used to think about sex the way that most people think about space. It's something that goes on, but he's got nothing to do with it."
2. Gwendoline Christie wishes Brienne had waited for that candle.
Meyers took Christie to task for Brienne having waited all that time for Sansa's candle, only to leave her post at the exact wrong moment.
"You had one job and you blew it," Meyers said to Christie.
"I didn’t blow the candle, I didn’t mean that, um," she said amidst laughs from the crowd. "What can I say? I had to stand for three months watching a window to wait for a candle. Give me a break."
"You don't have to take these oaths," Meyers countered.
"Sometimes I take on a little bit too much," Christie added with a smile. "I’m ambitious."
Later when answering an audience question about one thing the cast would change about last season, Christie admitted, “I would wait for the candle.”
3. Zero fun was had during filming of Shireen Baratheon's final scene.
Director David Nutter revealed that there was no levity at all on set the day they filmed the tragic "burning scene."
"Tough weather, tough setting and everyone needed to feel what was going to happen to this little girl," Nutter said. "We were all into it, the actors and the extras were all into it and it was just an amazingly powerful moment and came out just right."
Producer Carolyn Strauss added that, with regard to the audience reaction to that very sad turn of events, the cast and crew feel it just as much as the audience, and that they don't take those moments lightly.
"Just because it’s painful doesn’t mean it’s not a good point in the story," said Strauss.. "It wasn’t done because of the pain, but it was done in spite of it.”
4. The GoT audition reel is almost as intense as the show.
The second video surprise of the panel was an audition reel that featured surprisingly intense line readings from Thrones' future stars: Christie, Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane), Rose Leslie (Ygritte) and Jerome Flynn (Bronn).
The reel's bare bones audition scenes, which looked to be filmed in offices and/or conference rooms, were cut with the finished scenes, making for visual contrast. Hivju's audition was particularly memorable in that he chomped on a carrot for emphasis during his audition; in the show, that became a huge leg of meat. Another highlight was seeing Christie's very intense and spot-on reading of Brienne's first dressing-down of Jamie Lannister, "All my life men like you have sneered at me, and all my life I've been knocking men like you into the dust."
5. Maisie Williams is anxious about Arya's blindness next season.
When a fan asked Williams what she thinks about playing Arya blind next season, Williams revealed that she has some anxiety about mastering a new "prop."
“The contacts I was wearing for that big reveal at the end, I did it for one shot," Williams recalled. "They take a couple of minutes to feel comfortable, but [for that short scene] they were straight back out again." Next season will be trickier, Williams explained, "One, I can’t see and two, they’re extremely uncomfortable. I'm excited to see what they write in because it takes them three seconds to be like, 'Arya fights blind,' but it takes me a long time to master that."
6. "They miscast the cats."
When it comes to the feline actors in the show, both Natalie Dormer and Williams had issues with their furry scene-partners.
"Ser Pounce was a nightmare," said Natalie Dormer. "That cat would not stay on that bed at all, it's a wonder we got those scenes done."
"I had an issue with a cat in Season 1 when Arya's chasing the cat," added Williams. "She's supposed to not be able to catch the cat but every single time I could catch the cat."
"We had opposite problems," Dormer observed. "They miscast the cats."
7. Christie is "thrilled" about the power dynamics between Jaime and Brienne.
In response to a fan question about what Christie thinks about the evolution of Brienne's relationship with Jaime, Christie inspired a lot of cheers and supporting whoops from the audience:
"I found it very interesting when I read the books and then obviously the script, about the basis of that relationship. How in a mainstream TV show we got to see this very unique, very unconventional woman enduring abuse from a man, and then the power lay in the fact that that got turned on its head and turned into a kind of begrudging respect for each other that's intense and close and doesn't have its roots in sexuality," Christie explained. "I was thrilled to see that at last and I felt it was a very powerful modern representation of a woman."
8. President Obama has hope for the fate of Jon Snow...
Director David Nutter won the panel with his story about meeting "No. 1 fan," President Barack Obama, even if the conversation didn't go exactly as he planned.
“About three weeks ago the President of the United States and I got a chance to meet," recalled Nutter. "He came up to me, shook my hand, then put a hand to my shoulder and said, 'You didn’t kill Jon Snow, did you?' [an inquiry which received the most delighted/surprised reaction from all of Hall H.] 'Mr. President, Jon Snow is deader than dead,' was my response. The Red Wedding was his favorite episode and he kept telling me, 'You keep killing off all my favorite characters.'"
9. But no one is going to miss Kit Harington.
As much as the audience tried to get the cast to address the big black crow in the room, no one would take the bait. When a fan asked, "Who’s going to miss Kit the most since he’s obviously dead?"
"His hairdresser," offered Conleth Hill. "Kit, who?"
"We couldn't wait for him to be gone, to be honest," added/joked Williams. "That hair, so annoying."