Comic-Con Live-Blog: HBO's 'Game of Thrones'

George R.R. Martin moderates the panel for his HBO hit

<p>Emilia Clarke of 'Game of Thrones'</p>
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Emilia Clarke of 'Game of Thrones'

Credit: HBO

SAN DIEGO - Howdy, folks. After a morning detour live-blogging "Breaking Dawn" press conferences over at the the Bayfront Hilton, I've settled into my place in Ballroom 20, where I'll be live-blogging TV panels for the next three days.

Up first this afternoon? "Game of Thrones."

Click through for all of the Season 2 teases and Season 1 spoilers, all as moderated by George R.R. Martin.

2:47 p.m. One thing Comic-Con attendees should thank "Game of Thrones" for: Daenerys Targaryen. And yes, I had to cut and paste the spelling of that name. I'm probably gonna make mistakes, even though I watched/loved the first season of the show and read/loved the first two books of Martin's series. Tell me, I'll fix things. Happy to.

2:56 p.m. We're scheduled to start in 4 minutes. But the line outside of Ballroom 20 is prohibitive. Very few of the people even in the middle of the line are making it in... Sad.

3:02 p.m. Comic-Con organizers are going to have to be smarter next year. Hall H has has almost no line all day long. You can just walk right in. Meanwhile, Ballroom 20 will be turning thousands of people away. It's just not good planning and it's just not fair to fans. Oh well.

 

3:07 p.m. George R. R. Martin takes the stage to enthusiastic applause. Nobody yells, "Why aren't you home writing?!?"

3:07 p.m. Clip package from the season. Pretty much every actor gets cheers when they appear on-screen. Biggest applause? For the Crown of Gold sequence.

 

3:12 p.m. Drat. The final scene has to be VERY carefully cropped. But it gets huge applause. "They managed to cover in 10 minutes what took me 1200 pages," Martin cracks.

3:13 p.m. On hand, we have a very bearded Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kit Harington, Lena Headey (with shades and a jaunty hat), Peter Dinklage (who receives a big piece of a Standing O, easily the biggest cheer of the panel), Jason Momoa (looking like a Dothraki rock star), Emilia Clarke (gorgeous, but dark-haired!) and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

3:16 p.m. Martin begins by asking how the showrunners became involved with his books. David Benioff doesn't know how to talk into a mic. The first four books showed up on his step in 2006. Benioff says that he was hooked from the scene in which Bran gets pushed out the window. "It's like crack on paper," Benioff says, noting that most people tried to get him to make it as "a two-and-a-half-hour PG-13 movie."

3:18 p.m. Emilia came to "Game of Thrones" straight out of drama school. "Do exactly the same thing as I was going to do anyway," Clarke says regarding the advice that she'd give Past Emilia. Did drama school prepare her for this? "No. No. There were no dragons in drama school. The thing that prepared me for this was Dany and falling in love with her."

3:19 p.m. Emilia adds that with her dark hair, people don't recognize her, but one person gave her free frozen yogurt once.

3:21 p.m. "It's kinda fun to be able to play a character who isn't trying to be morally good... I'm not playing to please anybody," Headey says, though she swears that Cersei is misunderstood. "She love her children."

3:21 p.m. "It's a ridiculous experience. I can't feel my feel," Coster-Waldau says.  

 

3:22 p.m. For Jason Momoa, Martin asks, "Who would win? Khal Drogo or Conan?" Well, if Martin didn't ask, the fans would. Momoa responds, "Well, George, between you and me... Drogo would kick Conan's ass." Then Momoa yells something loud in what may or may not be Dothraki. Awesome.

3:23 p.m. Apparently Momoa was responsible for the scene in which Drogo rips out a rival's throat. "I wanted to do something so it looked like he was just the baddest man in the world," Momoa says, apologizing to Martin for deviating from the book.

3:24 p.m. Loud cheer for Peter Dinklage's Emmy nomination. What is it like playing so many people's favorite character? "Well, I don't know if I even have an approach as an actor. But I think everybody on this panel was faced with that when we started this show. Really big shoes to fill." He pauses. "Yeah, it was terrifying."

3:27 p.m. Kit Harington admits that the direwolves didn't always do what they were told, but he adds, "I love my dog. I love Cooper, or 'Ghost' as he was called." He's begun getting recognized, he says, but he suggests it's an "I'm sure I know you from somewhere" thing so far.

3:28 p.m. What's going to be on the DVD and BluRays? "Expect us droning on and on and on," Weiss says. There won't be deleted scenes on the DVD. They used everything they shot, basically. But they'll have lots of supplementary material, Weiss promises. Benioff says that the DVD will include the first auditions for all of the actors. Benioff has particular praise for Jason Momoa's audition. He adds that the found Momoa through message boards. "No offense, but I hadn't heard of you before... I hadn't kept up on my 'Baywatch,'" Benioff cracks. 

3:30 p.m. Momoa did a dance for his auditions. The fans want to see it, but Jason demurs. Asked about Dothraki, Momoa says it sounded like "Jabba the Hutt and Fozzie Bear." Momoa describes his big "rape and pillage" Dothraki speech as his favorite scene from the series.

3:33 p.m. Favorite scenes? Coster-Waldau says his favorite was his last scene with Catelyn. Harington references his scene with Maisie Williams' Arya. "My favorite are still to come, because we just read some of Seaosn 2," Headey teases. Dinklage's favorite scene, of course, was when he was on trial. "I felt like the master of ceremonies for a bunch of bored extras," Dinklage says. Clarke's favorite scene? Her last. "I get to meet my babies," she laughs. "Just the sound of those dragons... shivers. Amazing. Just how I thought it would be." 

 

3:38 p.m. First audience question: How much of the actors read the books? "After my first audition I got the first book and devoured it and not too long a time and then was obsessed with it," Clarke says, but she decided not to read the second book, because she wanted to "be with Dany." She adds, "My celebration wrapping Season One was reading Book Two." Momoa read through and was unhappy when he got to Drogo's fate. "I f***ing hated you, man. I was like f*** this," Momoa tells Martin. "Bring him back," much of the audience yells at Martin, who promises to take it under advisement.

3:40 p.m. "Well, it keeps you on your toes," Martin says in response to a question about why he kills off so many beloved characters. 

 

3:41 p.m. Question for Lena about the many sides of Cercei and the weight of her wigs. "I know I've been criticized for giving her *some* humanity, but I think everyone deserves a chance," Headey says. "The wigs? Part of the game."

3:42 p.m. From the audience, how would the stars end the series if they had their way? "I want Jon Snow to be on the Throne. Definitely," Harington says. Coster-Waldau wants a big battle and a sign saying "20 Years Later..." cut to Jamie and Cersei living happily together in a small cottage. "Bring Khal Drogo back for sure and have him and Tyrion co-rule," Headey suggests. "Dance number," is Dinklage's answer. 

 

3:44 p.m. Questioner calls Momoa her "sun and stars" and asks him about doing fight scenes with long hair. He says it was easy and ends with, "Thank you, moon of my life."

3:45 p.m. I want the Khal Drogo "Hope" shirt that this fan is wearing. She wants to know what moment hooked the stars. Coster-Waldau was hooked with the Bran-tossing scene from the end of the pilot. "I liked the very beginning of the show, the White Walkers. And then I lost interest when I came on. My scene was over and then I was interested again," Dinklage says. 

3:47 p.m. What can we expect from the second season? Benioff replies, "Everyone dies, sorry." Weiss answers, "It was all a dream." Benioff says that Season Three will be when things may need to start deviating from the books. He still doesn't know if Book 3 will be one season or one-and-a-half. They're building to a big scene in "Storm of Swords" -- R.W. in specific -- and that's what they want to get up to. "I think we're going to get to R.W. and if that happens, I can retire," Benioff says.

 

3:49 p.m. George will be writing the Battle of Blackwater scene and he's hoping they'll be able to realize the scene as it was in the book. The showrunners merely promise that there will be a battle.

3:50 p.m. Question about Martin's "Pulling a 'Lost.'" comments. "Yes, I am concerned about the ending. I still have too more books to go and I'm juggling a lot of balls and of course the fear is that some of them will fall on my head," Martin says. "I certainly hope that the ending will tie together and in terms of making people happy, hopefully it will make some people happy." He says that he's a fan of bittersweet endings and that's probably what we'll get.

3:53 p.m. "I've never been a part of anything remotely close to this," Momoa says, when asked to compare working on a Sci Fi Channel show to working on an HBO show. He loves that scifi and fantasy shows let you "rip someone's throat out and rape beautiful women."

3:54 p.m. Emilia Clarke is asked about playing a strong-yet-relatable woman. "When I read the books, Dany, she just seemed very real to me. I understood everything that she was going through, her mentality and everything," Clarke says. Her advice to women? "Own it!"

3:56 p.m. Praise for Lena's performance on "White Collar," but a question for Kit about what drew him to Jon Snow and what he's looking forward to: "He's got a big journey ahead of him. He goes beyond the wall..." Harington is looking forward to Jon getting on with "his own agenda." What drew him to the character? "He's a badass with a sword. He's a mysterious little guy."

 

3:58 p.m. Everybody loves Kit. Harington says that Martin hasn't revealed to him who Jon Snow's mother is. "I haven't got a clue. Sorry, but I can't fill you in there."

3:58 p.m. Last question goes to Mr. Martin: Is there a particular character Martin has mourned? "Actually, I mourn all of the characters when I kill them," he says. He specifically mourns the "viewpoint" characters. "I tell myself it's not me killing them. It's the other characters. I try to distance myself." Martin agrees that the R.W. scene was the hardest one for him to write. "When they film and show it, I'm going to arrange to be out of the country," he closes.

4:00 p.m. That was a really good panel.

 

 

 

 

 

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Daniel Fienberg
Executive Editor
A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.
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