UPDATED with video: Finally, a morsel at the close of HBO’s Game of Thrones panel at Comic-Con: a snippet of Carice Van Houten’s witch character Melisandre, who is advising the dragon-wielding Iron Throne aspirant Daenerys Targaryen. The crowd seemed intrigued by the ramifications of the redhead’s change of teams.
That nugget came as HBO dropped a trailer with hints about future episodes at the back end of its Hall H presentation. Watch it above.
The panel began with resounding applause for the intro of Kristian Nairn, known for his tragic character Hodor. He introduced the panel and went right to Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth, to ask who on the show she has a romantic crush on — Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivjuor) or someone else. Christie demurred, though hinted at the latter (she had moments with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s Jaime Lannister). It was that kind of panel. After Sunday’s opening episode, with one of the best opening scenes ending in a Scooby-Doo reveal moment, the show is well on track for a seventh season.
Aside from a decided expression of female empowerment from the female members of the panel, participants today were clearly under orders not to give anything away. And so the Comic-Con panel was left with frivolous banter devoid of revelation. Alfie Allen, Theon of Greyjoy (who brought a cute puppy), discussed his character’s comeback from the oppressed wretch Reek (he was happy). Conleth Hill was there as Lord Varys; Jacob Anderson, clad in a Spider-Man shirt, said nothing much about his Grey Worm character. Asked if her Sansa character is being overly manipulated by Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), Sophie Turner said her character has been “silently absorbing learning and adapting. She is just as good at playing the game as he is at this point.”
Asked if his Davos Seaworth character would hunt down the witch Melisandre after her banishment for the brutal death last season, Liam Cunningham said he “would whip out a Glock and pop a couple of caps in her ass. He doesn’t have a list but he would probably put her in a shallow grave if it were up to me.” Van Houten wasn’t around to stick up for herself.
Nathalie Emmanuel was there as Missandei. John Bradley discussed Sam’s perennial position as an outsider and a disappointment, even in the Citadel. “You saw he is just as much an outsider by the jobs you saw him do,” he said. Bradley said his character is realizing it is better to have the love of two people than pine for the affection of hundreds. He also made a plea that Maesters “cleaned up their own damn bedpans.” He was most introspective of his character, reasoning that the logical progression is that the Citadel is his battlefield, even though he wants to stand with Jon Snow (Kit Harington) in battle.
After carrying his Bran Stark for six seasons (with nary a thank you, he joked), Nairn asked Isaac Hempstead Wright the significance of the Three Eyed Raven. Hempstead said he wasn’t sure but saw it as “one of the few fragments that remain of the magical mystical side of the old Westeros. … The Night King appears to be his sworn enemy and so he must be important.”
The cast pined over which former killed-off castmates they missed most, and the answers ranged from Hodor to Lady Stark to Khal Drogo and Shirene. The surprises were Turner claiming she most missed Jack Gleeson, who played her psycho paramour King Joffrey. Bradley said the killed castmember he most regretted was Jon Snow, because they all had to answer for a whole year the question of whether or not he was coming back.
The fans aren’t gobbling it up.