HBO’s fantasy hit Game of Thrones is coming to the San Diego Comic-Con for the second time this year and Screen Rant will be on hand to catch all of the news as it happens.

The panel will consist of stars Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Rose Leslie (Ygritte), and Richard Madden (Robb Stark), along with writer George R. R. Martin who also co-executive-produces the series.

Season 3: New Cast Members

New additions to the cast were introduced via video montage (in plain clothes) and the actors gave quick blurbs about who they are playing. Find a list of the actors/characters below, with video of their introductions:

Clive Russell (Brynden “Blackfish” Tully), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Mackenzie Crook (Orell), Kerry Ingram (Shireen Baratheon), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed), Ellie Kendrick (Meera Reed), Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion), Paul Kaye(Thoros of Myr), and Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna Tyrell).

Game of Thrones Panel Recap (Season 2 Spoilers!)

  • George R.R. Martin, author of the “Song of Fire and Ice” novel series that inspired the show, was on hand to moderate the panel. He didn’t do a great job.
  • A video recap of Game of Thrones season 2 was shown, to bring the audience up to speed on the characters and storylines.
  • The  old cast members present for the panel were brought out, along with executive producer Carolyn Strauss.
  • Staruss talked about how the show came about – via showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff – and how it is a fantasy series in premise, but departs from the usual fantasy formula to offer something modern and relevant.
  • Alfie Allen was asked if Theon Greyjoy is a villain, to which Allen responded that he’s more of a complex and tragic figure. Allen and Martin bantered about the many sex scenes Theon has had, and how physically fit the actor had to be to pull them off in respectable manner.
  • Madden was questioned about Robb Stark’s sex scene in season 2, and made the ill-phrased comment that he prefers “swinging a sword” to the lovemaking.
  • Michelle Fairley likes the heavy emotional arcs of Catelyn Stark as a mother and political figure in GoT. It keeps her grounded and connected to the material.
  • Rose Leslie was actually raised in a castle – Martin’s question: “Is there a dungeon?”
  • Emilia Clarke has a relative amount of anonymity when out of  costume – thanks to Daenerys’ white hair – but the “Khaleesi” comments come when she is spotted.
  • Discussion moved to the unprecedented scale of production for this TV show, which shoots seasons in multiple countries at once to create the various lands of Westeros.
  •  Weiss and Benioff have pranked Alfie Allen with fake scripts in which his character dies in strange ways, and faux interrogations about whether or not he could play zombie-Theon.
  • Hodor (Kristian Nairn) was in the audience, and Martin joked that the actor wasn’t on stage because he’s still learning his lines (since Hodor only says “Hodor).
  • Madden recounted what it’s like acting against the CGI creatures – direwolves, dragons – in the show. His direwolf is really a a metal ball on a stick (sometimes a stuffed animal); Emilia Clarke started with sausage on a stick, but now has actual scale dragon models to act against.
  • Martin ended the panel asking if Emilia liked Qarth – followed by an awkward question about why she didn’t have breast-revealing outfits on (like in the book). Super creepy. Clarke tried to appear enthused about the question, which is a testament to her acting skills.

Q&A

  • Favorite Season 2 scene for Allen was Theon getting knocked out after his big war speech in the season 2 finale. Madden and Fairley like mother-son/king-noble lady scenes between Catelyn and Robb.
  • Madden likes Robb’s armor (until it gets funky from use), while Leslie was happy to have a hood on her Ygritte costume (what with the cold climate).
  • The cast members were asked what house sigils they would adopt. Some of the answers were fairly obvious:

Clarke: Dragons
Madden: Wolf
Allen: Arsenal badge
Strauss: Ostrich
Fairley: Horse
Leslie: Eagle

  • Madden’s favorite filming location is the Winterfell set. It has uniqueness and a reality that greatly helps with his performance.
  • When asked if the show can be related to contemporary issues, Clarke said she feels it’s more about the universal human experience (family, death), while Strauss added that it breaks things down into their full character and story complexity, rather than a basic good vs. evil format. Martin said that he is concerned with something more universal than an allegory for contemporary world events.
  • The cast members have read the “Song of Fire and Ice” books; Madden, however, only reads each volume when the corresponding season of the show is going into production. Fairley likes the novels because she can map her character’s mind and development a lot better.
  • Clarke likes how vulnerable and unsure Daenerys was in season 2 (though some detractors would say her character was underserved).

In future panels, the Game of Thornes crew might want to go with a different moderator other than the creator of Westeros. In a better bit of news: season 3 will premiere on March 31, 2013.

Keep an eye on the Screen Rant Comic-Con page for all the convention news.