The first public appearance of Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss since the final episode of the show aired will no longer be happening, as they've pulled out of a panel appearance at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. The duo had previously been confirmed as taking part.
The showrunners of Game of Thrones have kept a low profile since the series ended, which may have something to do with the negative response to the final season and the harsh criticisms of the last episode by the fanbase on social media. A petition to have the final season of Game of Thrones remade by a new creative team reached over a million signatures while the final season was still on the air, and would receive another six hundred thousand signatures after the last episode was broadcast.
Benioff and Weiss were due to appear during a Game of Thrones panel at SDCC 2019, but they've pulled out at the last minute, along with director Miguel Sapochnik, Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont) and Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei). According to EW, the other actors who signed on for the panel will still be attending, which includes Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Conleth Hill (Varys), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), and Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark).
There hasn't been an official statement issued by HBO concerning the reasons behind the sudden absence of Benioff and Weiss from SDCC 2019, but i09 reached out to HBO and were told that “production and scheduling conflicts” were preventing the duo from making their scheduled appearance. Of course, that obviously won't prevent fans from wondering if the pair were simply put off by the idea of having their work potentially ridiculed in person.
The announcement of Benioff & Weiss' absence from SDCC 2019 comes hot on the heels of the news that the final season of Game of Thrones has been nominated for a record-breaking 32 Primetime Emmy Awards. It's possible that Benioff and Weiss want to avoid any potential negative response to their presence at SDCC, especially with the Emmy Awards only a few months away. The negative response from the Game of Thrones fanbase has diminished since the last episode aired, but there are still a lot of people who are furious about the final season, even with many of the actors still defending it. It would've been interesting to see the kind of reaction that Benioff & Weiss would have received in their first public outing since the show aired, but that will have to wait until a later date.