After the polarising, controversial final season of Game of Thrones, fans had been wondering how the creators and stars would be greeted when they took the stage at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. Would it be a heroes' welcome, like Jon Snow returning to Winterfell? Or an uncomfortable scenario, like Daenerys Targaryen after burning King’s Landing to the ground?
To the surprise of probably no one, it was the former. Though there was plenty of talk about the displeasure many felt toward the final season, most of the panel was focused on looking back at eight seasons of amazing television.
“When it comes to an end, it’s gonna piss you off no matter what,” said Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. “Because it’s the end. But it’s fine. If you hated the ending, loved it, that’s great. Just don’t call people names.”
“It’s not arriving at the end that’s the point, it’s the journey, added Liam Cunningham.
Conleth Hill, who played Varys on the series, had another thought about all that. “You look at the amount of people that are here and we here to thank you for watching us all those years,” he said to the Hall H crowd. “This is the reality rather than a media-led hate campaign.”
Luckily for Hill, the quote was partially talked over and completely ignored by everyone else on the panel, but it’s a pretty serious accusation especially considering what his co-star said before about everyone just taking what they want from it. To suggest the media led some sort of campaign rather than just critiqued the final series for what it was is simply ludicrous.
On some lighter notes, the panel started with all the actors — which also included Jacob Anderson, John Bradley, Maisie Williams and Isaac Hempstead Wright, noting that someone forgot a coffee cup on stage. They then they all lifted cups and toasted the crowd, a wink to this major story this season.
If you watched Game of Thrones last night you might have spotted something a little out of place. No, there wasn’t an ewok riding a dragon or anything as cool as that. The HBO show aired a modern coffee cup that was definitely not supposed to be in the shot.
When asked a bit about what they think their characters are doing now, Hempstead Wright noted that Westeros is now something of a surveillance state since Bran can see everything. Williams compared Arya to Dora the Explorer (“without the bob”).
When Coster-Waldau said he thought his character dying in Cersei’s arms was “a perfect end” for Jaime, one person in the crowd loudly booed, which got a big laugh.
Hill told people what he hopes they took away from the show: “[It was about] the futility of conflict. The pointlessness of war. If you get one thing from this show, take that, because it doesn’t work,” he said.
Each actor was then asked very pointed “What If” questions about their characters. Coster-Waldau doesn’t think it would have worked out with him and Brieanne because Jaime has too much baggage. Cunningham thinks, if Melisandre hadn’t killed herself, he probably would have hired someone to take care of the job because he doesn’t think Davos would’ve done it.
Anderson said he wasn’t sure why Grey Worm didn’t kill Jon Snow, going so far as to put on a Spider-Man mask to avoid the question. But ultimately said he thinks maybe he finally had had enough of the violence, and that’s why.
Hill confirmed that, yes, Varys did try to poison Daenerys in his final episode because he knew what was coming.
Williams said if Arya came back, Gendry still wouldn’t have a chance because she doesn’t think companionship is what makes Arya happy. She’s used to being a lone wolf. Which is why she confirmed, no, Jon didn’t tell Arya to kill the Night King. She did that herself.
Finally, before each actor gave a heartfelt thank you to the fans and explained what they’d miss (basically the people or the fans were all the answers) each also gave their favourite line in the show.
- For Coster-Waldau it was “Hold the door.”
- For Cunningham it was “Nothing fucks you harder than time.”
- For Anderson it was “Valar morghulis.”
- For Williams it was “Not today.”
- For Bradley it was “I always wanted to be a wizard.”
- For Hill it was “I drink and I know things.”
- And, finally, for Hempstead Wright it was “Chaos is a ladder.”