After weeks of speculation that the Game of Thrones panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con would be filled with negativity after the conclusion of the series, the overall mood was mainly positive. Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Liam Cunningham, and Isaac Hempstead Wright all sat down and tipped their Starbucks coffees to the crowd in a reference to the misplaced cup from the final season that went viral.
While the coffee was all in good fun, John Bradley still needed to explain himself for a similar gaffe from the finale, where a water bottle was left by his foot and appeared on screen, but only for the briefest of moments. He stated, “I am right-handed. I've thought about this very strongly," Bradley said, making a case that he would have put the bottle on the other side if it was his. "I'm not trying to clear my name, but... I think I've taken enough blame for this one.”
One of the biggest differences between this panel and all the previous ones that came before was that there was no longer a veil of secrecy to maintain about future plots of the fate of our favorite characters. This allowed everyone to let their guard down and speak their minds.
Although it was not stated, the mood was probably light in part to the absence of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who needed to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Rumors persist that their dropping out of the event was actually a direct result of the constant barrage online of plans to boo and generally criticize the close of the series.
Instead, there was far less discussion about the way in which the series concluded than was supposedly planned online. Conleth Hill, who played Varys on the show, stated, “Look at the amount of people here. We're very grateful to your fandom over the years... this is the reality as opposed to the media-led hate campaign.”
Coster-Waldau added that each season of the show has been divisive in some manner, but called for civility among the fans, stating, “Just don't call people names.”
The cast all spoke as well about what they thought happened after the finale, and remarked on some of their favorite scenes of the final season. Coster-Waldau found the decision for Brienne of Tarth, played by Gwendoline Christie, to write in the lines relating to the deeds of Ser Jaime Lannister to be “very beautiful, and I think it showed her understanding of Jaime, and her love of Jaime, and I thought that was just a beautiful scene.”
Now that the show is over, fans of the Game of Thrones universe can look forward to two future releases. First, we know that HBO is working on a prequel series based on original content, which is sure to be an interesting watch, to say the least. Second, we know that George R.R. Martin is still working away on the books, although their release may be far, far into the future, assuming they release at all.