The “Game of Thrones” Hall H panel kicked off Friday evening with a request by Comic-Con emcee Eddie Ibrahim that the audience be nice.
Before introducing the panel’s moderator, James Hibberd, Ibrahim appealed to the audience’s better angels by reminding the crowd of Comic-Con’s reputation as a safe space for multiple different fandoms to coexist peacefully. He also asked that fans wait to line up to ask questions at the end of the conversation. (Ultimately, time ran out before fans were able to ask any.)
The panel made up of series stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Liam Cunningham, Jacob Anderson, Maisie Williams, John Bradley, Conleth Hill and Isaac Hempstead Wright, answered questions about the characters’ fates post-"Game of Thrones” and about the massive backlash the show received over its controversial finale. Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner and Lena Headey were notably absent.
“Someone left some coffee cups here,” said Waldau, lifting one of the cups set out for the panelists. To which the cast all raised a toast and lifted the cups knowingly.
In addition to asking the cast to speculate on where their characters may have gone after the finale, the stars also responded to the criticism the show received and the online petition requesting the entire eighth season be re-shot.
“Well, I don’t regret starting the petition,” Hill joked. He also mentioned an interview he did with Entertainment Weekly in which he expressed disappointment with his character’s arc in the last few seasons.
“It just felt like after Season 6, I kind of dropped off the edge,” Hill told EW in May. “I can’t complain because it’s six great seasons and I had some great scenes these last two seasons. But that’s when it changed for me a little... It was kind of frustrating. As a whole it’s been overwhelmingly positive and brilliant but I suppose the last couple seasons weren’t my favorite.”
“I was absolutely gutted to make it so far but not quite reach the end,” he clarified at the panel. “For the record, I loved all my 10 years on ‘Game of Thrones.’ It was a life-changing experience and the one thing the last [season] was about is the futility of conflict and the pointlessness of war. If you take one thing from that show, take that.”
“It was surprising the level ... the absurdity of the online petition,” said Waldau. “Every season we had huge controversies from Ned Stark being killed ... and then there was the Red Wedding ... obviously, when you come to the end it’s going to piss you off no matter what because it’s the end. But at the end of the day, it’s absolutely fine.”
“It’s always a metaphor for life,” Cunningham chimed in. “It’s not arriving at the end that’s the point, it’s the journey.”