SDCC 2012: Game Of Thrones Panel Takes San Diego With Fire and Blood

A decisive battle has been fought at Blackwater, but The War of the Five Kings is far from over. With that in mind, HBO’s Game of Thrones was out in full force at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, with cast, crew and more ready to chat about the highly anticipated third Season, which will adapt the first half (loosely) of George R.R. Martin’s “A Storm of Swords.” Oh, and if you think you know what’s coming, book readers? You know nothing.

The panel - like last year - was moderated by Martin himself, who started off by apologizing that the Producers couldn’t be at the panel, because they’re filming season three. He also apologized that, “My nephew who does the boobies,” also couldn’t be there, referring to the SNL sketch from this past season. Then it was tie for a recap reel from Season 2, and let me tell you: Game of Thrones needs to be shown on a movie screen regularly because it looked - and sounded - fantastic... Particularly the Battle of Blackwater, which sent a shockwave through the audience.

This was followed by an official casting announcement, including Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell, Mackenzie Crook, and the biggest applause was for the news that Frogeaters Jojen and Meera Reed would be in the show next season.

Then it was time to bring out the panel, including Exec Producer Carolyn Strauss, Richard Madden (Rob Stark), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Rose Leslie (Ygritte), and Emilia Clarke (Daenarys Targaryen).

Martin turned to Allen, joking that he wrote all these sex scenes for him, and, “not even a box of chocolates?” Martin followed this up by asking whether Allen liked the sex scenes. “I enjoyed them, they’re really fun!” said Allen with a laugh. Perhaps pushing the joke a little too far, Martin then asked Madden whether he liked his sex scene, making us doubt whether its really his nephew that’s in charge of the boobies. Madden was game though, and said that he preferred, “Swinging his sword,” to laughs from the audience. “We’ll see after this season,” said Martin ominously.

Then turning to Leslie, Martin mentioned that she actually grew up in a castle. “Is there a... Dungeon?” asked Martin, to which Leslie said, “Oh yes, we played hide and seek in there. It would last for days.”

Then it was over to Clarke, who chatted with Martin about not being recognized by people, but when she does get recognized, it’s hardcore. She told a story of being in an elevator, someone did a double take, and then looked her right in the eyes and said, “Khaleesi!”

Asked about being "killed" in the last season, Allen said that the team actually wrote him a death scene where he was killed by Bran; then called him on vacation to ask if he wanted to come back, but as a naked zombie with no lines. That's when he realized they were putting him on. As a surprise, this was followed up by Martin announcing that Hodor was actually in the audience, to cheers from the crowd. "He's still learning his line," joked Martin.

Asked about her character in Downton Abbey, Leslie felt that she wouldn’t survive too long on Game of Thrones, but that “Ygritte on Downton Abbey would be brilliant.”

Martin then asked Madden whether the Direwolves are real dogs. "I'd be terrified if it was real, but it's a fantastic silver ball, on a wooden stick!" said Madden. "Sometimes we have a stuffed teddy bear dire wolf." Clarke added that her dragons are like a, "green sausage on a stick," though Martin added they actually have glowing eyes.

Opening up to audience questions, the cast chatted about loving the costumes - particularly how they helped them get more into character. Madden talked also about how every set smells differently, because they burn different incense at every location. His favorite place to smell was Winterfell, so there you go!

Asked how the show relates to the real world, Martin said, "I don't think my books are meant to be comment on current ethical controversies, but that's not to say I don't comment on ethical or moral controversies. But the story, the heart... Is the characters."

Before they finished, a teaser clip (no footage) was shown, teasing that the show will return on March 31, 2013. And that was it! We’ll see you back at MTV Geek for more SDCC.