Despite the fact that Comic-Con wrapped several days ago, we're still getting over the "Game of Thrones" excitement generated during this year's pop-culture compendium.
There were a slew of new characters announced, lively banter and on-set stories shared by the cast and creator George R. R. Martin during the show's panel, and some season-three teasery from Richard Madden (a.k.a. Robb Stark).
MTV News was lucky enough to catch Martin toward the end of his time at Comic-Con for a quick chat about his thoughts on the new castmembers, why we haven't seen Mance Rayder, when we'll see Theon Greyjoy again and his dread regarding a certain climactic end-of-season scene. (No spoilers below, only vague hints of action to come that readers of the books are very familiar with.)
"I've not met [the new castmembers], but I've seen many of them audition on videotape through the wonders of the Internet, and I think they're amazing," Martin said. "I'm especially excited about Diana Rigg, who I fell in love with when she was Emma Peel [in 'The Avengers'], so it's pretty amazing that she's in my show, and she'll be wonderful as the Queen of Thorns."
And what news is there of the casting of that feared leader of the Free Folk, Mance Rayder?
"Well, we're still looking for Mance Rayder," Martin revealed. "They're still holding auditions, so if there are any British actors out there who want a terrific part, Mance Rayder! Contact our casting director — we need one. As of a couple days ago, they hadn't cast that part yet. We're still auditioning and talking to people," he said, adding that we'll probably meet Rayder early on in the season, in one of the first few episodes.
Martin also offered some happy news for the Theon Greyjoy/ Alfie Allen fans out there who were left wondering about the fate of the Ironborn wannabe conqueror.
"I think Alfie will be back, I think so," Martin said. "But only [executive producers] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] know for sure."
Other topics covered during our brief chat was the scene from his third book Martin is most looking forward to seeing in the show, as well as how much of the book will be adapted for season three and how much will be saved for season four.
"I don't know that the word 'looking forward to' is the word I want, but I'm anticipating but also dreading a certain event with the initials R.W., and that's all I can say about it," Martin said. "What we're going to see in season three is the first half of the third book 'A Storm of Swords,' not precisely [the first half], they've already used a few things from the third book in the second season, so they're moving a few story lines around and changing a few things, but more or less [it will be the first half of the book].
What about the likelihood we'll meet Strong Belwas this season?
"No comment on that one," Martin said with a smile.