San Diego Comic-Con was dark and full of terrors on Friday afternoon, thanks to the "Game of Thrones" panel. Death was very much on the mind for Hall H attendees, as the panel began with an in memoriam video set to Boyz II Men's "Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" -- an appropriate way to lead in to a conversation about season three's controversial Red Wedding episode.
Gone from the show but not from fandom, actors Richard Madden and Michelle Fairley were on hand to eulogize their "Game of Thrones" characters' deaths. And even with winter coming, Madden received quite the warm welcome, walking out to chants of "The King in the North! The King in the North!" Indeed, it was revealed that "The North Remembers" is a key phrase going into season four, premiering sometime in 2014.
"It was a rough day on set," co-showrunner David Benioff told the audience about killing Robb and Catelyn Stark (and countless others) in the penultimate episode of season three. "That was the last day we would work with them."
But it was even rougher on Madden, who cried on set and on his plane ride home over Robb's death. He acknowledged the "Game of Thrones"-sized hole that's currently in his life, making it clear that he very much misses the show.
Fairley, meanwhile, praised the "Rains of Castamere" theme, the musical cue that signals the beginning of the Red Wedding. "It was like someone walked over your grave," she said. Benioff added, "It's just one of those haunting things that's playing in my head right now."
But as hard as it was to kill Madden and Fairley's fan-favorite heroes, their death at the Red Wedding was always "part of the blueprint," according to D.B. Weiss. Benioff agreed, saying, "Four years ago, we said if we can get to that scene, we can die happy."
Robb and Catelyn Stark did not die happily. But as it's often said on the Iron Islands, what is dead may never die — and Madden and Fairley's appearance at Comic-Con was a testament to the fact that "Game of Thrones" fans, like the Northerners of Westeros, will always remember their fallen comrades.