Pop Culture

The North remembers: 'Game of Thrones' honors its dead at Comic-Con

There was no need for swords or fire-breathing dragons at HBO’s "Game of Thrones" San Diego Comic-Con panel Friday — the audience was completely under the spell of the popular ensemble cast.

The packed event kicked off with an amusing In Memoriam clip reel set to Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.” It paid tribute to all the characters who have been killed in a variety of rather gruesome ways since season one.

Stars Michelle Fairley, Richard Madden (both of whom were Red Wedding victims), Peter Dinklage, John Bradley, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie, Richard Madden, Emilia Clarke and author George R.R. Martin, along with showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff were all on hand to greet fans.

There were many highlights to the panel, much to the audience’s delight. Among them:

  • When asked by a fan about the best part of being in "Game of Thrones," Dinklage said: "It’s amazing. I get to be on T-shirts!” The Emmy-winning actor, who is once again nominated for supporting drama actor for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister, looked visibly humbled by his standing ovation.

  • Dinklage isn't thinking about his character’s future. “In four or five years when this is all over, I think that I will go back and read all of the books and reflect upon it. ... I don't want to know what is coming. I want to know what has happened. But I don't want to know what is coming so I stray from reading too far into the future.”

  • Speaking of the books, Martin addressed the slow process of writing the sixth and seventh novels of the series from which the show is adapted: “I have to write quickly,” he said, “because the locomotive’s coming down the track behind me and I’m still laying down tracks.”

  • Madden, whose character Robb Stark lost his life in the season’s intense Red Wedding episode, talked about filming the pivotal scene. “I cried quite a lot,” he acknowledged.

  • Clarke shared how she heard about the show's 16 Emmy nominations on Thursday morning: “My alarm went off really early at 6 a.m. in the hotel even though I never set it,” she said. “I saw I was getting a missed call from HBO telling us about the amazing news, and it took three phone calls for them to tell me, 'No, no, you (were nominated) as well!' ”

  • Jason Momoa, who played the much loved — and sadly deceased — Khal Drogo, crashed the panel to give onscreen love Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) a kiss. “I’m not dead yet!” he quipped.

"Game of Thrones" returns for season four on HBO in the spring.