New Game of Thrones gets detailed at Comic Con

A huge Game of Thones panel at Comic-Con this year revealed new cast members, shooting schedules, and lots of other bits and bobs.

It’s nice to see that George R. R. Martin, The author of the books upon which HBO’s hit series is based, has a great sense of humor about the style of the series. He spent a lot of his stage time talking about the sexuality of the stories, and how that’s been translated to the small screen for the series, including putting the cast members on the panel on the spot about their scenes, and frequently referencing the breast-loving co-creator of the show depicted in the Saturday Night Live sketch which attempts to explain the purpose for the rampant sexuality of the program.

Martin also made light of the frequency with which major characters die in his story, saying, “I may have to start killing some of these characters to make room for new ones.”

With this he was referring to a seemingly massive list of new cast members for a show entering its third season. The highlight is Diana Rigg playing Lady Olenna “The Queen of Thorns” Tyrell (Margaery’s Grandmother).

The actress is also appearing – along side her IRL daughter – in the upcoming season of Doctor Who. Fans of classic genre television will no doubt remember her role as Emma Peel in The Avengers back in the ‘60s.

In addition to Rigg, the panel announced these new additions, some of which we already knew from the press release earlier in the weekend:

  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Jojen Reed
  • Mackenzie Crook as Orell the warg
  • Richard Dormer as Beric Dondarrion
  • Nathalie Emannuel as Missandei
  • Tara Fitzgerald as Selyse Baratheon
  • Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane
  • Kerry Ingram as Shireen Baratheon
  • Paul Kaye as Thoros of Myr
  • Ellie Kendrick as Meera Reed
  • Anton Lesser will play Qyburn 
  • Philip McGinley as Anguy
  • Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully
  • Clive Russell as Bryndon “The Blackfish” Tully

They also showed this video up on the big screen to introduce many of the new cast members:

Beyond this was mostly stories from the set, and some questions from the audience. One highlights was the revelation that the acting prompt for the CGI dire-wolves is just a ball of fluff on a stick, while some actual little dragon mock-ups were made for the dragons. 

We also got to hear a couple of the actors with major roles this season talk about their own character’s motivations. “I think she’s got a huge amount of [insecurities],” Emilia Clarke said of her character, Daenerys Targaryen. “I think in Season 2 you saw her self-doubt. She’s so protective of her people and her dragons, she needs to be as strong as she can and not show her doubt. I think that’s the beauty of the character – it keeps her linked in and noble.”

“It was fine. It was good.” said Alfie Allen  of his character, Theon Greyjoy’s sex-scenes. “I enjoyed it … I wanted to get in shape for it anyway. I wanted to feel like a warrior. All the sex scenes he has are with prostitutes — he’s paying for it. It’s not like he’s a stud muffin!”

Most interesting was to hear Martin reiterate that his stories are not about real-world politics. There has been a lot of talk (criticism and praise) over the second season’s depiction of politics and war as an allegory for our current world-stage, and when asked, some of the cast responded positively that it helps the story be more relatable for everyone if they see their own world in the world of the show. Martin, however, flat-out denies any political allusions, “The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.” Adding that his story is character-driven, and any politics come naturally from character development.

It was also announced, as a closing note, that the new season of Game of Thones will kick off on March 31, 2013.